Jalisco ranks third in the country economically, with tourism, the tequila industry and handicraft exports supplementing income from manufacturing and agriculture.
During the day highs average 91ºF (33ºC) in summer and around 77ºF (25ºC) in the winter; temperatures during winter evenings can drop down to 41ºF (5ºC).
Referred to as Mexico’s “Silicon Valley” and “Digital Creative City,” Guadalajara is one of the 120 most competitive cities in the world. The tech sector accounts for 30% of the city’s economy, with its home state of Jalisco annually exporting $21 billion in tech products and services—evolving from a mostly manufacturing platform in the late 90s (8 of the top 10 contract electronic manufacturers worldwide, including Solectron, Flextronics and SCI Systems, are still located here.)
Planners looking to the area to match up with their client events will recognize names such as Gameloft, Dell, HP, Intel (the company’s only research lab in Latin America), Oracle and IBM, all of which have satellite offices here. The state has 12 universities that serve up 18,000 IT career graduates per year. (Note: Guadalajara is also the home of an important automotive cluster, including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler.)
The Guadalajara International Airport (GDL) receives nonstop flights from Atlanta; Denver; Dallas/Fort Worth; Fresno; Fort Lauderdale; Guatemala; Houston; New York; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Orlando; Oakland; Ontario; Chicago Midway; Chicago O'Hare; Phoenix; Panama City; Reno; San Diego; San Antonio; San Francisco; San José (California); San José (Costa Rica); Sacramento; and Salt Lake City.
Set to open later this year, the 1970 Hotel Posadas Guadalajara, Curio Collection by Hilton is a 160-room property in the heart of the city, offering expo attendees a unique venue for business stays. The Hyatt Regency Andares Guadalajara opened late last year with 220-rooms in the Andares Shopping Mall, with approximately 29,000 ft² (2,694 m²) of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space.
Another relative newcomer: the AC Hotel Guadalajara, with 188 sleek rooms and suites. Favorites include the 221-room Westin Guadalajara has more than 4,500 ft² (418 m²) of space for events; the 391-room Fiesta Americana Guadalajara has a meetings capacity of 1,000; the 423-room Presidente Intercontinental Guadalajara with space for events of up to 1,000 people; and the 450-room Four-Diamond Hilton Guadalajara, located within the World Trade Center with 36,599 ft² (3,400 m²) of meeting space.
In the heart of the city’s financial district, the NH Collection Guadalajara Providencia has 137 rooms and meeting facilities for up to 250 people and the 207-room Four-Diamond Fiesta Americana Grand Country Club has meeting rooms for up to 450 people.
Expo Guadalajara is Mexico’s largest convention venue, with 444,517 ft² (41,297 m²) of expo space and 182,706 ft² (16,974 m²) of meetings and convention space. The World Trade Center Guadalajara has spaces for meetings and events from 1,076 ft² (100 m²) to 10,764 ft² (1,000 m²) and a third with a panoramic terrace for events up to 350 people. Off-site venues include the stunning 19th-century Teatro Degollado, the Centro Cultural El Refugio and the Palacio de la Cultura y la Comunicación (Palace of Culture and Communication) known as PALCCO, a modern, cutting-edge complex with 47,081 ft² (4,374 m²) of exhibit space and 69,965 ft² (6,500 m²) of meetings and convention space. Meetings can also be held at the multi-use haciendas with full meetings and events services and facilities owned by the city’s top tequila distilleries, José Cuervo and Herradura.
Guadalajara welcomes attendees with a wealth of museums, galleries, tequila factory tours, theaters and world-class shopping—a visit to the suburb of Tlaquepaque is a must. Groups will enjoy rides aboard the José Cuervo Express, a train that will take them from Guadalajara to Tequila through the blue agave fields with tastings led by talented sommeliers onboard.
Coming Up: The Hilton Guadalajara Midtown is expected to open in early 2019 with 226 rooms northwest of the city of Guadalajara and will be a major part Midtown Jalisco project.