In today’s economic environment, meeting planners are looking for new ways to get the right meeting destination at the right price.  While Texas’s big cities have been a premier destination for years, meeting planners are now discovering untapped opportunities in the state’s second- and third-tier markets.

“The secret to a successful meeting is location,” said Brad Smyth, Tourism Director for the Texas Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism Division.  “Texas offers some of the best choices for meetings and conventions in the United States.  From large cities with first-class convention facilities to smaller towns with bed-and-breakfasts, historic country inns and guest ranches that cater to meetings, Texas offers a destination to meet the needs of every type of meeting and convention. If you want to make your dollars go further, you can’t go wrong with the Lone Star State.”

To ease the planning of meetings, conventions and pre- and post-excursions, the Texas Tour and Meeting Guide provides a comprehensive resource for planners, offering information on available meeting space, bus and transportation companies, destination marketing organizations and each of the state’s seven regions. In the guide, planners will find easy-to-read grids that list each region’s facilities and hotels, as well as useful information about square footage, breakout rooms, hotel capacity and more.

Texas boasts 267,000 square miles of wide-open spaces, vibrant cities, more than 800 golf courses and an abundance of natural wonders.  It also offers meeting planners over 17 million square feet of meeting space statewide, from the world’s largest column-free exhibit hall to small, intimate spaces surrounded by natural beauty. The state’s 330,000 hotel rooms, sunny skies, warm hospitality and myriad shopping, dining, arts and entertainment options make it a top choice for meetings, conventions and corporate retreats.

For planners seeking facilities to host tens of thousands of people, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Austin offer convention facilities with hundreds of thousands of square feet of exhibit and meeting space.  Destinations like El Paso, Waco and Abilene can creatively and cost-effectively meet planners’ needs, while Galveston and Corpus Christi are excellent choices for a coastal convention. For smaller executive or association meetings, planners should look to unique venues in the Texas Hill Country, Big Bend Country and Panhandle Plains regions, where meeting facilities often overlook beautiful vistas, lakes and rivers. Texas’ many dude and guest ranches offer team-building activities along with distinctive accommodations and unforgettable experiences.

For information on all there is to see and experience in Texas and to receive a copy of the Texas Tour and Meeting Guide, visit