Houston’s C. Baldwin has curated a host of experiential group activations, including cocktail throwdowns, a guided downtown stroll, and puppies and ice cream.

Cocktail Throwdown: In this spirited activity, the group is divided into smaller bartending teams. Each team is challenged with creating the best-tasting cocktail from scratch and then naming and branding their drink for a global buyer. The hotel engages local distributors to make the experience authentic. 

Field Day at Allen Center: A fresh take on classic field day games, this option includes sack races, wheelbarrow relays, egg-on-a-spoon races, long jump competitions, and tug-of-war challenges. Trained facilitators are on hand to explain the rules and oversee the contestants as they go head-to-head.

A Downtown Stroll: Get ready for some selfies. C. Baldwin has designed a handpainted walking map for guests to use as they explore downtown’s hottest spots, plus a few hidden gems. The 2-mile, Instagram-worthy walk features art installations and stops at local favorites for drinks, food and fun. 

Puppies + Ice Cream: I scream, you scream, who doesn’t scream for puppies and ice cream? C. Baldwin has teamed up with Houston’s ASPCA and BARC for a 30-minute Puppies + Ice Cream break to infuse a conference with cuteness. Guests can cuddle with foster puppies while indulging in some small-batch ice cream. A portion of all proceeds is donated to the animal shelters.

Casino Style Gambling: Offering games such as blackjack, roulette, craps, Texas Hold’em poker, bingo and SpinToWin, this activity can be a fun way to incorporate fundraising for a local charity into a conference or convention.

Honkey-Tonk Two-Step: Learn the basic line dancing moves of the two-step before splitting into teams to create your own unique dance. The hotel can even arrange for a few rides on a mechanical bull to get the full Texas experience.

Top Chef-Houston: Top Chef is returning to Houston, so it only makes sense for groups to try their hand at the competition as well. Teams begin with the same amount of base ingredients and must effectively communicate and collaborate to earn specialty ingredients to infuse dishes with a true taste of Texas, Italy or whatever cuisine they choose. A panel of judges—handpicked from hotel employees and your guest list—chooses the top dish.

Planners looking for a destination with an array of venue types, all catering to small-scaled meetings, and fun after-hours entertainment need look no further than McKinney, located just 30 miles north of Dallas. Whether historic, nature-based, modern, or situated in a Croatian village, McKinney’s venues are designed to meet your needs and exceed your expectations.

 

Engage with peers and leaders in Plano, Texas, during this learning and networking event.

The Texas Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus has announced the location of its 2023 Winter Conference. Attendees will gather in Plano, Texas, from January 17-20, 2023. The yearly event gives destination marketing organization staff and leadership the opportunity to learn from expert presenters, meet industry mentors, and find camaraderie in an atmosphere of learning and innovation.

 

Event hosts can choose whether the view rotates or stays put.

The iconic Reunion Tower in downtown Dallas will soon welcome a new restaurant, Crown Block steakhouse. Reunion Tower restaurants have been renown over the years for their slowly rotating view of the city. However, owners and husband-wife business partners Kim Canteenwalla and Elizabeth Blau have chosen to keep the dining area stationary. The previous restaurant, Wolfgang Puck’s Five Sixty, spun 360 degrees, but it closed in 2020 during the pandemic.