As a meeting planner, there is no better way to find out if a destination is right for your clients than to experience it firsthand. We invited a few local DFW planners for a familiarization (FAM) tour of Allen and met with some incredible hosts along the way. From unique spaces to tasty food, there was something for everyone!
A Culinary Delight
To kick off the tour, our planners were treated to an incredible chef experience hosted by the Marriott Dallas Allen Hotel & Convention Center. Executive Chef Tommy Thompson demonstrated his unique twist on a Southern classic, walking us through how to make quail and waffles with bacon wilted collard greens. To say it was delicious is an understatement!
Our planners also received a hands-on mixology lesson from Director of Food & Beverage Gabriel Robles. Everyone was fascinated by his expertise; as he concocted his take on a Tequila Sunrise, using Teremana tequila, orange juice, tamarind concentrate, Cointreau and grenadine with a non-alcoholic option as well. The smiles and toasts were proof of how much fun this team building activity was!
Meeting Spaces for Every Need
The versatility of the Watters Creek Convention Center was commented on often, with planners saying, “everything is so thoughtful,” as we toured the property with Jennifer Cano, Director of Sales & Marketing. With a combined 79,000 square feet of meeting space for business meetings, trade shows, social events—and everything in between—the planners were floored by the full-service functionality the hotel offers!
From there, we headed across the street to the Hilton Garden Inn Dallas/Allen and met with Sales Director Sharmeen Farrukh, and her team. They’re in the midst of an exciting room renovation, and we got a great tour of their ballroom and meeting rooms. It’s within walking distance of the convention center and acts as the perfect overflow property for large events.
One of our more unique meeting spaces in Allen is at The Dinosaur Company. This animatronic dinosaur factory creates a one-of-a-kind experience for your clients, complete with a tour of their incredible creations. Their life-size animatronics have been featured all over the world, from Phoenix, Arizona to Denmark. We even caught our planners having some fun with a T-Rex!
Our next stop was the Credit Union of Texas (CUTX) Event Center and arena. This space can host a variety of events including trade shows and concerts or even banquet seating for up to 900 people. Our planners explored the concourse and Premium Level Lounge (perfect for a VIP experience). And did we mention it’s also home to the Allen Americans and Dallas Sidekicks?
We were just steps away from our next location, so we walked over for our tour of the Courtyard by Marriott. With seven event rooms and thirteen breakout rooms, it’s a great spot to keep in mind for meeting planners, especially with its location within The Village of Allen, which has every cuisine and store a person could want.
While we were at The Village of Allen, we had to stop by Armor Coffee for some tasty drinks. A notable favorite in our group was the Cookie Butter Latte. We even got a peek at the renderings for Armor Brewing Company, designed by renovation expert Jenn Todryk, star of the HGTV series No Demo Reno, opening later this year. Let’s just say, you’ll want to add that to your list of event spaces in Allen as a unique spot.
We finished our tour with a tasty lunch at Ellen’s. Not only do they serve delish, scratch made Southern dishes, they also have a great private dining room. It was the perfect end to the new way to FAM in Allen, TX!