The city of Frisco, just 20 minutes north of downtown Dallas, is a modern-day boomtown. Its population has tripled since 2004, a feat outshined only by the number of new developments underway, including The $5 Billion Mile with Dallas Cowboys’ world corporate headquarters and three large developments with two boutique hotels. There’s also the growth at Dr Pepper Arena, Dr Pepper Ballpark, Toyota Stadium and Embassy Suites Dallas- Frisco/Hotel, Convention Center & Spa.

At the helm is Frisco Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Marla Roe, CDME, CTA. A Texas native, Roe earned a degree in business with a minor in marketing, and had a career in hotels and at the Arlington CVB before she joined the Frisco Convention and Visitors Bureau in 2004. At the time, she was the CVB’s first and only employee.

“The biggest challenge was that I wanted to do everything in Frisco now, but it was a new and small operation, so I had to temper that drive for a bit—we had to trot when we wanted to run.”

Now, with 10 employees and a budget of $2.1 million, “the growth has been nonstop.” Roe credits partnerships between the CVB, city leaders and the Economic Development Corporation. “They really understand and support the tourism industry,” she says. “Even our business meetings are fun and exciting because we are on the same page and get along so well.”

Married with two daughters, ages 18 and 21, Roe runs marathons, cook, reads (“I’m not happy unless I’ve got four books on my Kindle,” she admits) and attends sporting events for the Rangers, Dallas Stars and the Cowboys.

A work challenge for Roe’s team now: “We sometimes step on each other’s feet when booking space; there are so many new hotels and they don’t always have their sales teams set up,” she says. Sounds like a good problem to have.

When it comes to planning events, planners must be choosy when determining the venue. Setting priorities like location, size, and technological capabilities sets them up for a successful event, but often forces them to weed out dozens of venues due to their limitations. Although sometimes, a venue comes along that provides the perfect location, high-speed technology, and much more without having to compromise.

 

Over the years, any corporate event planner can admit to spending countless hours researching the perfect venue or vendors for their gatherings. After attending or hosting hundreds of events, New York-based Daphne Hoppenot was no stranger to this research and was frustrated by its repetitive nature. However, it was planning her wedding in 2018 that pushed her to realize the lack of resources in the corporate events market compared to the wedding industry, and set out to see if other meetings and events professionals were struggling with the same problem.  

 

Nickole Kerner Bobley describes her childhood in The Woodlands as charmed. Summer days were spent exploring the community just north of Houston. One of her favorite activities was watching the installation of The Woodlands’ iconic public art. She and her friends would sit in awe, perched on their bikes, as the giant cranes carefully positioned the sculptures in place. It had a lasting impact on her. “I attribute my adult love of art to where I lived,” she notes.