I’ll never forget the first event I hosted in Arlington: It was a reunion for employees who’d worked at the same software company right out of school, forging strong bonds just as they were entering adulthood. They all went on to bigger and better things, and now, 10 years later, were eager to rekindle the connection and came to me for help.
I knew they deserved something a little grander than your typical private room at the local pub
They requested a memorable night out with food, drink and toasts at a central location that was easy and convenient for all. Beyond those basic needs, they wanted this get-together to be one for the books. I knew they deserved something a little grander than your typical private room at the local pub.
I’d already considered Arlington, TX to be a standout entertainment destination thanks to hotspots such as Six Flags Over Texas, the famed amusement park. But the glorious little (not-so) secret about Arlington’s portfolio of venues is the way they can be used to give your event a little extra punch, whether it’s an intimate gathering or a huge corporate affair.
For my highly creative group, Six Flags was a perfect fit. They wanted to reconnect with a more youthful time in their lives, and this was just the ticket.
I reserved a rustic outdoor pavilion with beer, wine and a catered feast of Texas brisket and fried chicken. The staff provided an AV system for our slide-show of vintage photos so that everyone could re-live their glory days. Six Flags even let us rent out a section within its menagerie of 44 rides and 23 rollercoasters, with exclusive access to a few rides of our own. No lines for our VIPs.
Of course Six Flags isn’t the only unique venue in Arlington. There are numerous other fantastic options available to suit any style crowd.
For a one-of-a-kind backdrop, nothing beats the International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame (and that’s saying a lot given Arlington’s incredible options).
Talk about an icebreaker: Its bowling-themed artifacts are great conversation starters. It seems like the ideal venue for your new employee orientation. They even have two lanes available for you to roll a ball or two.
The space accommodates up to 350 people, but I love it for medium-sized groups, and definitely for those who don’t want the same conference room experience.
After 20 years, the Texas Rangers will move to a new facility in 2020, but Globe Life Park will stay standing for all your meeting needs.
Now we get to make this sprawling facility our own. There’s no event too big or small. Book a live band and host a giant outdoor concert in front of the man-made lake!
My favorite places to host are the concourses: impromptu outdoor spaces that wrap around the ball field with picnic tables, ballpark concession stands and photo ops galore. Your attendees still get the feel for being at the ball game, and that will surely get them excited to take part in your meeting.
For a more refined group of attendees who appreciate perusing fine art while they take care of business, I’d recommend the Arlington Museum of Art.
Given its minimal modern style, it’s no wonder the Arlington Museum of Art—located in beautiful downtown Arlington—is a popular meeting venue for those who appreciate the finer things.
A popular meeting venue for those who appreciate the finer things
You have a choice of two galleries to rent. An indoor gallery that seats 300 or a more precious gallery on the roof, with room for 75 very special people, who get a view of the new library and the downtown Main Street scene.
The museum partners with a catering company that knows the ins and outs of the property, but for a small fee they’ll let you bring in your own.
There’s something cozy and warm about a library that puts people at ease, so having a meeting in Arlington’s downtown library is perfect for a group that might be a little nervous.
George W. Hawkes Downtown Library is the city’s major library facility, newly built in 2018.
It’s my go-to for executive meetings, charitable organizations and educational events because of its ornate flair but at affordable rates. The boardroom is a premium space on the third floor with a conference table, whiteboard, projector and other technology. The Sun Club Garden is a darling outdoor oasis on the third floor with native plants and downtown views.
If your group is big on presentations and you have more sophisticated slide transitions than anything PowerPoint provides, you won’t want to miss the chance to book this technological paradise.
Arlington put itself on the map as gamer heaven with the brand new Esports Stadium Arlington + Expo Center, boasting 100,000 square feet of event space and more power outlets than you’ll need in your entire lifetime.
The technology and equipment are what set this apart. Its Gamer Gallery with PCs and oversized monitors is just perfect if you’re planning a big gaming competition with players from around the world.
The next time I host a big techie trade show with cutting-edge vendors, this is the place I’ll pick.
But why not make this the location of your annual meeting? Seeing the climbing sales figures of your startup blasted across a 90-foot LED display is sure to boost company morale
When you’re done, head to the facility’s state-of-the-art broadcast and production studio and record a commemorative company video.
Everything about this venue is big. The Dallas Cowboys’ stadium is the world’s largest domed structure, with 22 individual lounges, concession areas and other spaces for rent.
Show that you’ve made it to the big leagues: big-dollar corporate outings, motivational meetups, company picnics, making a splash.
You can rent the entire field—or just the end zone. You can rent the press box. You can even rent the Cowboys locker room. How’s that for a team-building event?
The Arlington Conventions & Visitors Bureau makes the process of event planning as easy as it can, even offering a planner’s toolkit with information on coordinating all the details and logistics. Plan your next event in Arlington.