Planner's Note: There are of course tons of places to eat, things to do, hotels to stay at, etc., however this itinerary is optimized for those staying in the downtown/uptown area or at the conference sponsored hotel who arrive Friday and depart on Sunday. See the end of the post for hotel recommendations and how to get around town.
Friday, January 29, 2016
- 5 min - Connect
- Before you leave home, download the C+C app so you have all the latest info at your fingertips
- Download/copy the list of speakers and mentors to your electronic device before your flight so you can read bios and brainstorm questions
- morning: Travel
- If you are arriving by air, or will be without a car, see the recommended transportation section below for some tips
- late morning: Pit Stop
- drop off bags at hotel and check in if possible
- Tip: If your room is not yet ready, ask if you can at least check in now so that all you have to do later is pick up your keys since they will already have your card and guest information on file
- 12-1 pm: BBQ Pit Stop
- Grab some barbecue for lunch and savor the flavors of the South - brisket is the specialty in Texas if you want to eat like a local at this non-chain, low key lunch place
- Sammy's Bar-B-Q, 2126 Leonard Street, Dallas, TX 7520
- 1:30-3 pm: Shopping
- Visit Highland Park Village, an outdoor shopping center, to peruse some high end merchandise and #treattyoself or dream of what you will do when your entrepreneurial dreams become a reality
- Address; 47 Highland Park Village, Dallas, TX 75205
- If you landed later, or BBQ isn't your thing, stop in Mi Cocina for some delicious Tex-Mex, or re-caffeinate at Starbucks
- 4-5:30 pm: Refresh
- Return to your hotel to check in, refresh, and get ready for the networking happy hour. Be sure to hang up, or iron out, whatever you plan to wear to the conference tomorrow so it is wrinkle free and instagram perfect for Saturday
- Private message 3 people you connected with on social media before the conference and make plans to meet up during the happy hour, or grab dinner afterwards
- 5:45 pm: Transit
- Depart for the networking happy hour via Uber
- Don't forget to bring your business cards and practice your quick self-introduction in the car ride over
- Tip: keep a pen handy and jot a quick note about why you connected with someone or what you want to follow up with them about on the back of their business card right after you meet.
- 6-7 pm: Happy Hour
- The Common Desk - Deep Ellum, 2919 Commerce Street, Dallas, TX 75226
- Beer, Wine, Light Food to be served
- Push yourself not to be a wallflower! Some people will know other women at the conference and some people are venturing solo into a brave new digital world, so put yourself out there and remember that almost everyone likes to talk about themselves so ask them about their business and what they hope to get out of the conference
- 7:30-9 pm: Dinner
- Invite some of your new acquaintances to continue the conversation over dinner - there are plenty of restaurants within a few blocks of the happy hour venue
- Pepe's and Mito's Mexican Cafe, 2911 Elm St, Dallas, TX 75226, features great Tex-Mex cuisine in a laid back atmosphere
- Braindead Brewing, 2625 Main St., Dallas, TX 75226, features great brews, burgers, and salads
- 9 pm: Retire
- Transit back to the hotel and get everything physically and mentally prepped for tomorrow because it will be a marathon, not a sprint!
- Charge your phone and your extra battery pack
Saturday - January 20, 2016 - The Conference
For full conference details and schedules, read the C+C post or use the C+C app
- 7:45 am: Transit
- Head on over to The Lofty Spaces, 816 Montgomery St, Dallas, TX 75226
- Don't forget to bring a government issued ID for check in, along with your business cards, phone, charger, and something to take notes with
- 8-9 am: Check In
- Get your badge, track number, and schedule for the day
- Enjoy breakfast and get to know the other conference-goers
- 9 am - 4:30 pm: Conference Tracks
- Follow your schedule for the majority of the day
- Tip: If you are Track #1, lunch is not until 2 pm, so be sure to grab a refreshment and snack during the break at 12:40 pm to keep you energized and focused
- 4:30-5:30 pm: Break
- Refresh and check out all the vendors
- 5:30-7 pm: Keynote
- 7-8 pm: Happy Hour
- Unwind and celebrate the end of a great day
- Exchange cards with anyone who you connected with
- 8:30 pm: Dinner
Sunday, January 31, 2016
- 7:30 am Coffee Talk
- If you have an early flight, make plans to meet up with someone staying near you to talk business over morning lattes and pastries.
- Near the W-Victory: Cook Hall or The Living Room, inside of the hotel, are the closest places to grab coffee early on Sunday morning
- Near Downtown: Weekend Coffee, 1511 Commerce St, Dallas, TX 75201, Espresso drinks, pour-over coffee & pastries served in a hip, bright space inside the Joule Hotel.
- 9 or 10 am: Power Brunch
- Take advantage of some connections made this weekend, or collaborative ideas brewing and make plans in advance to meet for a working brunch over coffee and mimosas
- Lark on the Park, 2015 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, Dallas, TX 75201, reservations recommended, the pastry basket is worth the carbs
- Mercat Bistro, 2501 N. Harwood St., Dallas, TX 75201, opens at 10 am, reservations recommended, enjoy crepes, pastries, and quiche
- Spare Time
- If you don't have to leave right away, here are some ideas for how to spend a nice Sunday in Dallas
- If the weather is nice, head to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, TX 75218, $5 admission gives you access to walking trail and the lovely winter blooms. This is a perfect setting to do a photo shoot in the natural light.
- If the weather doesn't cooperate, head to the Dallas Arts District where you can duck between museums. Start at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 North Harwood, Dallas, Texas 75201, opens at 11 am with free admission to main museum, where you can see a temporary exhibition on Pop Art, and gather inspiration for your home in the Decorative Arts and Design Collection, or visit the international art wings to satisfy your wanderlust. Download the tour app to your phone before you go.
- Departing out of Love Field? Check your bags early then stop at the Frontiers of Flight Museum to learn about aviation and take photos of your OOTD with all the planes as a metaphor for how your career is going to take flight after this conference; 6911 Lemmon Avenue Dallas, Texas 75209; open 1-5 pm today; $10 admission
- If departing by air, plan to arrive at the airport 1.5 hours before your flight to check in and get to the gate, especially if you are flying out of Dallas-Ft. Worth because it is a major hub airport.
Getting There, Around Town, and Back AgainIf arriving by plane, you will fly into Dallas Love Field or Dallas-Ft.Worth airports.
No Need To Rent a Car - To get around town, I would not recommend renting a car unless you plan to venture outside of downtown. All of the conference activities are in the same part of the city and you can easily get to venues via car service, and all of the recommended eateries in this itinerary are within walking distance of the venue or the hotel.
Use Uber to Get Around - If you have never used it before, download the Uber app on your phone and use my referral link to get a free ride up to $15 (and I get one too!) Its easy to split fares within the app if you make friends and share cars to and from events during the weekend.
Some fare estimates for UberX:
- DWF Airport to W-Victory Hotel = $23-30
- Love Field Airport to W-Dallas Victory Hotel = $10-13
- W-Dallas Victory to Highland Park Village = $8-11
- W-Dallas Victory to The Common Desk = $5-7
- W-Dallas Victory to The Lofty Spaces = $5-7
Where to Stay
The official hotel of Create+Cultivate Dallas is The W-Victory with a special room rate available until January 20, 2016. It is located between uptown and downtown, near the Victory Metro Station, within a few miles of all the weekend activities and my recommended eateries or outings.
If you prefer to stay elsewhere, there are great deals for ~$100 per night on Hotwire right now. Some people I know ended up with a room at The Adolphus, a four star boutique hotel in the downtown area.