Friendly Faces, Big Spaces: How Lubbock Hosts Large Events
Meeting planners rarely question if Lubbock has a vibrant culture and unique things to do for event attendees. Of course it does. This is where Buddy Holly got his start after all, and Lubbock’s local music scene continues to evolve and grow. It’s also home to five award-winning wineries and a collection of one-of-a-kind museums (which double as cool event venues, too). But there is one question planners ask early during the site visit: Can Lubbock really host big meetings? Does it have the hotel rooms and meeting space needed for a single, large group?
The short answer is yes. It has close to 5,700 hotel rooms citywide and a wide variety of meeting venues in various sizes including the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center, which has 95,000 square feet of meeting space alone. For a closer look at how Lubbock can host large meetings, we spoke with Nitra Barnes, who planned a Biennial Convention for the Texas Republican Women’s Federation in Lubbock in November 2015. She talks about how easily Lubbock handled the size of the event, which brings together 900 women every other year.
What venues did you use for the event?
We used the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center, the Overton Hotel and Conference Center, the American Wind Power Center and the Silent Wings Museum for our events in November.
And how do you think Lubbock handled the size of your event?
I think Lubbock handles large events very well. When [it has] the opportunity to host a large convention, the entire city pitches in to make sure that it accommodates the needs of the convention attendees.
Why do you love meeting in Lubbock?
I love meeting in Lubbock because the people in West Texas are the friendliest and most welcoming of all the cities that I have visited in the state of Texas.
What are some of your favorite places in Lubbock to recommend to people who are visiting and only have a short amount of time here?
The Buddy Holly Center and West Texas Walk of Fame is a must-see. Visitors come to Lubbock from England to visit Buddy’s birthplace as well as the Lubbock Cemetery where his final resting place is located. The Lubbock Cultural Arts District and the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts are also must-see hot spots, [and] the Texas Tech campus and its Spanish architecture is a beautiful place to visit.
For local restaurants, Orlando’s Italian Restaurant is a locally owned Italian food restaurant, and Cafe J’s is a locally owned upscale restaurant for the fine dining experience. All of these suggestions are conveniently located in or near the downtown area, including the upscale Overton Hotel and Conference Center.
What has it been like working with the Sales Team at Visit Lubbock?
My experience working with the Visit Lubbock Sales Team was superb. They were instrumental in our bid to gain the nod for the November convention. The team went with me to Austin to present our proposal to the Texas Federation of Republican Women’s Board in April 2013. They arranged hotels, meals and tours for the site selection committee members and various board members who came to Lubbock to scope out the meeting sites.
I would never suggest that anyone try to book a convention in Lubbock without consulting the Visit Lubbock crew. They take heed of what your individual needs are and make the proposal work for your particular organization. My experience with this group was one that I will remain humbled and grateful for in the years to come.
For more information about hosting a meeting or event in Lubbock, check out visitlubbock.org/meet.