Meeting in an idyllic, natural setting doesn’t mean you have to give up a dynamic urban energy –at least not when you’re gathering in The Woodlands, a charming community located less than 30 miles from Houston and George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The town boasts a full social calendar, as well as all of the conveniences found in a more metropolitan locale. But it is shaded by acres of heritage trees, surrounded by neighborhood parks and centered around the sparkling waters of Lake Woodlands and The Woodlands Waterway. 

“The Woodlands is infused with a hometown feel, yet also has world-class entertainment, a spirited arts community and a vibrant restaurant and shopping scene. Your group will be charmed by our small-town hospitality and impressed by our more sophisticated services and amenities,” says Josie Lewis, Director of Sales for Visit The Woodlands.

One of the community’s premier spots to meet is The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center. Located along the European-style, path-lined waterway that leads into the lake, the hotel underwent an extensive renovation in 2020 and features 345 redesigned, modern guest rooms and over 70,000 square feet of event space. The largest of its spaces, the Town Center Exhibit Hall, stretches more than 37,000 square feet and can accommodate up to 4,500 guests for a reception. Additional spaces include the 18,000-square-foot Waterway Ballroom, which can accommodate up to 2,400 guests. There are also conference rooms, pre-function space and breakout rooms to choose from for board meetings, conference workshops or smaller groups. 

The hotel features the full-service Spa at the Waterway, which offers everything from massages and facials to pedicures and hair services. A fitness center and pool are on-site, as are a bar lounge, restaurant, and coffee shop.

One of the appeals of The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel is its location in the heart of The Woodlands. Your group will be steps to some of the town’s hottest restaurants and nightlife in Waterway Square. Crossing a skybridge, visitors will find themselves at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, a world-renowned amphitheater which has welcomed the talents of artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Tony Bennett, Lyle Lovett and Dave Mathews. 

When the meetings are done, there is plenty to do in The Woodlands. Get the lay of the land aboard a Town Center Trolley which will ferry you, free of charge, to dining or shopping hotspots, like Market Street, The Woodlands Mall, Hughes Landing and The Woodlands Waterway.

For the art lovers in the group, Glade Gallery showcases contemporary artists in a bright, glass-framed, light-infused space. The gallery includes a wine-tasting experience at its Mercury Bar on select evenings and hosts weekly live music. Throughout The Woodlands, you’ll also discover one of the largest outdoor art collections in Texas with more than 100 sculptures, art benches, mosaics and murals. The town hosts an annual arts festival each spring and open-air music concerts are a regular occurrence in local parks.

For outdoor adventure, your attendees can head to Riva Row Boathouse or Lakes Edge Boat House and rent a paddleboard, kayak or water bike to explore the area by water. There, they’ll find that The Woodlands hospitality isn’t landlocked—fellow rowers and paddlers are likely to greet them with a friendly hello and a smile. 

You would expect a place named The Woodlands would offer plenty of opportunities to explore trails and this town doesn’t disappoint, boasting 220 miles of biking and hiking trails and 4,445 acres of open space. The 1,700-acre George Mitchell Preserve, named for the entrepreneur and philanthropist who founded The Woodlands in 1974, offers opportunities to spot migrating birds and wildlife or just take in the serene surroundings. 

For a little team building, take your group to The Preserve’s neighbor: Texas TreeVentures. The recreation destination is an outdoor aerial, three-level adventure course. Or head indoors to The Woodlands Escape Room, where your group can have exclusive use of the venue as they try to beat one of the puzzle rooms, ranging from an Old West bank heist to a submarine piloted by a dangerous captain.

“We pack a lot of adventure and appeal into our small town,” says Lewis. “Come meet with us and see why we are consistently rated one of the best places to live.”

 

 

BIG Wall Décor challenges the notion that owning large, beautiful artwork is only for the wealthy art connoisseur. With more than 20 years of experience printing for luxury brands, the BIG Wall Décor team uncovered a new print/framing solution that makes it easy and affordable (pieces start at $125) to display large-scale, on-trend artwork in trade show booths, at events, in the office, and at home. 

 

The Hilton Dallas Lincoln Centre completed its $24 million renovation of the entire hotel and conference center. Renovations began in 2020. 

The North Dallas conference center hotel renovation includes a full redesign of all 503 guest rooms, lobby and public areas, and food and beverage outlets. Additionally, the hotel’s 55,000-square-feet of meeting space was updated with new furnishings, technology upgrades, and the addition of a new 6,600-square-foot Lakeside Ballroom. 

 

The day’s agenda is done—all the to-do items have been checked off, and it’s time to come together as friends and colleagues. So, what is there to do? Well, if you’re meeting in Ann Arbor, Michigan, plenty. Located just 20 minutes to the Detroit Metro Airport, which offers 1,100 daily flights from four continents, the city is home to the University of Michigan and is a hub of creativity and culture. Ann Arbor offers a walkable downtown and the quirky and innovative attractions you’d expect to find in a college town.