In your company, are you responsible for booking venues, facilities, restaurants and organizing transportation for meetings and events?
Houston's Hidden Gems
Houston’s appeal as a major event destination for corporate events is in large part due to its excellent marquee facilities. Inner Loop venues such as the George R. Brown Convention Center and Minute Maid Park provide meeting planners with unmatched versatile space for centrally located events. In the Southeast side of Houston, Reliant Stadium, Reliant Center and Reliant Arena offer flexible space for large-scale exhibitions, trade shows and conventions. The Humble Civic Center and Arena Complex and the Pasadena Convention Center & Municipal Fairgrounds provide the same first-rate amenities outside of the Loop as their inner city counterparts, giving planners free range in their location selection.

For many independent meeting professionals, the needs of their events may not always necessitate the use of one of the city’s mainstream venues, especially if they are planning social or private gatherings. In these situations, planners should look to alternative facilities to satisfy their specific needs. Fortunately, Houston is filled with hidden event venue gems that offer a broad range of intimate spaces, boutique amenities and personalized customer service. Meetings & Events Houston is pleased to spotlight six of the city’s best kept secrets, venues that have a proven track record of expanding the limits of the events industry.

The Power Center provides clients with direct access to floral, photography and linen vendors for maximum. Catering services include menus prepared by an executive chef for any meal of the day, as well as special hors d’oeuvres and break options. The team of catering specialists is more than happy to customize the provided menus on an individual basis for specific event themes. It should be noted that The Power Center is an alcohol-free facility and alcoholic beverages are not allowed on the premises.

The Jesse H. Jones Conference Center at The Power Center is a full-service facility located in Southwest Houston that features 17,000 square-feet of meeting space. The facility’s contemporary floor plan makes it an ideal venue for conferences, seminars, weddings and social gatherings of all sorts. The Jesse H. Jones Ballroom can accommodate 1,200 guests for a banquet-style event, 2,300 for theatre-style seating and 900 for classroom-style seating. Wireless Internet access is available throughout the facility, which also features convenient, well-lit parking space that can accommodate every attendee.

In addition to its ballrooms, The Power Center also features business suites and boardroom space for fully functional corporate operations. The two available business suites feature business telephone lines, high-speed Internet access, fax and photocopy services, private mailboxes and reception areas. Three boardrooms offer space that can accommodate groups of up to 15 guests for executive-level meetings and presentations.

Located in Midtown, The Ensemble Theatre is one of the nation’s largest African American theater companies that manages its own facility and produces in-house works. The Ensemble Theatre is also the only performing arts venue in the nation with a major light rail stop located right outside its door, making it an invaluable resource for meeting planners orchestrating transportation from downtown or the Fannin South station. The facility offers several beautiful meeting spaces, perfect for hosting events that are centrally located and in close proximity to the city’s major destination points.

The Lee P. Brown Foyer is a handsome glass-enclosed lobby that offers guests interesting views of the METRORail line and Midtown. The floor-to-ceiling windows provide the perfect modern atmosphere for gatherings of up to 100 guests for seated events and up to 200 for standing receptions. The facility’s largest individual venue is the Performance Centre, which features 6,200 square-feet of meeting space suitable for stage productions, galas, fundraisers and wedding receptions. The Performance Centre can accommodate up to 400 guests and includes a 40’ x 20’ dance floor.

The rental of each space includes the use of 60-inch round tables and banquet-style chairs, as well as a grand piano in the Lee P. Brown Foyer and the Performance Centre. The Ensemble Theatre’s exclusive catering list includes Bennie Ferrell Catering, The Breakfast Klub, Classic Cakes & Catering, Madison Avenue Custom Catering and Post Oak Grill.

To the south of the Ensemble Theatre, planners will find the amazing meeting spaces of the Houston Museum District. Traveling from Midtown, the Czech Culture Museum Houston on San Jacinto is the first of 18 educational institutions one will encounter in the area. It’s also one of Houston’s best venues for hosting intimate gatherings with a touch of old world charm. Though the museum is a celebration of the language and arts of Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia and Slovakia, the facility is open to corporate and social events of every persuasion.

The Brno Gallery occupies the lower level of the Czech Culture Museum and is flanked by an elegant grand staircase and ornamented by stunning crystal chandeliers. The space can accommodate 125 guests for a seated dinner or up to 200 for a wedding ceremony. The Ecumenical Wenceslas Chapel is connected to the Brno Gallery and is available for smaller wedding ceremonies. The Brno Gallery is also an excellent choice of venue for standing cocktail receptions.

Prague Hall is located on the museum’s second floor and has a seating capacity of 250 guests for a plated or buffet-style dinner and 375 for a theater-style arrangement. Prague Hall also features a dance floor to enhance the festivities of a banquet or formal reception. Both floors are equipped with a catering kitchen and clients are allowed to use the licensed catering service of their choice.

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