When you’re planning an event in a small town, your venue options are limited.
But in a big city like Austin, there are almost too many choices!
Of course, that’s a good problem to have if you have a lot of requirements for your venue.
Below, you’ll find tips on how to find the perfect venue and our picks for the best Austin meeting spaces.
What to Know Before You Start Looking for a Venue
Since Austin is the capital of Texas and one of the most populated cities in the entire country, there are lots of event spaces to choose from.
These venues run the gamut from free to very expensive. Some places can be booked within a week, while others are already full for the next year or longer.
To avoid the disappointment of finding “the perfect spot” and not being able to book it, you should line up some of the details of your event.
The search for your event venue should begin after you know:
- Approximately how many attendees you’re going to have
- The date and length of the event
- How much space you’ll need
- Your budget
- The type of impression you want to make (sophisticated, fun, educated, etc.)
With those factors in mind, your quest to find a meeting space in Austin can commence!
This list of the top nine event venues should give you a good starting point.
1. The Stephen F. Austin Royal Sonesta Hotel
Newly remodeled and renamed, the Stephen F. Austin Royal Sonesta Hotel was originally the InterContinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel.
This designation is important because the original building was the first high-rise hotel in Austin. Hosting at this venue adds extra prestige to the event.
Built in 1924, The Sonesta is centered around an authentic Art Deco theme that reflects in everything from the building itself to the cocktails and food.
And while a lot of the original architecture remains untouched, recent renovations made the building even more impressive. One notable addition is the new event space, designed with business conventions in mind.
Features of the Hotel and Event Room
Event hosts have access to more than 6,000 square feet of space, spread out over six different rooms. Whether you’re planning a meeting or a social event, the state-of-the-art rooms offer everything you need to make the experience a memorable one.
The meeting room’s windows offer panoramic views of downtown Austin, and the Capitol building is a short walk from the hotel. Overnight guests can enjoy the on-site dining venues or choose from one of the many on Congress Avenue.
The largest meeting room is 3,600 square feet, holding a maximum of 400 seated guests or 380 in the reception area.
2. Paramount Theatre
Photo courtesy of Paramount Theatre
Built in 1915 in the heart of downtown Austin, the Paramount Theatre is one of the oldest buildings still standing in the city.
Originally called “The Majestic,” it hosted A-name actors like the Marx Brothers in its heyday. By 1930, the theater was so popular that its new owner upgraded it to a more luxurious cinema and renamed it the “Paramount Theatre.”
Today, it’s on the National Register of Historic Places, and its classic architecture makes it an elegant venue for all kinds of events.
Features of the Theatre and Meeting Room
Movie buffs can still see films at this “movie palace,” but it’s been renovated to accommodate weddings, concerts, and corporate meetings. The location offers theatre seating with a state-of-the-art sound system and digital projectors for virtual conferences and board meetings.
Currently, the venue allows up to 350 guests (to account for social distancing). The theater has a full bar, and hosts can choose from a range of catering options.
To book the Paramount Theatre for your next private event, fill out the application online.
Unfortunately, there are no on-site guest rooms at the Paramount. If your guests are coming from out of town and need lodging, you’ll have to make accommodations elsewhere.
3. Vulcan Gas Company
Austin is known as The Live Music Capital of the World, so if you’re hosting an event with a live band, there’s no shortage of places to book.
But if you’re seeking a venue with a truly unique vibe, the Vulcan Gas Company should do the trick!
This nightclub has a steampunk-inspired atmosphere with cutting-edge sound systems and equipment.
Features of the Club and Event Room
The club’s massive rooms can accommodate up to 350 seated guests and 658 at standing-room capacity. With 2,500 square feet of space and a 500 square-foot outdoor terrace, it’s the perfect place for your next meeting.
Vulcan Gas Co. has a 12-by-18-foot stage with a projection screen of the same size, making it a visual delight. The Funktion-One sound system is the only one of its kind in the city.
For corporate events, the LED lighting system can project your branding and logos throughout the space, mapping them onto everything in the venue. Full-service bars offer easy accessibility on each floor, and your event package comes with expert staff to help you.
4. The Bullock Museum
More than its name implies, The Bullock Museum is full of things to keep your guests occupied before and after your event.
While the main purpose of this building is to educate visitors about the history of Texas, it’s also a fantastic event venue.
Features of the Museum and the Meeting Rooms
You’ll have your choice of booking the Grand Lobby, the ‘intimate’ Bob Bullock Atrium, or the Austin Room. For large conventions, the Theater is another option!
The rooms vary in size and capacity:
- The Grand Lobby, complete with a stunning Rotunda, is 9,750 square feet and holds up to 450 seated guests (600 standing).
- The Bullock Atrium seats up to 200 people (250 standing) and is 3,750 square feet.
- The Austin Room is 6,500 square feet and has a maximum capacity of 350 seated guests (500 standing).
There’s also a boardroom you can book for important meetings with fewer than 18 attendees.
Going all-out and booking the 190-seat Theater gives you access to three screens behind a large stage.
Please note: There’s a security aspect for most events that requires you to hire officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety Security. This is at an additional fee on top of the venue rental itself.
To book this space for your meeting, contact the Events Department directly.
5. Oasis Texas Brewing Company
If you’re looking for casual but not too laidback, check out the Oasis Texas Brewing Company. Deep in hill country, this restaurant has all the natural light and atmosphere you could want for a business or personal event.
Known for its incredible food, wide selection of craft beers, and majestic view of Lake Travis, your guests will be easily entertained between your agenda items.
