ISSA is thrilled to be returning to Dallas, TX, for the first time in 20 years for the ISSA Show North America 2018. Dallas is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country, with the biggest change coming in the last eight years, according to the World Population Review report from 2018. So it’s going to be exciting to see what’s “new and different” since ISSA’s last visit.
How much can really change in 20 years? Quite a bit! To put two decades of time into some perspective, 20 years ago, Bill Clinton was president, newspapers and television were the only news sources, ESPN The Magazine began publication, and DVDs had just hit the market.
Most of your week will be spent closing deals, discovering new products, networking, and mingling on the show floor and at nightly events. Yet if you have never been to this great city—or if its been decades since you visited like ISSA—you will want to use your non-show time to soak in the Dallas scene.
Planning a sight-seeing itinerary while preparing for a convention can be difficult, so below are some things to do in Dallas after the show and on the weekend.
Reunion Tower. At a looming 561 feet high, this observation deck is one of Dallas’ most recognized landmarks. Known locally as “The Ball,” this tower boasts a 360-degree view of the city and is open until 9:30 p.m., which is perfect for attendees who want to do some sightseeing after the show. Complete with telescopes, information touch screens, and high-definition zoom cameras, the building enables visitors to fully appreciate the breathtaking Dallas skyline. There is also a restaurant at the top, delivering dinner with a side of phenomenal view, www.reuniontower.com/explore.
Bishop Arts District. Home to more than 60 boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, cafes, bakeries and theaters, this area is a hub of artistic expression and offers a little something for everyone. The neighborhood invites guests to stroll from store to store creating a leisurely environment. Most stores in the district stay open late, making it an excellent spot for shopping or a post-show dinner. Artists also perform outdoors on select nights, giving the area a festive feel. On Thursday, November 1, 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m., the area hosts a “1st Thursday” of the month event, which is the neighborhood’s version of a true street fest, www.bishopartsdistrict.com.
The Great Outdoors
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. After four days of being on the trade show floor, take some time to enjoy the scenery in this fabulous, serene 66-acre retreat. There are several cafes to enjoy a meal while you soak up the breathtaking view or bring your own food and have a picnic in the designated areas, www.dallasarboretum.org.
Klyde Warren Park. Located right in the middle of Uptown, this 5.2-acre park sits above the Woodwall Rodgers Freeway. Use this outdoor retreat to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city or simply to enjoy some fresh air. Sample some Dallas cuisine in the park as the perimeter is lined with a variety of local food trucks. Additionally, there are ping pong tables, chess boards, putting greens, and an amphitheater on the grounds, www.klydewarrenpark.org.
George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. This 14,000-square-foot museum covers themes of the modern era including education reform, the 2008 financial crisis, the global war on terror, and much more. There is no better way to compliment hearing the former U.S. president’s keynote address (see page 31) www.georgewbushlibrary.smu.edu.
The Sixth Floor Museum. Located in the plaza where former U.S. president John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, the museum is dedicated to this tragic event. It allows guests to stand in the exact spot where Lee Harvey Oswald, Kennedy’s assassin, fired the shots, using crime scene photos to recreate the scene. This museum covers all aspects of the event, including the investigation, the murder of Oswald, the repercussions of the event for years to come, and more. This is a can’t-miss landmark for any history lovers or curious attendees, www.jfk.org.
If you decide to stay the weekend and have your kids with you, don’t worry. Dallas offers lots of fun for the whole family.
Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park. Designed with kids in mind, all the exhibits in the aquarium are eye-level for the little ones. It features shark tanks, an area to feed sting rays, and many other interactive areas and activities. The diversity of animals and well-designed exhibits are sure to entertain and inform, www.childrensaquariumfairpark.com.
Dallas Zoo. This 106-acre zoo is located just three miles south of downtown Dallas and is easily accessible via public transportation or an affordable Uber or taxi ride, www.dallaszoo.com.
There will be several concerts the weekend following the ISSA Show, giving you another reason to extend your stay. Country music superstar Keith Urban is playing Saturday, November 3, at the American Airlines Center, home of the Dallas Stars and Dallas Mavericks. Classic rock staple Kansas is playing in the city Saturday as well at the Majestic Theater Dallas. Tickets to both concerts are still available (as of press time), www.americanairlinescenter.com, majestic.dallasculture.org/events.
For those wishing to have a more authentic Texas experience, be sure to swing by Fort Worth, TX. Located just 30 minutes west of Dallas, this city is home to the Fort Worth Stockyards where attendees can see a live rodeo every Friday and Saturday night, www.stockyardsrodeo.com. There is no shortage of things to do and see in this vibrant cultural center of the south.
After a 20-year hiatus, the ISSA show is returning to a fresh, reimagined, and progressive Dallas bursting with art, self-expression, modern architecture, green spaces, and so much more. Enjoy!
For any additional information or tourism-related needs, visit out www.visitdallas.com.