Houston is the most populous city in Texas, welcoming millions of visitors each year. If you are thinking about having a custom trade show display built, you might be wondering what types of benefits to expect in Houston. Will Houston introduce you to the right audience? Will there be safe, affordable places for your employees to stay? Can you schedule meetups with people in your industry?
The short answers – yes, yes and yes. Houston is a vibrant city that offers some of the country’s best convention centers, entertainment choices and transportation options. Let’s cover the reasons why Houston is a great place to host an event and the biggest trade shows to consider attending.
Why Houston is a Top Pick for Trade Shows
What does Houston have to offer people in the trade show business? Quite a few things actually!
First, there are two main airports located in Houston – George Bush Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby Airport. George Bush Intercontinental Airport, or Houston Airport, provides nonstop service to more than 170 destinations, including Mexico, Canada, Central and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia.
In addition, William P. Hobby Airport provides nonstop service to over 60 destinations throughout the U.S. Though the airport is known for offering mostly domestic flights, it expanded its services in 2015 to include some international flights. The benefit to this airport is that it’s located just 7 miles from downtown Houston.
As you’ll read below, the Convention District is where the magic happens. Between hotels, restaurants, expo space and nightlife, there is plenty to do and see in this area. Houston’s MetroRail light-rail system connects the Convention District to several parts of the city. Tickets are inexpensive ($1.25 for one-way with cash or credit) and the hours are convenient.
Eclectic Convention District
The Convention District is exclusive to Houston. This 60-city block is a highly attractive place for hosting meetings and other business-related events. Unlike traditional meeting spaces that feature convention centers and hotels, the Convention District is more like a vibrant neighborhood that caters to business people.
Here are a few things to know about the notable Convention District.
- George R. Brown Convention Center. This convention building offers 1.8 million square feet of meeting, exhibition and registration space. It ranks among the 10 largest convention centers in the U.S. and can accommodate 99% of all shows.
- Highly rated hotels. Two of the most well-known hotels in the Convention District are the Marriott Marquis Houston and the Hilton Americas-Houston. The Hilton Americas-Houston has 1,200 rooms and 90,000 square feet of meeting space. The Marriott Marquis Houston has 1,000 rooms and over 100,000 square feet of meeting space.
- Discovery Green. Do you want your employees to have a place to relax and reflect? Discovery Green is a 12-acre urban park that sits next to the convention center. It includes two restaurants, a children’s play area, a lake, two dog runs, an amphitheatre and an event lawn.
- Sports and meeting venues. There are three sports and meeting venues located near the convention center – BBVA Compass Stadium, Minute Maid Park and the Toyota Center. They are great places to host expos, meetings, gala dinners and other special events.
Opportunities for Team Building and Client Dinners
Do you plan on taking clients out for dinner? Bringing your employees closer? Meeting with industry experts? Without a doubt, there are plenty of opportunities to do so in Houston. The best part is, everything we recommend is located in or around the Convention District.
- GreenStreet. GreenStreet is an urban commercial development that offers nearly 560,000 square feet of space. There are a number of retail stores, office spaces, restaurants and parking. Be sure to check out the events taking place, as GreenStreet regularly offers live music, dueling pianos and more.
- Bayou Place. Another highlight to downtown Houston is Bayou Place, the largest entertainment complex in Texas. It brings 130,000 square feet of fun, including multiple theaters, bars and restaurants. It’s a great place to meet clients for dinner and enjoy team building activities.
- Houston Theater District. This part of town features 17 blocks of theater entertainment, including performances by the Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera, Alley Theatre and Houston Symphony. Again, these are great opportunities for team building or taking clients out on the town.
Top Trade Shows and Expos in Houston, TX
After reading the above, it’s apparent why so many people choose to attend Houston-based events, meetings and trade shows. Below are some of the biggest events that come to the Bayou City each year.
The Ultimate Women’s Expo is typically held at the George R. Brown Convention Center. It focuses on product categories for women, such as beauty products, haircare, shopping, food and entertainment. Attendees get to enjoy a relaxing day with spa treatments, retail therapy and massages.
There are a number of speakers who attend the Ultimate Women’s Expo to educate women on new technologies and services. Even celebrities make their appearances. The event is typically held in April of each year and is offered in other cities as well, including Chicago, New York and New Jersey.
The Texas Home and Garden show is a must for businesses that are in the home and garden industry. Because the event is typically held at the NRG center, there is plenty of room for spacious exhibit booth designs. This is great, considering many of the people you talk to will want one-on-one consults.
Generally, those who attend are interested in updating their homes with the latest products. They come to get ideas, expert advice, money saving tips and more. Attendees are also eager to schedule appointments and have all their needs taken care of under roof. It’s a great way to get your services in front of the right people. The event runs twice a year in Houston in February and June.
The ISS is the most famous trade show in its industry. It features over 400 exhibitors that specialize in blank apparel, embroidery, screen and digital print and more. The benefit to attending this event is that the attendees have buying power. Set up an expertly designed retail display and watch the people flood in.
This past June, the ISS was held at the George R. Brown Convention Center. In 2020, the ISS will be hosting their shows in Long Beach, Atlantic City, Baton Rouge, Orlando and Ft. Worth. Houston looks forward to having the conference return in the future. In the past, 100% of tickets were sold out and 75% of attendees purchased something.
Do you plan on attending a trade show in Houston, TX? To start your custom exhibit display project, contact the experts at IGE. We are a great partner to have on your side, as we’ll make sure that your display stands out and creates new opportunities for your business.