When a group comes to Austin, they’re not only guaranteed state-of-the-art meeting facilities, great music, good food, and Southern hospitality — they also have access to some of the most innovative and creative organizations in the country. Helping “Keep Austin Weird,” these companies and incubators work with incoming groups to host off-site events, organize team-building exercises, and provide speakers and experts for conferences.
Here are a few local creative companies you can partner with for your next meeting or event in Austin.
This creative agency and artist network began as a small after-work screen-printing project, with a group of artists making T-shirts for other local creatives. Now, the collective includes more than 30 local street artists, muralists, and visionaries, and hosts a weekly citywide art hunt, #ATXFreeArtFriday. SprATX also offers live spray-painting at events — recently they worked with the East Austin Studio Tour — and the organization designs interactive exhibits and immersive, experiential elements for conferences.
This unique creative community caters to women and nonbinary people in the arts industry in Austin. #BossBabesATX is a series of meet-and-greets, events, and festivals that bring together local artists, designers, filmmakers, and other creative professionals to network and promote each other’s projects. It also provides meeting planners with a huge group to tap when looking for experts and speakers. “We believe the world is missing out on 50 percent of what life has to offer, since most [women] of different backgrounds, sexualities, and races are marginally excluded from business development, industrialization, and politics,” #BossBabesATX co-founder Jane Hervey, told Ms. magazine. “We are fighting to change that narrative through community-building, while simultaneously healing the negative effects of gender bias.”
The No. 1 startup in the state of Texas, Capital Factory is made up of more than 100,000 entrepreneurs, programmers, and designers that convene for meetups, classes, and coworking opportunities. The organization connects business and creative professionals with investors, employees, mentors, and customers. It’s another good source of experts and keynote speakers for meeting planners holding conferences in Austin. Organizers can also host cocktail parties, panel discussions, roundtables, and other events at Capital Factory’s event spaces.
At this bar-meets-shop-class, event organizers can choose from an extensive Project Menu, giving attendees the chance to try their hand at woodworking, making homemade leather goods or jewelry, and other D.I.Y. art and design projects while enjoying craft cocktails, beer, and wine. In addition to team-building exercises, Upstairs Circus can also host product launches, media events, or innovative off-site receptions and events. The company’s Traveling Circus will also bring the projects to your venue.
Located on almost four acres, this East-side art collective offers a co-working space perfect for off-site events and team-building exercises. Canopy is also a community of artists, gallerists, and creative professionals that groups can connect with for experts and resources for their events. “Canopy is a creative community set within a redeveloped East Austin warehouse with artist studios, creative office spaces, art galleries, and a café linked together with communal courtyards and covered breezeways,” Rachael Garbowski, director of development at Big Medium, told Convene. “The space is beautifully designed to emphasize the connectedness between art, culture, and the public. Located at Springdale Road and Airport Boulevard, this art hub is well known and loved by Austinites.”
[pullquote]You will leave with genuine memories and new local friends.[/pullquote]
This interactive tour company provides 16 corporate tours and events, hosted by local artists, musicians, foodies, comedians, and more. Meeting organizers can work with Austin Detours on VIP tours, company off-site events, and team-building exercises, accommodating groups from two to 500. Group events include scavenger hunts for up to 100 people, a mini-Olympics in Zilker Park, and competitions like a BBQ and Brew cooking challenge. They also host tours of the city’s wineries, breweries, distilleries, historical attractions, and restaurants. “What you can expect from Austin Detours, in short, is a top-notch authentic experience that takes you to all the bucket-list sites of Austin and also the hidden gems,” said Elizabeth Alderson, chief experience officer at Austin Detours. “Led by Austin performers and long-time locals, you will leave with genuine memories and new local friends.”