The Art of Meetings at the GICC

If you’ve been to the Georgia International Convention Center (the GICC) or follow us on social media you should know that this is one convention center with some serious style. The GICC is renowned for its bold architecture and contemporary design, but did you know that the flair also extends into the GICC’s interior? Our halls are stocked with commissioned artworks by over 35 local and internationally known artists. You can now add “art gallery” to the list of our many

Take a peek at what hangs on our walls:

“Boardgame in Flight” by Brad Howe is a nod to the GICC’s close proximity to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport. The 3D sculpture evokes the theme of flying over Earth with its rounded color blocks and directional figures. Howe, an American sculptor from California, has had his work showcased in galleries all over the world. We’d like to think his best work is here with us.

“Night and Day” by the late artist David Jansheski is inspired by College Park’s architecture and Charles Lindbergh’s famous flight into the area. He cites local sites and poetic elements as the inspiration behind the silk screen layered piece.

“Inquisitive Traveler” by California artist, Bob Stimmel, is another one of many GICC pieces that honor the flight and transportation. Stimmel used steel, copper, aluminum, various woods, and acrylic to put together this beautiful sculpture. Maybe the most interesting element of this work is the colors used. Atlanta corporations Delta, Georgia-Pacific, UPS, Home Depot, Coca-Cola, and Chick-fil-A all have their brand colors represented.

“Cityscape” by Jian Wang is one of the most memorable pieces of GICC artwork. The oil painting is a depiction of the city of College Park. In the foreground, College Park City Hall and Woodward Academy stand out as notable landmarks. The bright background shows the iconic Downtown and Midtown Atlanta skylines reaching into a bright morning sky.

For more of the GICC’s artwork and looks at how our meeting and event spaces transform for elaborate affairs, follow us on Instagram at @TheGICC!

Is the GICC the Most Accessible Convention Center?

We think the Georgia International Convention Center might just be the most accessible convention center – ever. By plane, train or automobile, keep reading to figure out what makes it so easy to meet at the GICC.

We’re the only convention center connected to a major airport. 80% of the U.S. population is within a 2-hour flight to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International
Airport! When you land, you’re practically here. In just a few minutes, you’ll be from runway to registration and ready to get on with your meeting.

We’re connected by rail.
The ATL SkyTrain extends from Hartsfield-Jackson Airport to the Georgia International Convention Center, to the Rental Car Center. Easy + breezy! No reason to worry about getting lost or stuck in traffic. Just hop on and within a 5-minute ride, you’ll be cruising into your morning meeting. Learn more here.

MARTA is our local transit train that can take you up through downtown Atlanta and its neighborhoods. The ATL SkyTrain can take you from our campus to the airport, where you can connect to MARTA line of your choice without sitting in traffic. Additional information, includingmaps and train times, can be found on the MARTA website.

We’re at the juncture of two major interstates.
Connecting us to multiple states in the region, I-85 and I-75 are just a stoplight away. Spanningupward through North Carolina and downward through Alabama, just follow the highway until you see the signs for our venue!

More information about traveling to the GICC venue can be found on our website.

Find Success with Sustainable Meetings at the GICC

Cultivating a productive meeting environment begins with considering our earth’s environment! With the large impact meetings make, don’t let a negative impact on the environment be on the list. Interested in going green at your next event? Great!

Here are two simple tips to consider while planning:

Cut Down on Paper + Plastic
Opt for digital check-ins and use people to direct attendees rather than posting paper signage. Embrace technology as a way for people to take notes, rather than providing notepads. Did you know that aluminum cans are infinitely recyclable? If you’re providing drink options, ask catering to only provide canned drinks rather than those in plastic bottles. Skip it all together by providing refillable glasses and fill stations throughout the venue.

Donate Leftover Foods
Plan to serve your food buffet-style, rather than plated meals, to avoid wasted leftovers. Team up with a nearby nonprofit who will assist with the pickup and delivery of food. Before you donate, be sure to reference local ordinances regarding food safety and liability.

Why is the GICC a smart pick for a green meeting?
Our 3 convention campus hotels, Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway, Renaissance Atlanta Airport Gateway, and SpringHill Suites Atlanta Airport Gateway are all LEED certified and within walking distance from your meeting space. Attendees can leave their cars behind and arrive via MARTA or ATL SkyTrain (directly connected to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport). Our onsite caterer, CulinAero always uses fresh, sustainable and locally-sourced ingredients,
avoiding any unnecessary packing materials from transporting food from another location.

Know of some other ways to stay green? Tweet us at @TheGICC!

Questions Every Meeting Planner Should Be Asking

Maybe it’s your first time planning an event, or maybe it’s your 20th time. Regardless, we’ve got a few of the questions you should ask when looking for a venue for your next event. Our team at the GICC is ready to answer any of these!

What am I paying for?
It’s important to stay within your budget. At a minimum, you are getting house lighting, ventilation, heat or air conditioning maintenance and janitorial services. Additional information you may need to know about renting space at the GICC can be found in our Policies and Procedures handbook or on the Facts section of our website.

GICC Ballroom Prefunction

How do I get there?

The great news is that we are only minutes away from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Guests who are flying in can use the ATL SkyTrain or MARTA, or take advantage of our ample parking if they choose to drive. Take a look at our Getting Here page for more information.

