Meet Karen Fogle, Sales Manager with Visit Plano. Karen has been with Visit Plano for over 12 years and is excited to share with you what’s new in the destination, fun things to do for attendees’ steps from hotels and venues, and what meeting planners find most surprising about her destination. Plano, Texas is definitely a destination to consider for planners looking to create a meeting experience like no other.
SUZZANNE: What makes Plano, TX a great meeting destination?
Our energetic day and nightlife! From the Downtown Plano Arts District, a recognized cultural arts district, to vibrant entertainment areas with dining, nightlife, live music, shopping and more, like the Shops at Legacy and the newly opening Legacy West. Look for the European-style food hall including a beer garden and chef-owned stalls for daily artisan foods within Legacy West. Plano has so much to do, so when you pair that with our growing hotel and meeting venue market, it’s a perfect meeting destination. Airlift is easy with both DFW International and Dallas Love Field airports nearby.
SUZZANNE: What is the one thing planners are always surprised to learn about the Plano area?
One thing planners are always pleasantly surprised about Plano is that there are so many walkable restaurants around our hotels. In fact, several of our hotels have entertainment districts steps from the hotel doors that include restaurants, nightlife, live music, shopping, and more.
SUZZANNE: What might we find you enjoying in the destination on your day off?
I’ll be exploring downtown Plano’s art installations, checking out PINSTACK with friends for bowling, laser tag, video arcades and bumper cars, and then continuing on to many choices for great food and drinks. Plano is a haven for those who want choices in shopping and the best of it! Elaine Turner in the Shops at Legacy is glamour; even a non-shopper like me loves to drop by.
SUZZANNE: What are a couple of your favorite places to dine or get a drink?
A few of my favorites include Whiskey Cake’s farm-to-kitchen dishes and the from-scratch craft cocktails are top of my list. Urban Crust’s 32 Degrees rooftop ice bar and patio is a great spot for chillin’, and I love their Urban Amore wood-fired pizza with prosciutto, fig and goat cheese. Yum!
SUZZANNE: What do you see trending in the meeting’s market? How is your CVB proactively addressing this trend or staying current?
Some still call it a trend, but now it’s truly an expectation – that visitors, whether business, leisure or group travelers, all want an experience. Visit Plano stays on top of the latest attractions, offsite venues, event design and general fun in Plano, and our surrounding areas, so clients can envision and create from the best options. We love partnering with planners to create a memorable meeting experience for their attendees.
SUZZANNE: What is an innovative service offering at the CVB?
Utilizing our housing management system, digital event setup and digital check-in. Visit Plano’s housing management system ensures that programs utilizing multiple hotels can easily provide their attendees with detailed information on the event’s accommodation options with quick hotel reservations through one web portal. Digital event setup gives planners access to online detailed venue setup, allowing planners to see room flow and preview optional room designs. Digital check-in is available to improve an event’s registration process and can be used to immediately notify board members or others thru text and email, whenever specific guests arrive. Great for making sure VIP attendees are acknowledged quickly.
SUZZANNE: What’s the latest news, developments, or events in your destination you’d like to share with planners?
Legacy West entertainment district opened this spring with unique offerings such as the only Dean & DeLuca and Frontgate stores in Texas. Located in Legacy West, the Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West, Plano’s newest hotel, opens July 1 offering 303 guest rooms, 26,000 square feet of meeting space including their 14,200 square foot grand ballroom with one wall of floor to ceiling windows. Just walk outside the hotel to enjoy blocks of dining, nightlife, shopping and entertainment. Our city’s convention center, Plano Event Center, will finish its major renovation in May with a bright, modern look. Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve’s 800-acre park opened their GoApe Treetop Adventures zip-line and challenge course recently – natural beauty preserved within a suburban city.
SUZZANNE: What size/type of meetings fit best in your destination?
With 54 hotels, 380,000 square feet of meeting space, 70 shopping areas and 800 restaurants, Plano has a location for everyone, and a fit for every size meeting. We look forward to welcoming your group to Plano!
Thank you Karen for talking with us today! To get more information about Plano and 150+ other top meeting destinations, visit www.empowerMINT.com.