Features of the Club and Event Room
The Oasis Texas Brewing Company has multiple levels for your guests to explore. The first floor is the main restaurant. The second level houses the brewery, where you can enjoy your beer with bar fare.
Surrounding both floors and the extra space on the third level is a floor-to-ceiling open area, including ceiling windows in some places. The vista is breathtaking and can be enjoyed from almost every spot in the brewery.
The 20,000 square-foot property, located on Comanche Trail, can easily hold up to 800 guests. To schedule your event here, check out the Booking section on their website.
6. Stunt Ranch
Outside events don’t get more exciting than those hosted at Stunt Ranch. Your guests will be looking forward to your event when you host it here!
If team-building is part of your goal, Stunt Ranch will make that Mission: Completed.
Owner Steve Wolf is a stunt coordinator for film and TV, and his Science in the Movies organization teaches physics and chemistry through stunts.
His background and knowledge make for some adventurous team-building activities!
Features of the Ranch and Bonding Adventure Sites
A private meeting at the Stunt Ranch could consist of anything from a high fall onto an airbag to choreographed stunt fighting. If you’re looking for more than a happy hour get-together, this is the place to create lasting memories.
Maximum guest capacity varies depending on the stunts you want to perform. Contact the Stunt Ranch directly through their website to start planning a day to remember!
7. Prohibition Creamery
For smaller, casual events, the Prohibition Creamery is an interesting venue. The building dates back to the 1920s, with original floors and a Prohibition-era ambiance.
But instead of a ban on alcohol, guests are encouraged to enjoy a sweet treat with a boozy twist!
The menu is full of various concoctions of specialty ice cream and alcohol swirls. Milkshakes, sundaes, and other indulgences are served daily, but you can stick to craft cocktails, wine, and beer if you prefer.
Features of the Creamery and Event Room
The Prohibition Creamery offers multiple options for your next event. To name one example, their Virtual Boozy Ice Cream Cocktail classes can make your business meeting an immediate hit.
They also offer catering for private events, where they bring the boozy ice cream to you along with a variety of signature toppings.
Want a custom flavor? They’ll create one for you!
8. Embassy Suites by Hilton Austin Arboretum
Photo courtesy of Hilton
Looking for something luxurious and extravagant to splurge on for your guests? Do you want a place where your guests can stay in between the events?
Austin’s Embassy Suites by Hilton is exactly what you want. With over 2,000 square feet of open space for conventions and four breakout workspaces, the Hilton can accommodate events of any size.
And with 150 guest rooms available, your attendees don’t have to look any further for their lodging needs.
Features of the Hotel and Event Rooms
The Embassy Suites chain is known for its fine rooms and amenities. Guests can enjoy free breakfast, a complimentary evening reception cocktail, and pool and fitness center access.
The hotel is five minutes away from anything you or your guests would need for entertainment, dining, and necessities. Shops, restaurants, and the Arboretum are right around the corner, and the hotel’s shuttle is available throughout the day.
Events of up to 130 people are accommodated in one or all of the multiple venues, including a boardroom and large conference room. Whether you’re looking for an office space environment for easy coworking or a more social atmosphere, this hotel has the solution.
9. The Driskill
For larger events where you want a memorable venue, The Driskill is a winning location.
Deep in the heart of downtown Austin, the hotel is located on Sixth Street, the hub of the live music scene.
Constructed nearly a century-and-a-half ago, this building was once a cattle baron’s showplace. Today, it’s a hotel that boasts 13 meeting rooms in its opulent Driskill Mezzanine.
The Driskill has a long and storied history, cycling through multiple owners and offering various ‘scandalous’ services throughout the years. At one point, psychic healers and medicine men set up shop in the lobby. You could even relax in a Turkish bath full of sulfur water.
Locals swear the hotel is haunted, so your guests could have a little extra intrigue with their visit!
Features of the Building and Event Rooms
This historic building has 189 guestrooms. Amenities like premium WiFi, a 24-hour fitness center, and concierge service are available to hotel guests.
Event hosts have access to 18,000 square feet of meeting space spread over twelve distinctive rooms. Room styles range from small meeting facilities with video conferencing options to a massive, elegant ballroom. Check with the hotel about each room’s guest capacity to decide which one(s) work best for your needs.
The Driskill’s events rooms have won multiple awards over the years. You’ll receive access to high-class catering, expert staff, and everything you need to hold your event. Booking yours is as simple as filling out the application form on the hotel’s website.
What to Do After You Find Your Venue
Once you book your venue and send out invites, your guests are going to start asking you about hotels and other travel accommodations.
Unless you want to be the go-between for every individual and all their travel issues, the next step should be enlisting the help of a lodging company.
A corporate lodging company like Hotel Engine will find the best deal for your event’s attendees, leaving you more time to focus on planning the meeting.
Hotel Engine’s platform lets you search for discounted hotels, filter by amenities and location, and book them in one place. You can view different travel itineraries and manage your spending right on the admin dashboard.
Personalized support teams do the hard work for you. Your goal is to turn your event into the best occasion possible, not to be responsible for everyone’s lodging. Let a travel company take some of the stress off your hands!
Learn more about our group booking service!
Austin is one of the liveliest cities in the United States, and you’ll have no problem finding the perfect venue for your event.
Scroll through these top Austin meeting spaces to see which ones work best for you. Once you find one you like, let a corporate travel company like Hotel Engine take it from there and guide you through your next steps.