Tulsa, Okla., and the annual sales meetings were
all held there. But during 2015 the headquarters
moved from Tulsa to the Dallas suburb of Plano, a 25-minute drive from Irving’s convention
center, which made the center very attractive to
the local headquarters staff. Hilti also opened an
Irving service center in 2015.
Brock says the proximity of Dallas/Fort
Worth International Airport made it relatively
easy to get people and Hilti products in from all
over North America for the big sales meeting.
The fact that the Irving Convention Center is architecturally attractive did not hurt.
“The fact that we are a leader in the construction industry makes us appreciate architecturally attractive meeting venues,” she says.
Brock used the Omni Mandalay at Las Coli-
nas as the event’s headquarters hotel. The hotel,
which is less than a mile from the convention
center, has 421 guest rooms and 31,000 square
feet of meeting space. Near the
Omni is the Marriott Las Colinas,
which has 365 guest rooms and
67,000 square feet of event space.
Currently, the only hotel within
an easy walk of the convention center is a 128-room Holiday Inn Select. That will change in 2018 when
a 350-room Westin Hotel opens
across the street from the main
entrance to the convention center
with 16,000 square feet of meeting
space, including a 10,000-square-
Also opening across the street from the con-
vention center in 2018 will be the Irving Music
Factory, a dining and entertainment complex
that will include a Live Nation concert venue and
about 15 restaurants and clubs. In all, Gast says,
Irving will have a 40-acre contiguous conven-
tion, dining and entertainment complex in 2018.
For a growing number of planners who
bring their events to urban destinations such as
Dallas/Fort Worth, suburbs such as Irving are
becoming increasingly popular, especially if the
group is in the small-to-mid-sized range.
“The thing I like about Irving and some of the
other suburbs like it is that you can ;ind a really
quiet place with a small-town feel to it but in the
midst of a major urban area,” says Alison Kieck-hafer, CMP (MPI Dallas/Forth Worth Chapter),
owner and CEO of The Event Lounge LLC, which
is based in Plano. “If your group is not so big that
it absolutely has to be in a downtown, big-city
convention center, there’s often a great deal of
charm and appeal to be found in a suburb.”
Higher Education Conference Picks Plano
As a veteran conference planner and executive
director of CQIN (Continuous Quality Improvement Network), a higher education consortium
that uses annual meetings and workshops as
principal tools for achieving its goals, John J. Politi has developed a thorough, information-based
methodology for choosing the site of each year’s
Because the college presidents that make
up the bulk of the membership of CQIN are
scattered around North America, ease of transportation to the meeting destination becomes
key. There are also other considerations such as
members of CQIN and entities that the network
calls “learning partners” being based in or near
the metro area that is chosen for this key event.
Politi conducts a thorough study of key factors such as availability of airlift, readily available
“We are a company that breaks concrete and cuts
steel. It’s wonderful to have an area where we can
demonstrate our new tools in action.”
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