Oklahoma City (OKC) is an emerging and collaborative destination that has experienced significant growth during the past 20 years. Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, the city kept pushing forward to make a name for itself on the national stage. Known as The Modern Frontier, OKC put the finishing touches on several projects and stands ready to welcome meeting planners and event attendees to experience all that’s new in the city.
The new Oklahoma City Convention Center, completed in 2020, represents a major part of that growth. Now open for business, the center is located downtown and boasts 200,000 square feet of exhibit space, a 30,000-square-foot ballroom, and an additional 45,000 square feet of meeting space. Next door to the convention center, the Omni headquarters hotel will open its doors on Jan. 26. With 605 guest rooms and 78,000 square feet of meeting space, the Omni is the perfect partner for the convention center.
New builds aren’t all that groups will experience downtown. A new streetcar line running over a six-mile stretch can easily deliver riders to hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues throughout the area — and servicing the convention center and the Omni headquarters hotel.
Just across the street from the convention center is the 70-acre Scissortail Park, providing green space plus year-round programming in the heart of the city. Phase 1 was completed in 2019 and Phase 2 is scheduled to wrap up in 2022.
Safety is a Priority
The CVB recognizes how much meeting planners and attendees are looking forward to returning to in-person events when the time is right. And the city is ready to welcome them. The CVB makes it easy for meeting planners to find the information they need with a variety of OKC Meeting Planner Resources. This up-to-date information includes city resources, airport and facility cleaning protocols, socially distanced floor plans, a list of restaurants currently open for dine-in service, and city-specific COVID-19 updates.
When event planners and attendees arrive in the city, they’ll find new procedures in place. While there’s currently no limit on meeting or group sizes in the city, facilities are offering the latest technologies to help keep everyone safe and healthy. Additionally, masking and social-distancing protocols are being implemented, and venues have initiated timed ticket entries to increase visitor safety without impacting their experience.
As part of welcoming visitors back to the city, the CVB recently hosted an in-person event for about 50 attendees at the Oklahoma City Convention Center in a partnership with PCMA during Convening Leaders 2021. The CVB used this event to promote the Oklahoma City story and its offerings as a meetings destination.
“As an official networking partner of PCMA Convening Leaders, we wanted to give meeting planners and attendees an exclusive look at the all-new convention center complex and the world-class amenities OKC offers,” said Mike Burns, interim president, vice president of sales & services for the Oklahoma City CVB. “This in-person/hybrid event provided a unique opportunity to embrace the change in the industry and safely showcase Oklahoma City as an all-new destination for meetings and events.”
The in-person aspect of the event was important, Burns said, because OKC wanted “to walk the talk about the importance of face-to-face events.”
Additional meeting planner tools are available at the MeetInOKC web site, where you will find meeting and convention planner testimonials, event-planning tools, an insider’s guide to OKC meetings and industry resources. Click the following link for a PDF of Oklahoma City Convention Center cleaning protocols.
To kick off the planning process, call (800) 225-5652 or e-mail [email protected].