About Houston First
Houston First Corporation (HFC) is the official destination management/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 10,000 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 role of the department is to book the greatest possible number of hotel room nights generated from tradeshows, conventions and meetings.
Sales tactics include direct sales and meeting planner education via advertising, industry events, tradeshows, direct mail, relationship marketing, networking, distribution of collateral and city orientation visits.
Senior Vice President of Sales & Client Services
Vice President, Citywide Convention Sales
Jason L. Purifoy
Director of Sales
Works with meeting planners to provide a wide range of services once a meeting is booked.
Services include site visits to hotels and facilities, itinerary building, housing and room block consultation, distribution of collateral materials, creation of custom collateral and customized attendance-generating promotions.
Works as a liaison between the meeting planner and GHCVB members.
Vice President of Membership and Events Services
Promotes the Greater Houston area through advertising, public and media relations, sponsorship, special events, promotions, Web site and collateral development.
FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION
Support mechanism for day-to-day business operations. Responsibilities include financial management, office management and technological resources.
HOUSTON FILM COMMISSION
Promotes Houston, Harris County and the Eastern Gulf Coast region of Texas as a destination for film production. Coordinates all marketing, advertising and sales efforts. Provides professional location services to film, video and print industries.
Responsible for maintaining and retaining GHCVB members. Plans ongoing member events such as monthly membership mixers, business-to-business networking events, seminars and member orientations.
VISITOR INFORMATION SERVICES
The function of Visitor Information Services is to provide detailed information to visitors to Houston about what to do and experience while visiting our city.
Tourism works with domestic and international travel trade, including wholesale, retail and online agencies and tour operators in order to reach the traveling consumer. The Tourism team also participates in travel and consumer trade shows and organizes sales missions and familiarization trips to reach its key clients. This department also handles visits to Houston by international media to generate exposure for Houston in international markets. Lastly, they manage the Visit Houston Marketplace.
PARTNERSHIPS AND EVENT DEVELOPMENT
Leads in the generation of revenue and resources for HoustonFirst Corporation through corporate partnerships and grant acquisitions. Manages the development, growth and execution of innovative tradeshows, conferences and events to be held annually in Houston.
Revenue Management & Research
The Revenue strategy and Research team supports all departments with data and analytics to help drive economic growth for our market.
HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT
The Human Resources Department is responsible for every step of the employee life cycle and connects all team members to the Houston First values that enrich their work life. This includes recruiting, onboarding, training, performance management, recognition programs, employee relations, employee benefits administration, internal communications and diversity, equity & inclusion opportunities.
GENERAL AND OPERATIONS
Houston First owns the Hilton Americas-Houston hotel.
It operates: George R. Brown Convention Center, Avenida Houston, Jones Hall for the Performing Arts (home to the Houston Symphony and Society for the Performing Arts), Wortham Theater Center (home to the Houston Ballet and Houston Grand Opera), Talento Bilingue de Houston, Miller Outdoor Theatre, Houston First Outdoors (which includes Jones Plaza and other smaller venues) and Theater District Parking.
Outdoor facilities managed by Houston First include: Jones Plaza, Ray C. Fish Plaza, the Bush Monument and Sesquicentennial Park properties next to Wortham Center, as well as Root Square next to Toyota Center.
A 12-member Board of Directors sets policy for the corporation and approves its major initiatives and expenditures. The City of Houston maintains an oversight role through the City Council’s approval of board appointments and its annual budget. Two City Council members also sit on the Board of Directors, in ex-officio roles.