George R. Brown Convention Center

The George R. Brown Convention Center, commonly referred to as GRB, is a renowned convention center located in the heart of downtown Houston, Texas. Named in honor of Houstonian George Rufus Brown — an entrepreneur, civic leader, and philanthropist — the building opened its doors in 1987 and has since grown into one of the most significant convention centers in the United States.

Sprawling over an area of 1.8 million square feet, this building is a marvel of modern design and functionality. It features over 100 meeting rooms, a grand ballroom capable of accommodating thousands, a theater, and numerous exhibit spaces. GRB is built to cater to a wide variety of events, from small-scale local meetups to massive international conventions, making it a key player in Houston's bustling business and event-hosting scene.

The convention center's strategic location on the east side of downtown Houston is another noteworthy aspect. It's a part of Avenida Houston, a vibrant entertainment district teeming with restaurants, parks, hotels, nightlife, and other tourist attractions. The GRB is directly connected to the Hilton Americas-Houston, a convenience that offers an optimal experience for out-of-town attendees.

The George R. Brown Convention Center isn't just a convention center — it's a symbol of Houston's vibrant culture and an embodiment of the city's forward-thinking ethos.

Related tours:

Why should you go?

  1. Versatile events & exhibitions. The George R. Brown Convention Center hosts a wide array of events throughout the year. Whether you're a fan of pop culture looking forward to Comicpalooza, a quilting enthusiast excited about the International Quilt Festival, or a professional interested in one of the many industry-specific trade shows, there's something for everyone.
  2. Entertainment and attractions. Nestled within Avenida Houston, the GRB offers immediate access to a range of entertainment options. You can attend concerts at Discovery Green, dine at diverse and delectable restaurants, visit boutique shops, or simply enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the entertainment district.
  3. Impressive architecture. The center is a landmark of modern architectural design. The building looks like a giant cruise ship, and its bright red, white, and blue color scheme and nautical theme make it one of the most recognizable architectural objects of its kind in the country.
  4. Ideal starting point for exploring Houston. The George R. Brown Convention Center is a gateway to the myriad of cultural, historical, and natural attractions that Houston has to offer. Within easy reach are the Houston Museum District, NASA's Johnson Space Center, Buffalo Bayou Park, and more.

Best places to visit near the George R. Brown Convention Center

  • Discovery Green. Located right next to the convention center, this urban park offers beautiful green spaces, art installations, a lake, and walking trails, and hosts various events and festivals throughout the year.

  • Minute Maid Park. Home of the Houston Astros baseball team, Minute Maid Park is just a short distance from the convention center. Catch a game if you're a baseball fan, or explore the stadium on a guided tour.

  • Downtown Aquarium. Situated about a mile from the convention center, the aquarium features a diverse range of marine life exhibits, interactive displays, a restaurant, and even a train ride through a tunnel surrounded by fish tanks.

  • Houston Theater District. Known as one of the largest theater districts in the United States, this vibrant area offers a variety of performances, including Broadway shows, ballet, opera, and symphony concerts. The district encompasses several venues not far from the convention center.

  • Buffalo Bayou Park. Situated just west of downtown Houston, this park is a scenic oasis featuring walking and biking trails, beautiful gardens, public art installations, and recreational activities such as kayaking and paddleboarding.

  • The Menil Collection: A short drive from the convention center, this art museum houses an extensive collection of artworks from antiquity to the present. The museum is known for its unique architecture and diverse range of art styles.

  • Museum of Fine Arts. Less than a 10-minute drive from the GRB, this museum showcases a remarkable collection of art spanning different eras and cultures. Visitors can enjoy paintings, sculptures, photography, and special exhibitions.

  • Houston Museum of Natural Science. Located near the Museum of Fine Arts on the northern border of Hermann Park, this museum offers fascinating exhibits on natural history, including dinosaurs, gems and minerals, ancient civilizations, and a planetarium.

  • The Houston Zoo. Situated in Hermann Park, the Houston Zoo is home to a wide variety of animal species from around the world. Explore the exhibits, watch animal feedings, and enjoy educational programs for both kids and adults.
  • 1
    How many people can fit in the George R. Brown Convention Center?

    The largest room with fixed seating, the General Assembly Theater, can accommodate up to 3,600 people. The seating capacity of all the exhibit halls on Level 1 is 36,000 people. However, the total occupancy for the entire convention center can be much larger.
  • 2
    What is the closest airport to the George R. Brown Convention Center?
    The closest airport to the George R. Brown Convention Center is William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), located about 10 miles southeast of the GRB.
  • 3
    What are the most interesting and unique facts about the George R. Brown Convention Center?
    • The George R. Brown Convention Center has played a significant role as an emergency shelter during disasters. Notably, in 2005, the center served as a shelter for evacuees of Hurricane Katrina. In 2017, it provided similar services to those affected by Hurricane Harvey, becoming a temporary shelter for 10,000 people for 22 days.

    • The center is home to one of the largest kinetic art installations in the U.S. The monumental sculpture "Wings Over Water," integrated into a fountain outside the GRB,  is composed of two enormous wings that beat continuously, creating a sense of progress and movement.