Guest Program

June 9, 2017

Spouse/Guest Registration Includes

  • Admittance and drink tickets to the Welcome Reception
  • Admittance to both Breakfast sessions
  • A choice of two optional tours, just for Guests (additional fee)
  • Admittance to EMDA’s Industry Showcase
  • Attendance at any of our sessions

Below is a brief schedule of events for guests. While we have highlighted events that we believe will interest those who register as a Spouse/Guest, you are welcome to attend any of our sessions or meetings, as long as space permits.

Tuesday, November 7th

Registration desk – The registration desk opens at 7:00 am each day. In addition to picking up name badges, the registration desk is a great spot to meet other attendees, visit staff, and get answers to any questions you may have.

Welcome Reception – The Welcome Reception is from 5:30 to 7:00 pm, and is a great place to meet fellow attendees, catch up on old times and meet new colleagues. There is no formal program for this event, so feel free to stop in as your plans permit. Many guests will still be arriving, therefore travel casual attire is fine.

Wednesday, November 8th

Joint Industry Breakfast and Opening Session – This session is from 8:00 to 9:30 am and is designed to kick off the convention. The special guest speaker is Astronaut Mike Mullane. Mullane completed three space missions aboard the Shuttles “Discovery” and “Atlantis” before retiring from NASA and the Air Force in 1990. He will speak about teamwork, leadership, and safety. This is our largest event and fills quickly, plan on arriving early for the best seating.

Tours – Guests have the option to sign up for a tour on Wednesday. You have the choice between a tour of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and a food tour of Rice Village. See below for more information. (Additional fee) 

EMDA’s Industry Showcase – Take a stroll through this event where attendees learn about products and services from manufacturers and suppliers. The showcase will take place from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.

EMDA’s Partners Party – This event is by invitation only from 6:00 to 7:00 pm.

Thursday, November 9th

Joint Industry Breakfast Buffet – There will be no speaker at this session, so enjoy a leisurely morning at this breakfast buffet from 7:00 to 9:00 am.

Space Center Houston Tour – Guests may also sign up for the NASA tour. This behind-the-scenes tour includes a visit to all the attractions the Space Center has to offer including a private tram tour of NASA’s working government facilities. This tour is from 12:00 to 5:00 pm and transportation will be provided. (Additional fee) See the Space Center Tour page for more information.

Wednesday Guest Tour Option #1 – Houston Museum of Natural Science

Registration fee: $99

Our first tour option is one of the most heavily attended museums in the United States, and one of the most attended venues in Houston. The Houston Museum of Natural Science houses the Burke Baker Planetarium, Wortham GIANT Screen Theatre, Cockrell Butterfly Center and a fascinating variety of permanent exhibit areas that examine astronomy, Native American culture, paleontology, gems and minerals, Texas wildlife and much more. In addition, the museum frequently presents traveling exhibitions on a variety of topics. The museum is one of the most popular in the United States and ranks just below New York City’s American Museum of Natural History and Metropolitan Museum of Art and the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco in most attendance amongst non-Smithsonian museums.

Some of the exhibits you will visit include the Cockrell Butterfly Center and the Hall of Gems & Minerals. The Cockrell Butterfly Center at the Houston Museum of Natural Science is a stunning, living exhibit that showcases hundreds of live butterflies in a naturalistic rainforest setting. The central conservatory is a dramatic three-story glass cone filled with tropical plants and exotic butterflies. During a typical visit, one can expect to see 50 to 60 different species of the world’s largest and most colorful butterfly species, flying through the balmy air, hovering over flowers or sipping fruit juice – and occasionally, landing on visitors!

The spectacular Cullen Hall houses the world’s finest display-quality collection of gems and minerals. See more than 750 beautifully crystallized mineral specimens, including some of the world’s rarest and most beautiful examples. From a huge blue topaz crystal weighing more than 2,000 carats to a crystallized gold cluster that is one of the most highly coveted objects in the mineral kingdom, the spectacular specimens on display here are true masterpieces – the Rembrandts and Picassos of the natural world.

We will then stop for lunch at the award-winning Mexican restaurant Irma’s.

Irma’s has been a downtown fixture for more than 20 years, drawing in the Central Business District’s lunch time crowd for authentic home cooking and Irma Galvan’s famous lemonade. For more than two decades, Irma’s continued to operate as it always had; in a cozy spot filled with home furnishings, bric-a-brac blanketing and the publicity photos dotting the wall from the restaurant’s celeb clientele. It wasn’t until the fall of 2010 that Galvan decided to shake things up with expansion plans, the addition of a regular dinner service and, for the first time, actual menus! In her expanded digs, Irma’s offers an airy dining room, bar and flat-screen TVs, while maintaining the same Mexican-New Orleans-inspired decor that marks the original space. Expect the same memorable fajitas, enchiladas and lemonade that helped put Irma on the map, as well as a mix of new dishes, too.

Wednesday Guest Tour Option #2 – Rice Village Food Tour

Registration fee: $69

Our second tour option is a walking food tour. Nestled just west of Rice University, Rice Village has been a destination to shop and eat local since the 1930s. Rice Village continues to thrive today as a home of an eclectic mix of more than 300 high-end shops and unique boutiques, as well as a wide assortment of ethnic restaurants. Enjoy a variety of international cuisine on this tour as you explore Houston’s hippest neighborhood.

On this guided, narrated walking tour, you will experience and learn about the significance of the area. The Rice Village Food Tour will take you throughout this historic neighborhood, teach about its culture, and you’ll enjoy local food and drinks along the way. You will enjoy a multi-course progressive meal served at a number of critically acclaimed local restaurants, listed below.

Sud Italia
Sud’s concept was created by owner Shanon Scott and his wife Wende. This charming and cozy restaurant has a beautiful outdoor covered patio that is a favorite year-round for people dining al fresco.

El Meson
El Meson is product of Pedro Angel Garcia’s love of food and family. After training for years in his father’s restaurnat in New York City, Garcia and his father opened El Meson in Rice Village in 1981. Inspired by his Cuban and Spanish roots, the fine-dining restaurant features a variety of items ranging from tapas and paella to enchiladas and steaks. With one of Houston’s best wine lists along with excellent service and sophisticated atmosphere, El Meson provides a truly superb culinary experience.

Pasha has been serving the Rice Village community for over 15 years. The key to the restaurants success lies in its authentic Turkish cuisine made from scratch everyday with traditional spices and techniques. From brick oven bread to the lamb kebabs and award-wining rice pudding, Pasha gives guests a true taste of the Mediterranean.

Cloud 10 Creamery
Award winning Pastry Chef Chris Leung started Cloud 10 with a mission to never use artificial flavorings or additives. Their ice cream and sorbets are made with hand selected ingredients, ensuring the best flavor and texture possible. Guests will enjoy ten sensational new flavors each season in addition to ten original flavors.