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Austin Is Growing Rapidly, And So Are Its Options for Meetings

Austin Convention Center_Credit Austin Convention Center Department

In a city called “The Live Music Capital of the World,” you can trust that events are a part of Austin, Texas’ fabric. Its amenities and allure for meetings and events are only increasing as the city grows at a quick clip. In 2022, the “American Growth Project,” an initiative from the University of North Carolina's Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, ranked Austin as the No. 2 fastest-growing city in the U.S., trailing San Francisco.  

"Austin’s status as a technology hub along with its high concentration of venture capital, warm climate and vibrant cultural offerings lead to frequent comparisons with the Bay Area—and in fact, high-profile Silicon Valley companies, including Amazon, Google, Oracle and Tesla, have recently expanded their operations in Austin,” the report stated. 

Steve Genovesi
Steve Genovesi

Groups in growing industries are taking notice, like the Consensus by Coin Desk event, which brought 15,000 attendees to the city this year. The group met in Austin in 2022 and will return in 2024. Anchored at Austin Convention Center, the event is the longest-running and most influential cryptocurrency and blockchain conference, established in 2015. 

“It has the same kind of footprint as, some would say, South by Southwest (SXSW), with lots of different activations around town, lots of offsite venues surrounding the center. So just a real overall positive experience,” said Steve Genovesi, executive vice president of Visit Austin. “They were sharing that they love the walkability, the access to the entertainment districts and just the friendliness of the staff of hotels.” 

Major events like SXSW, which took an in-person hiatus in 2020 and 2021, are back in full swing, as is the meetings and conventions business overall. 

“Things have been roaring back, especially our short-term leads, and we're definitely over our number of lead volume of group inquiries, versus even pre-pandemic,” Genovesi said. “So, it's been really a positive thing to see the amount of interest going into the short term, especially.” 

Why do groups keep choosing Austin? Authenticity is the buzzword, according to Genovesi, which can be felt throughout its special venues, business and entertainment. Its improved travel infrastructure, walkability and tech-forward convention center seal the deal. 

[Related: Austin Moving Forward With $1.6B Convention Center Expansion]


In the heart of downtown and surrounded by 12,000 hotel rooms within a two-mile radius, the state-of-the-art Austin Convention Center has more than 800,000 square feet of meeting space and is considered one of the most technologically advanced convention centers in the country.  

The building’s location is equally as attractive as its in-house amenities for meetings and conventions. It sits eight miles from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. In the center of downtown Austin, it’s also near the shores of Lady Bird Lake and the historic Sixth Street District. Nightlife, entertainment, restaurants, bars and more are within blocks. 

[Related: New and Tried-and-True Event Options in Austin and the Hill Country]

Improved Infrastructure 

New Lawn at Renaissance Austin
The Lawn at Glass Oaks, The Renaissance Austin Hotel

From the arrival to the stay at its many hotels, Austin continues to improve its travel infrastructure as the city gains popularity. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) served a record-breaking 21 million passengers in 2022 and expects to top that in 2023.  

AUS has several expansion and improvement projects underway and is currently in the envisioning and pre-design phase for even further expansion, according to Sam Haynes, communications and marketing manager for the airport. 

“It's pretty dramatic how our airport has been growing,” Genovesi said. 

Current expansion and improvement projects underway include: 

  • Westside terminal expansion   
  • New airline fuel facility 
  • New air cargo facility 
  • New outbound baggage handling system for checked luggage 
  • TSA checkpoint expansion and improvements  

Long-term expansion projects currently in envisioning and pre-design include: 

  • New midfield concourse and connector tunnel 
  • Customs improvements  
  • Barbara Jordan Terminal arrivals and departures hall expansion 
  • Roadway and parking improvements 

Additionally, AUS and AUS airline partners will launch nonstop service to four new destinations this year (Montrose, Colorado; Panama City, Panama; Omaha, Nebraska; and Sacramento, California) as well as expanded services to existing destinations. AUS will also welcome a new international airline, Copa Airlines, who will launch nonstop service to Panama in July. 

Hotel improvements have been underway in Austin, too. Some key hotel news recently includes: 

  • Hyatt Centric Congress Avenue opened this year surrounded by major Austin attractions, including the Austin Convention Center (which is less than a half-mile away), Texas State Capitol, the historic Paramount Theatre, the vintage shops of South Congress, nightlife options and more. The 246 rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows and 2,560 square feet of meeting space including three meeting rooms and a 225-square-foot Recording Lounge for an intimate six-person gathering inspired by Austin’s rich musical history. 
  • The Renaissance Austin Hotel completed a $10 million renovation in the fall of 2022, debuting refreshed indoor and outdoor spaces. Its meeting and event space expanded to 81,000 square feet with new colors, carpet, lighting, sound systems, digital reader boards and artwork. The Lawn at Glass Oaks is also a new feature. The 3,600-square-foot outdoor glassed-in event space faces the arboretum ridge line terrace and is surrounded by lush landscaping and a stone fire pit circled by Adirondack chairs. The 492-room hotel sits on 10 acres in North Austin overlooking the city’s skyline and surrounding Hill Country. 
  • Cambria Hotel Austin Uptown near the Domain recently opened with 135 rooms and 6,500 square feet of meeting and event space. The Domain in Austin is a shopping and dining destination, with 100-plus stores and restaurants, and is just two miles from the hotel. It’s also near regional offices for major tech companies like Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook and Dell, as well as St. David's Medical Center.    

[Related: Iconic Foods of Austin and Texas Hill Country—And Where Groups Can Try Them]

Special Venues 

Justice Superstition by Roger Ho
Superstition. Credit: Roger Ho

Austin is bursting with unique venues for offsite events, whether it’s in one of its iconic music venues or historic venues. New venues are generating buzz, too, notably Superstition, according to Genovesi. 

“That's certainly the new talk about downtown,” he said. “It’s near all the hotels in the thick of things, and it’s really unique and well done.” 

Superstition Photo Credit Roger Ho
Superstition. Credit: Roger Ho

The multi-room night club channels the energy of the 1970s and hosts rotating DJs and live music acts.

When the 12,000-square-foot venue isn’t in use, it can host private events in three of its flexible spaces, all with their own entrances. Events can take advantage of the fully integrated lighting system and LED video wall, state-of-the-art sound system and valet and self-parking. 

Two blocks south of the Capitol, the iconic Paramount Theatre is a dazzling choice for history buffs, which was built in 1915 and famed acts like Harry Houdini and Katharine Hepburn have walked its stage. Corporate meetings and events are possible at the theater along with other special private events like concerts, film screenings, fundraisers and more. The theater can accommodate 1,273 people. 


Visit Austin
(512) 474-5171 

Read this next: How an Old School Chef Is Reinvigorating Austin Icon The Driskill

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About the author
Danielle LeBreck | Senior Content Director

Danielle started at Meetings Today in March 2019 after seven years of editorial experience in the travel and food industries. She oversees all of the destination content for Meetings Today and collaborates with the team on digital content strategy and content marketing initiatives.