By: Andrew Warrick | From: Trade Show Executive

SAN ANTONIO — With a rich culture and history, unique attractions and a plethora of modern, flexible meeting spaces, San Antonio is a destination to watch for show organizers. Visit San Antonio invited Trade Show Executive to explore what the city offers for business events as its annual Fiesta celebration kicked off.

“San Antonio is a meeting and convention powerhouse offering a dynamic landscape to attract and entertain, with the infrastructure to host any size or style of event… nowhere will you find an environment embracing diversity and growth like our city,” Visit San Antonio President and CEO Marc Anderson said.

Diversity and Development

A hub of culture and diversity, San Antonio boasts the largest LGBT+ River Parade and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day March in the nation and a permanent LGBT+ Advisory Board. It is only the second city in America to be named a Creative City of Gastronomy by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

San Antonio’s Fiesta 2024 Texas Cavaliers River Parade was held April 22.

The city is also bustling with growth: three major downtown road projects are in progress, 25 hotels are expected to open in the next two years and a $2.5 billion update to the San Antonio airport is underway.

Related. San Antonio to Host First U.S. Edition of Incyber Forum

Downtown Destinations

On the first Monday of Fiesta, April 22 this year, the Texas Cavaliers River Parade wound through San Antoino’s Downtown River Walk, raising funds for local children’s charities, and passing right by the Henry B. González Convention Center (HBGCC).

HBGCC’s Stars at Night Ballroom is the largest in Texas.

HBGCC spans 1.6 million square feet, and has 514,000 net square feet of contiguous exhibit space, 87,000 column-free space and 72 meeting rooms, with glass walls and columns for branding opportunities. It also offers cutting-edge, versatile technology packages and is decorated with local artwork.

At 54,000 net square feet, HBGCC’s Stars at Night Ballroom is the largest in Texas. Its Lila Cockrell Theatre, named after the city’s first female mayor, seats 2,317 attendees.

“On average, the Center hosts 300 events and 750,000 or more attendees from around the world each year, and those numbers are growing,” Patricia Muzquiz Cantor, Director of Convention and Sports Facilities for the City of San Antonio said.

HBGCC is just blocks from Downtown San Antoino’s nearly 15,000 hotel rooms and ample dining, entertainment and nightlife options, including Re:Rooted 210, a local winery which can be rented for business events.

Just a half mile from HBGCC is the newly renovated San Antonio Mariott Rivercenter on the River Walk, with 69,472 net square feet of meeting space, a 41,600 net square foot Grand Ballroom, 22 ballroom-level breakout rooms and a 9,635 net square foot second floor meeting space. It also houses the Tributary Restaurant and Bar.

The Alamo is downtown as well. A unique historical landmark for off-site experiences, it can host meetings and events for groups from 10-525, works with select caterers and has historical attractions to wow attendees. Like much of San Antonio, The Alamo is undergoing extensive renovations too.

Hotel Emma

The group hosted by Visit San Antonio was housed in the five-star Hotel Emma in the Pearl District. Formerly a 19th Century brewhouse, it offers 6,160 net square feet of meeting space in eight meeting rooms, more than 1,500 net square feet of outdoor space and 10 private suites with space for business receptions. Its 3,250 net square foot Elephant Cellar, lined with large, vintage brewing tanks, can seat 200.

Stable Hall in the Pearl District can be rented for live events.

Events can get custom chef-created menus, while dining and refreshment options at the hotel include Supper American Eatery, led by chef John Brand, and Sternewirth, a tavern-style restaurant. Guests at Hotel Emma also have easy access to the Pearl District’s shopping, dining and entertainment opportunities, including the new Stable Hall live music venue, which can be rented for events.

La Cantera Resort and Spa

For guests looking for a more “cowboy” ambiance, La Cantera Resort and Spa, in the Hill Country just north of downtown, is close to authentic rodeos, dance halls, wineries, river floats and more.

La Cantera has 115,000 square feet of flexible indoor/outdoor event space, 28 indoor/outdoor event spaces, the more than 17,000 square foot San Antonio Grand Ballroom and more than 10,000 square foot La Cantera Ballroom, and nine dining experiences on the property. With 496 guest rooms, the resort is easy to buy out to provide an exclusive experience.

According to Jonathan Falloon, Director of Group Sales at La Cantera, the venue is perfect for a guest “that wants that Texas experience… You’re in a hill country oasis right in the middle of San Antonio.”

Looking Ahead

Many successful event organizers have already taken notice of San Antonio: the city will host the first Cvent Connect outside Las Vegas June 10-13, 2024, the National Collegiate Athletic Association Final Four April 5 and 7, 2025 and the first U.S. Incyber Forum June 17-18, 2025.

Visit San Antonio’s roadshow visited Chicago on April 25, 2024.

“Here, both meeting pros and attendees will find a truly unique cutting-edge, modern meeting destination that has evolved amid a city of unforgettable attractions, history, culture and cuisine,” Anderson said.

Visit San Antonio is also hosting a Roadshow to advertise the city to meeting professionals nationwide. Learn more here.

Reach Jonathan Falloon at and learn more about Visit San Antonio here.