Austin continues to showcase its innovative spirit by thinking outside the box even during these unprecedented times.
At Convening Leaders 2021, Visit Austin and the Austin Convention Center are presenting “Leadership Is a Contact Sport” as part of the Resiliency in Life and Work track. Daron Roberts, former NFL coach, author of best seller Call an Audible and founding director of the Center for Sports Leadership & Innovation at the University of Texas, will provide the CL virtual audience with ideas he collected in 2020 for embracing change and growing from it.
Even though the annual Convening Leaders event Party With a Purpose will be sidelined in 2021, Austin still is bringing the music. A DJ Battle will showcase Austin musicians in a 1980s versus 1990s DJ showdown. Representing the 1980s is Body Rock ATX, a monthly dance party created by DJ Chorizo Funk and husband-wife hip hop duo Riders Against the Storm. They will face the 1990s representative, DJ Mel, one of Austin’s most high-profile DJs who has played sets at Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits Music Festival, Bonnaroo, and other events. Donations from the DJ Battle will benefit the PCMA Foundation.
Austin has more to offer event strategists than just music and entertainment venues. Visit Austin adapted to the pandemic by creating programs and protocols for virtual as well as physical events. It launched the Vital Industries hub that identifies leading Austin industries and influencers. Planners can tap into Austin’s top talent in the fields of retail, gaming, wellness, higher education, health care, film, and technology to help create meaningful events that attendees won’t find anywhere else.
As part of its commitment to its local hospitality community during the pandemic, it launched its “Visit Austin, From Home” campaign, which highlighted Austin content for users to experience from their couches and kitchens. For one experience, the campaign brought together personalities in Austin’s service industry for Best Seat in the House, a digital series sharing ways to offer a taste of Austin from home. VisitAustin.org created exposure for local businesses, musicians, and attractions by garnering more than 3.3 million pageviews over six months.
Now Visit Austin is prepared to get back to the business of hosting physical meetings. In November, the CVB launched its Meetings Health & Safety guide, which outlines what the Austin community is doing to welcome groups back safely, including explaining protocol for hotels and restaurants as well as requirements for and the status of attractions and live events.
The Austin Convention Center achieved Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR accreditation, the gold standard for prepared facilities. Under the guidance of GBAC, the Austin Convention Center Department has implemented stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention for the facility.
And the city is continuing to grow its convention footprint. The 42,000-plus hotel rooms citywide — one-fourth of which are located in the downtown district — will grow as seven hotels are set to open in the next 24 months. By early 2021, nearly 2,000 guest rooms will be added to the city’s total thanks to the new Colton House, Marriott Downtown, Kalahari Resorts and Conventions, and the Moxy Hotel.
Staying true to its live music roots, Austin also is adding more music venues for guests to see emerging artists, including the Moody Amphitheater (opening Spring 2021), Sagebrush Austin, and The Far Out Lounge and Stage. If sporting events appeal to your attendees, look for Major League Soccer’s Austin FC, which will begin play in 2021 at the new, 20,500-seat Austin FC Stadium.
Although the Austin Convention Services team is dedicated to developing and executing safe in-person events, it also can connect meeting planners to the right suppliers to help them with hybrid meetings. The team works to remain on top of the latest services available in order to make virtual events special and uniquely Austin.
Ready to Visit Austin? Call (512) 583-7222.