Austin’s Top Tips for Planning a Budget-Friendly Event

A Sponsored Message From Visit Austin

Author: Casey Gale       

musicians playing, people dancing

Guero’s Oak Garden is one of the many venues that has helped give Austin the name Live Music Capital of the World. (Andy Mahr photo courtesy of Visit Austin)

As pandemic recovery continues for the events industry, many event organizers find themselves working with very tight budgets. But being cost-conscious doesn’t mean planners have to cut back on delivering incredible experiences to their attendees. The team at Visit Austin is ready to help organizers make the most of their budget in multiple ways, said Dana Perez, convention services manager at Visit Austin. “When bringing your event to a new destination, it’s extremely helpful to contact the local DMO or CVB,” she added. “They’re an excellent resource when searching for hotels and event suppliers that meet all your needs, and the services we provide are free of charge.”

Here’s a look at some of the cost-saving tips other team members at Visit Austin have to offer.

Take Advantage of Walkable Spaces

Booking transportation between the convention center and host hotels or offsite venues can be costly. Fortunately, the Austin Convention Center is just steps away from several unique offsite venues perfect for imaginative breakouts or receptions, including The Sunset Room, a gallery-style event space, and The Reverbery, a hip indoor/outdoor space featuring a performance stage perfect for wowing guests at an after-hours event. This is all near easily accessible hotels like Austin Marriott Downtown and Hilton Austin.

“Austin has an extremely walkable downtown area, especially surrounding the convention center,” said Jenn Shira, CMP, senior convention services manager. “Hosting an offsite event where you do not have to provide transportation is easy to do and saves [money]. Meeting planners can find iconic Austin locations, eclectic bars, world-renowned live music venues, and delicious restaurants, all within walking distance from the convention center and downtown hotels.”

theater with movie playing

The Bullock Texas State History Museum has two theaters and other spaces that groups can rent for their event.

Host the Event at a City- or State-Owned Venue

Creating a sense of place at an event is crucial to making attendees feel immersed in the event experience. By hosting an event at a city- or state-owned venue, planners can not only bring authentic Austin to their attendees — they can find savings as well.

“The Central Library, Long Center for Performing Arts, and Bullock Texas State History Museum all provide beautiful landscaping, views of the city and interior details which makes each space unique and special,” said Christina Cava, senior convention services manager. “You can have it all and it won’t break the bank.”

Hire Local Entertainment

When looking to hire entertainment in the Live Music Capital of the World®, planners can book performers who are scheduled for later public shows in the same space as their offsite event to save on set-up and design costs. Venues such as Culinary Dropout, Speakeasy, and Geraldine’s — located at the Hotel Van Zandt — all regularly feature live music.

“Austin is known for great music of all genres and price points,” noted Linda Atkins, vice president of services. “Your attendees will have an authentic local experience and you won’t have to pay travel expenses.”

Learn more about planning your next meeting in Austin at


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