By | August 24, 2017

We’re only a couple of months away from inspire North America, which takes place in the Lone Star State Oct. 22-25. And we just can’t wait.

It’s all happening in Austin, Texas, because, well, Austin is a very happenin’ place!

Four decades after the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan (whose Austin-based statue you see pictured above) began honing his craft there—and without a doubt having audience members ask the time-tested reverential question “Who is that dude?” in praise of his many musical talents—Austin has since branded itself “The Live Music Capital of the World.”

No arguments here.

inspire austin

Listen to the Music

Austin has become one of the most important music scenes in the country thanks to a robust number of concert venues playing everything from blues to country to pop to rock and more at establishments like The Continental ClubThe MohawkStubb’s BBQ and many others that you might want to check out before or after inspire.

It’s no wonder Sphera’s executive leadership team chose Austin to host this year’s inspire user conference, which promises a ton of training and big-time excitement to boot.

No Bull There Are Bulls

If you’re considering joining us at inspire at the luxurious Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa or already planning to do so, we can tell you that you won’t be disappointed. The resort is situated on the scenic Colorado River, which snakes its way through the state from Lubbock all the way down to Austin and then onto the Gulf of Mexico, covering 800-plus miles along the way. The body of water obviously plays a central role in central Texas living for Austinites as the river is one of the two main water sources the city relies on. It also affords numerous water activity opportunities for locals and tourists to kayak, canoe, paddleboard or tube their way along the longest river that is wholly in the state.

On a side note, if you head about 160 miles southeast of Austin, twice a year the Huebner family leads a large herd of cattle across that very river near its mouth. That tradition dates back almost 100 years.

Cattle, as you probably know, have played a significant role in Texas’ history. During the Gold Rush in the mid-19th century, Texas ranchers would lead their stock to California where they could get up to 20 times as much money for their cattle as they could in Texas. Knowing that, it seems fitting that the hotel where inspire NA takes place offers a meet and greet with a couple of Texas Longhorn bulls. Hey, would we steer you wrong?

Quarterback Sneak Peak and Fast Cars

Speaking of Longhorns, if you like college football, you might want to come to Austin a day early since the University of Texas plays Oklahoma State on Saturday, Oct. 21. It’s sure to be an exciting game as both schools are ranked in the preseason top 25 with Oklahoma State coming in at 10 and Texas at 23.  If you’re not into football and have a need for speed, the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix races are also taking place that weekend. Racing fans know that this Austin track features the famous Turn 1 where drivers go up an incline before making a sharp left turn and the even sharper Turn 15 that looks like the roof of a mouth ready to swallow the driver when you see it on a diagram. You can also catch some tunes as well as Justin Timberlake is scheduled to perform on Saturday night, Oct. 21.

Lots to Canvas

Sports not your thing? No problem.

Austin is also home to some amazing museums, such as the Mexic-Arte Museum that showcases Mexican and Latino art; the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas that includes European, modern American and Latino art; and history buffs might want to check out the LBJ Presidential Library, which has a scaled reproduction of what the Oval Office looked like when Lyndon Johnson sat behind the desk in the 1960s. There’s also a special exhibit through Nov. 12 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Public Broadcasting Service, which began when LBJ signed the Public Broadcasting Act into law a half-century ago.

Time to Dine

And if you’re coming to Austin, you probably already know that any carnivore will adore the barbeque. Austin is especially known for its BBQ brisket, which is slowly cooked to mouthwatering perfection over a barbecue pit, as well as ribs, pulled pork, sausage and more. It’s also why we have a special BBQ planned for the first night of the conference with plenty of barbecue sauce to go around. We hear it’s going to be the baste! Er, we mean the best.

However, as the website Austin Eater tells us, Austin has a whole lot more food options than grilled meats. Before or after inspire you might want to try the Bob Armstrong Dip, for instance, which is a combination of guacamole, queso dip and taco meat joined together in one amazing-looking dish at Matt’s El Rancho. Or how about the vegetarian and meat-infused ramen dishes at Ramen Tatsu-ya? Then there’s the numerous chili options—from mild to “hot, hot, hot”—at the Texas Chili Parlor.

Tempting Temps

We want to point out that while the chili could be too hot for some pallets, the temperature in Austin likely will not. With an average high in October of 82 degrees F (28 degrees C) and an average low of 61 degrees F (16 degrees C), you’re likely to be warm but not hot at all times—and not too chilly either while you eat that chili.

Have we piqued your interest yet? If so, register today and join us in Austin for inspire NA.

You can also follow the conference on social media by searching the hashtag #spherainspire.