Our mission is simple; to be the singular choice as your DMC partner that is unsurpassed in the level of trust we bring to be dedicated, flexible, reliable and transparent in all of our dealings; while simultaneously designing and producing exciting and unique events and activities that will create authentic experiences for your guests that will leave them with meaningful and lasting memories of the conference and their time in Texas.
The genesis of Goen South was as a “mom-and-pop” company. In 1992, Morris was working as a newspaper photojournalist and I was a microbiologist for the state. We knew that, eventually, we wanted children and we saw that neither of our positions would guarantee us financial success. If we were going to be able to support future kids, we needed to opt for a path in life in which to provide for our family. We both loved what we did, but we wanted our children to experience even more freedom than our parents had been able to provide for us.
I spent weekends and nights back in the classroom to get my MBA while Morris started freelancing photography. Morris has always had an artist's heart and he loved to travel the back roads of Texas documenting disappearing Texas history. He held an art exhibit at the restaurant of some friends. A young engaged couple, Anthony and Sandi, were impressed by the exhibit and saw that Morris could produce something totally extraordinary for their wedding photos. We met with them and made it very clear we did not know the nuances of wedding photography. They said, “Just shoot it like your art.” The results were unique, the bride and groom were delighted, and there began to be many more calls for Morris's artistic talents.
We soon realized San Antonio was suffering from a lack of an event management company that offered all wedding services under one roof, so along with photography, we added videography, wedding planning and floral services. As we went along, we recognized a similar need for linens and lighting and it was not long before we were coordinating and producing weddings at some of the most beautiful resorts and hotels in town. The hotel sales staff were impressed with our designs and began asking us to provide services for their corporate clients. That was the beginning of our company history, and the rest, as they say, is history.
It was also the beginning of our young family. Our daughter, Grace was born in 1998. Our son, Otha Morris Goen, III (“Trip”) was born in 2000, just one week before his grandfather passed away. As soon as my doctor cleared me to travel, we headed to Houston. Otha was able to hold his grandson and namesake. The morning after we arrived, Otha passed away in his own bed surrounded by those who loved him including his brand-new grandson. The emotional roller coaster of new life and life passing was very hard on Morris, but he knows his dad would be proud. As time passed we settled into a good life. As the kids grew so did the business. Goen South was booming when suddenly, we were feeling the effects of the Great Recession.
As the economy continued to spiral down, and with a young family to support, Morris and I had some tough decisions to make. After a lot of sleepless nights and a few tears, we resolved to survive as a company. We had faith that sooner or later the country would make an economic comeback, and we were determined to hold on until it did. We quit taking salaries so we could make payroll for our employees and went through our kids' college savings and then our retirements to pay our vendors and help keep the company afloat. We believed in our company and were determined to make it. We went through some hard and scary times; then slowly but surely, the economy began to turn around. In time, business in our industry was booming again, and our company was again growing at a rate that amazed us. We knew then that our tenacity had paid off and the sacrifices we had made were going to be worth it.
Today, Goen South is an international award-winning DMC based right here in Texas. We serve San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Dallas and beyond. With 29 full time employees, numerous part-timers and specialized contractors we provide full service Destination Management and Event Production across the spectrum.
Our 32,000 square feet of warehouse space are filled with more than the standard chairs, tables and linens. Morris has been collecting one-of-a-kind pieces for as long as I have known him, and we have his passion to thank for the deep warehouse of design elements we offer. Morris and I and the crew look forward to our annual pilgrimage to a huge antique festival near Houston called Round Top. As a result of these forays, and many others we have been able to amass an incredible collection of trappings including seven-foot tall crystal chandeliers, unique bar fronts made from antique trucks, and even an authentic 1940's era tractor that Morris bought from an old rancher. We've received numerous industry awards on the state, national and international levels, but more importantly, our clients love it. One of our many strengths is that we do own our own décor, enabling us to create a unique event and to help keep your costs down.
Our cutting-edge DMC uses the latest apps to track your guests' progress as they travel to Texas. Upon arrival, we like to begin the experience with greeters that really let your guests know where they have arrived. Historical reenactments, costumed cowboys, even folkloric dancers all serve to set the scene for an authentic Texas experience. We know the ins and outs of the state, so we can give your guests the historical and cultural experience of a lifetime. And for our more adventurous guests, we can provide exciting activities like sky diving, skeet shooting, zip-lines, horseback riding, kayaking, spelunking and more.
We have great relationships with a wide range of entertainers both local and nationwide: bands and DJ's from every music genre, stilt walkers, jugglers, magicians, mimes, palm readers and body-painted models (always a hit!). From fire dancers to line dancers, and pretty much everything in between, we can accommodate your imagination.
We're proud and happy that we have achieve our long-ago goal of affording our children more freedoms. Today our daughter is in film school and our son is in high school with a great interest in music. Alongside the achievement of these goals, we've learned how much it means to be part of the service community. It may sound trite, but we want to be part of the chain that betters, not only our family, but everyone who needs us. The more success we have, the more we feel we can help give back to those less fortunate, and give them (in however small way) that hand up that they may so badly need.
We have been greatly blessed and we aim to pay that forward to our staff, our vendors and our clients. We know we are not saving lives but we have a lot of love to share and we feel our mission is important and meaningful to everyone we serve. Today we have 29 full time employees, many part-timers and we network with several specialized contractors. We have reached a place in which we can give back to the community.
Our values are simple and homespun: we work hard, we do what's right, we support the things we believe in, and will continue to strive to gain respect and connections in all the wonderful cities we serve in Texas and beyond.
After 25 years of being in the industry, Morris and I still wake up every day excited to see what the next email or phone call will bring. Scarcely a week goes by that we don't have a client asking us do for them something that we, nor anyone, has ever done before. We love the challenge and look forward the future.
Best Corporate Event – up to $75K – Disco
Best Event Design – $25K to 50K – Luau
Best Entertainment Event – up to $50k – Luau
Best Event Filmography – Texas State Fair
Best Industry or Assoc. Event/Mo. Meeting – San Antonio Weddings Magazine
Design Décor up to $25K
Texas Star Award
Best Event Décor between $25K to $75K
Best Social Event up to $25K
Best Social Event up to $25K
Corporate Event Production of the Year under $50K
Corporate Event Production of the Year
Best Table Presentation of the Year
Texas Star Award
Best Wedding Event
Texas Star Award
Best Corporate Event
Best Wedding Event
NACE Alamo Chapter Awards
Professional of the Year – Morris Goen