When the Oklahoma State Fire Fighters Association couldn’t afford tents and tables for an outdoor reception during its five-day meeting at the Reed Conference Center in May, the Midwest City Convention and Visitors Bureau came to the rescue.
“We have conference incentive funds to help groups whose meetings generate a certain amount of revenue for the city,” said Melanie Voice, director of the Midwest City CVB. “It’s a great incentive to help meeting planners choose between us and other locations.”
The level of service and a location minutes from Oklahoma City on Interstate 40 has drawn groups like the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association year after year.
Both the firefighters and the cattlemen met at the Reed Conference Center, the city’s largest venue, with more than 20,000 square feet of meeting space. The center is attached to the 151-room Sheraton Midwest City Hotel.
“Our other main facility is the Rose State College, which has a 1,400-seat performing arts center, reception space for 300, and a new professional training and education center used frequently for meetings by Tinker Air Force Base personnel,” Voice said.
The town of 56,000 was founded in 1942 to provide housing for the Air Force base, and today its meeting markets include military, association and corporate meetings. There are 767 hotel rooms in the city.
Mayor Mike Lester welcomes groups with the key to the city of Broken Arrow, just the beginning of the amenities meeting planners find in this Tulsa suburb of 100,000.
“We have some of the best golf courses in northeastern Oklahoma,” said Lori Hill, director of the Broken Arrow CVB. “Emerald Falls, Battle Creek, Forest Ridge, Indian Springs and the Golf Club of Oklahoma all offer great team-building options, as well as meeting and reception facilities.”
With the golf courses drawing many corporate groups, facilities such as the Indian Springs Sports Complex and Arrowhead Park lure youth sporting events. The U.S. Youth Soccer Region III President’s Cup Championship tournament was attended by 7,500 people in June 2010.
“As the home of Rhema Bible College, we also host many religious groups as well as thousands of visitors for events like Rockets Over Rhema, an annual July Fourth celebration,” Hill said. “It is easy to get here, as we have great proximity to several interstates and the Tulsa International Airport.”
In addition to 798 hotel rooms, Broken Arrow’s meeting facilities include Northeastern State University, which has an auditorium for 392 and a banquet room for 520, and the Tulsa Technology Center, which has five 50-seat training rooms and a 300-person auditorium.
Receptions can be held at the 1,500-seat Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center and at the circa-1904 Stinchcomb Mansion. The city’s plans include an 85-acre park for events.