Houston First Corporation (HFC) is the official destination marketing organization for the city of Houston.
A local government corporation, Houston First also owns the Hilton Americas-Houston Hotel, manages the George R. Brown Convention Center as well as 10 city-owned properties, underground and surface parking for nearly 7,000 vehicles and developed the Avenida Houston entertainment and convention district.
HFC's vision and efforts enrich the lives of Houstonians in a number of ways, beginning with promoting the region as a destination for tourism and convention business. The organization also works to attract film production to the area and operates theaters where world-class performances take center stage, all while managing outdoor spaces where festivals and other activities thrive.
The George R. Brown Convention Center opened on the east side of downtown Houston on September 26, 1987. The building was named for internationally recognized entrepreneur, engineer, civic leader, philanthropist George Rufus Brown (1898-1983), who donated six of the 11 blocks necessary to build the GRB. The first convention held in the George R. Brown was the American Society of Travel Agents in October 1987.
Each event held at the GRB is assigned one of our experienced and knowledgeable Convention Service Managers. Your Convention Service Manager will act as your liaison with our in-house and preferred providers as well as assisting you in all aspects of your event from pre-planning to load out.
Booth cleaning is an exclusive service at the GRB. Our professional, efficient housekeeping staff takes great pride in maintaining an immaculate building, inside and out.
Audio Visual & Rigging
Staging Solutions is the GRB's preferred audio, visual and production services provider, and the exclusive provider of rigging services and house patches. Staging Solutions can assist you in designing a program, or creating an innovative lighting package and sound that will captivate any audience.
Food & Beverage
Levy is the exclusive in-house food and beverage provider at the GRB. From our experienced sales team to our creative Chef, our in-house team will provide you and your guests with an experience they will long remember. From boxed lunches to seated dinners, we strive to deliver the variety and quality cuisine you're expecting with the added features of customizable menus and unique presentations.
IT & Utilities
Smart City Networks is our exclusive telecommunication and utility provider at the GRB. Smarty City offers a complete package of telephone, internet, data networking, electrical and plumbing services all from a convenient single source.
- All move-in and move-out of exhibits must be done only through designated loading docks, freight doors, and freight elevators. The main lobbies, escalators and passenger elevators are not to be used for this purpose. Exhibitors should verify show security arrangements and times for move-in and move-out with Show Management.
- Parking at the loading docks, the third level ramp, except for loading and unloading, is prohibited. Parking, loading and unloading on Avenida de las Americas in front of the building, is strictly prohibited. Vehicles in violation of this policy will be towed at owner's expense.
- All food, alcohol, non-alcoholic beverages, and concessions are operated and controlled exclusively by the George R. Brown Convention Center. Exhibitors must contact Levy for all sampling and catering requests at 713-853-8150. Levy will provide all necessary information and required forms.
- All decorations, signs, banners, may not be taped, nailed, or otherwise attached to any ceiling, window, painted surface, or wall of the facility. Both the Show Manager and the Convention Service Manager must approve the location and method of installation of any special decorations or signs. The use of helium and helium balloons is prohibited in the facility. Adhesive-backed decals are not permitted to be distributed or used inside the facility, or in the immediate vicinity.
- Only facility electricians, plumbers, telephone technicians, and engineers may access the utility floor pockets. Exhibitors are not permitted to use water from restroom faucets or janitorial closets for exhibit purposes. To order any of these services, please contact Smart City at 713-853-8900 or click here.
- Fire Prevention Permits are required for vehicles on display, cooking, tents, and multilevel booths; for more information please contact Show Management or the GRB Convention Services Department .
- In addition to Fire Prevention Permits, the Houston Fire Code requires any vehicle displayed inside the facility must have the battery cables disconnected. The gas tank must also be taped shut or have a lockable gas cap, and may contain no more than Â¼ tank of fuel before entering the GRB. All exhibit vehicle keys must be in the possession of the Show Manager in case of emergency.
- All exit doors must have 10' clearance. All display materials in the booth must be fire proof. The use of hay for display purposes is strictly prohibited. All other Houston Fire Code regulations must be adhered to.
- No animals or pets are permitted in the facility except as an approved exhibit, activity or performance requiring the use of animals. Service animals are permitted.
Please note: These are Exhibitor Guidelines only . The George R. Brown Convention Center has the right to alter and/or amend these guidelines at any time. Please refer to the GRB Rules & Regulations for the complete guidelines of the GRB.
Click here to download the Exhibitor Guidelines
Meeting Planner Checklist
Our Meeting Planner Checklist is designed to assist you in your planning process. Your Convention Services Manager and the GRB in-house partners are here to help you from pre-planning to load-out and everything in between!
12 Months Out
- Place your Convention Services Manager, Catering Sales Manager and Technology/Utility Sales Manager on your mailing list.
- Submit your exhibit and registration floor plans.
This should be done prior to selling any booth space.
- Review contracts, rules & regulations , budget and payment policies of the George R. Brown (Houston First) and in-house exclusive partners.
- Submit Transportation Plan and request use of the Transit Centers.
9 Months Out
- Submit any revisions to your initial exhibit and registration floor plans.
- Provide information on any potential outside service suppliers, including, but not limited to:
- Audio Visual / Production Company
- DMC / Transportation Company
- First Aid
- General Service Contractor
- Meeting Planning Consultants
- Staffing Company
6 Months Out
- Schedule a site visit or planning meeting with your Convention Services Manager.
- Request GRB exhibitor information from your Convention Services Manager and in-house Sales Managers.
- Discuss preliminary food and beverage needs with your Catering Sales Manager.
- Share any sustainability efforts and history with the GRB Sustainability Manager.
- Submit any revisions to your initial exhibit and registration floor plans.
3 Months Out
- Submit your preliminary Event Specification Guide and set-up requirements.
- Submit your exhibitor service kit for review.
- Submit rigging plans for consideration to Staging Solutions.
- Submit your telecommunications and utilities requests to your Smart City Sales Manager.
- Submit your Certificate of Insurance.
- Submit final payment to Houston First. Must be received 60 days prior to first move in day.
- Submit official URL and show name to be listed on GRBHouston.com Event Calendar.
- Submit sponsorship request for GRB designated sponsorship areas.
- Connect with the GRB Sustainability Manager to discuss best practices for reducing waste as well as donation and recycling ideas.
1 Month Out
- Submit final Event Specification Guide, banquet and event orders, diagrams, security and first aid schedules.
- Submit your detailed Transportation Plan, including shuttle schedules.
- Submit any Fire Marshal permits to the City of Houston-Fire Department (i.e.: fire watch, vehicle display, cooking).
- Submit PowerPoints and logo for LCD monitors.
All items should be submitted to your Convention Services Manager, unless otherwise noted.
The George R. Brown Convention Center is the exclusive in-booth cleaning contractor.
No other cleaning services will be allowed on the exhibit floor.
Levy is the exclusive provider of Food & Beverage at the GRB.
Smart City is the exclusive provider of IT & Utility Services at the GRB.
Staging Solutions is not the exclusive audio-visual contractor for the GRB.
However, they ARE the exclusive contractor for all rigging at the GRB.
Click here to read more about GRB Services.
Click here to download a .pdf of the Meeting Planner Checklist.
Click here to download the GRB Rules & Regulations.