Westchase District Sees Convention Comeback | WESTCHASE DISTRICT

As large in-person gatherings continue to return, Westchase District has emerged as a hub for a wide array of conventions, conferences and expos. The Houston Marriott Westchase and the Hilton Houston Westchase have played a pivotal role in accommodating the influx of these events in the District, reflecting a promising upturn for the events industry.

The resurgence in these events aligns with a broader trend of recovery in the industry. Data from Northstar Meetings Group indicates that participant numbers for 2024 will match or exceed the pre-pandemic figures of 2019.

Houston Marriott Westchase hosting large events

Harry Greenblatt, vice president and managing director for Houston Marriott Westchase, highlighted the recent surge in Westchase District’s convention activity. “We are seeing lots of weekend events and conventions. At least 2-3 weekends per month are booked with events,” he stated.

Greenblatt reported that the Marriott Westchase first noticed an uptick in the second quarter of 2022. “People are wanting to attend in-person conventions, rather than virtual ones, to experience normalcy, to network and to socialize more,” he explained. He added that the Marriott had hosted more than double the number of events in 2023 than in the previous two years. This increased activity has also spurred job creation, with the hotel hiring various positions to cater to the additional requirements.

With meeting spaces that can facilitate up to 1500 guests, the Houston Marriott Westchase has hosted the larger conventions in Westchase District. The American School of Gas Measurement Technology’s conference tops the list, drawing between 800-1000 attendees and requiring an additional tent to be set up outside the venue.

Hilton Houston Westchase welcoming business travel


However, these massive conventions are not the only type of meetings coming to Westchase District. The Hilton Houston Westchase, catering to smaller gatherings, has also witnessed a consistent stream of conferences and events. Jeff Hamel, area general manager at GF Hotels & Resorts revealed their Hilton Houston Westchase space is often sold out. “We are seeing regular conferences, sports groups and wedding receptions at the hotel, but corporate meetings, especially in the oil and gas industry, as well as technology, have been a significant portion of our recent bookings,” Hamel stated. “Westchase District has a multitude of global company headquarters, and we are seeing more business travel along with them hosting seminars for new technology, laws and projects.”

This is also in line with industry trends. A report from Knowland revealed that corporate meetings account for the bulk of the rebound, as remote work drives the need for team gatherings. In the third quarter this year, 70% of meetings drew an average of 200 attendees or fewer.

Events as diverse as Houston


What is perhaps most interesting is the eclectic range of events that are coming to Westchase District. In addition to the American School of Gas Measurement Technology conference, the Marriott Westchase also hosted the Animé Houston convention, featuring more than 20 voice actors from Houston, Dallas, and Los Angeles, including Billy West, known for his work on “Ren & Stimpy” as well as in “Space Jam.” The Marriott held the 2023 Energeo conference discussing the future of energy with renowned speakers representing companies like Chevron, Equinor, and Exxon and also welcomed the Houston Arcade Expo with hundreds of classic and current arcade games to play or purchase.

The Hilton Houston Westchase recently hosted the annual conference for Office Experts LLC, Orphan and Idle Wells Texas Conference and the volunteer and networking sessions for RedM (a pro bono, crowdsourcing and networking movement that brings awareness to human trafficking.)

Why Westchase is a top choice

Greenblatt and Hamel both emphasized Westchase District’s appeal for conventions and conferences of all sizes. “The District’s lower price point, free parking, and ease of navigation compared to downtown make it a preferred choice for many organizations,” said Greenblatt.

Hamel added, “The downtown venues are hosting conventions and conferences so often, typically multiple at a time. The Hilton Houston Westchase has the opportunity to provide our space exclusively to an organization which lets us customize the level of personalized service that we offer to each group.” Hamel went on to say, “Westchase District’s restaurant scene, coupled with its strategic location for easy access to various Houston-area destinations, make it an ideal location for event organizers and attendees.”

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