GICC Aerial Photos

Do you have a caterer?
Yes! We have an onsite caterer, CulinAero, who specializes in event catering in American and International cuisines, with a focus on fresh, sustainable produce. We want to make sure your attendees have a variety of options and CulinAero can develop custom menus specific to your event.

More questions? Tweet us at @TheGICC!

How to Make Your Meeting Flow at the GICC

What is the best thing about the GICC?

Trick question! There are lots of things that make our venue great, starting with the fact we are the only convention center connected to a major airport.
Not to mention the GICC is the second largest convention center in Georgia, totaling to 400,000 square feet with three convention hotels onsite!
In other words, there is plenty of space at the GICC for your next event!

The Breakdown
We have three divisions to select from: the exhibit halls, the ballroom and the meeting rooms. There are four exhibit halls with same square footages and pre-function spaces. Our ballroom has three lobby areas and eight salons that can be joined or separated. The meeting rooms are comprised of six suites with the same square footage and three different boardrooms with two different square footages.

The Point
The GICC can be used for many events and for different phases during events. You can set up the venue according to how many sessions you have for a conference. If you're hosting an exhibition, reception or networking, you can use the lobby for break and refreshment stations.

You can even divide up the venue space to use part of it for the day-time activities and the other spaces for the night-time events. This way you do not have to worry about guests having to wait while setting up.

The Choice
There are countless ways your event can be set up at our spacious venue. Check out the Planners section of our website for more information. Need ideas and inspiration?

Like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Tweet us at @TheGICC.

Changing the Way We Network at the GICC

As business professionals, we all have to do it. For some, it comes naturally while others would much rather write up a 60-page report on “Why a Hotdog is not a Sandwich.” We’re talking about networking.

Scared ya, right? Well, don’t worry – it’s time to take networking to the next level. More importantly, it’s time to make it effective and – well – fun.

We’ll help get you there with these tips.

Upgrade the Name of the Function
Call it the social circle, mixer or create your own spin on the classic term, but stay away from the word “networking.” It will take the edge off of your guests, making them less tense to interact with one another.

Step up and be a host
Get your guests together! Make the environment feel warm, approachable and like a family gathering. Try giving a few words about the two parties, breaking the ice for them. Or, kickstart conversation by giving them a conversation starter. Fast Company wrote about name tags taking introductions to the next level to create common ground for attendees.

Have an open space
Map out the room so there is enough space for everyone to mingle. The environment should look and feel inclusive, but overall, be fun! Try a theme or activities that keep guests on their toes. Break tradition.

Want to share ideas about your networking event? Tweet us at @TheGICC.

Why the GICC is Perfect for Any Seating Arrangement

Hosting your event at a venue like the GICC allows for multiple seating arrangements. Of course, the best one for you depends on the type of your event!Hosting your event at a venue like the GICC allows for multiple seating arrangements.

Get a feel for how these different seating arrangements work seamlessly with our space:

Theater – Best for large crowds for conferences, concerts, wedding ceremonies and graduations.

Classroom – This works best for smaller conferences, meetings or lectures.

U-Shape – U-Shape seating is also a great option for smaller meetings, lectures or leadership retreats.

Banquet – This is great for wedding receptions, banquets, galas, parties or award ceremonies.

Lounge – This layout is most suitable for pre-event receptions or networking events and fitsperfectly in our pre-function space!

Need more options? Check out this blog from the Encore.

Have something to share that we missed? Tweet us at @TheGICC!

Five Ways to Make Your Booth Stand Out

Looking for ways to stand out at the next trade show? We’ve seen it all and we’re here for you with insider tips and tricks on how to get more foot traffic to your booth.
1. Try a theme
Find a timely concept that appeals to guests. Think about what’s trending or seasonal themes. In the fall, a carnival theme is an interactive way to engage attendees on the trade show floor with games and prizes. Take the stakes up a notch and stick the keynote speaker in a dunking booth with a big ticket prize for the brave soul who hits the target.

2. Stay classic
Have to stick to strict marketing guidelines? A classic booth never goes out of style as long you’ve got the goods. Typically vendors have the four B’s: banners, business cards, brochures and branded goods. In a sea of sameness, find a way to stand out and attract conventioneers to your booth. Tried and true tricks include giveaways or themed beverages, but take it up a notch with live performers, shoulder massages, a themed photo booth or hot-ticket items like the latest tech gadget.

3. Break tradition
Have room to experiment? Keep it classic, but think beyond tradition and ditch the table entirely. Open up the space and give people a space to unwind between sessions with a ping pong table or giant Jenga set on astroturf.

15th Annual Job Fair

Life Sciences Summit 2012

4. Go big
It’s your time to make an impression, so go big! Think outside the confines of the rectangle on the floor and about how you can extend the space from above to get noticed when people wall into the hall. Think about ways stores in the mall drive foot traffic and appeal to the senses. People will follow the smell of popcorn. Brainstorm with your team and talk about previous booths you’ve seen, promotional items and what appealed to each of you individually. See how
you can make an impact by being a bit creative.

GaETC 2010

5. Presentation counts
It’s important to be approachable at your booth and think strategically about the placement of items to encourage foot traffic, but creating a memorable experience is just as important. If you have a product, bring it with you to encourage attendees to sample or incorporate items into your booth in an artistic way.

Have some booth inspiration you’d love to share? Tweet us at @TheGICC!

Maximizing Event Impact through Details

While there are many ways to make your event great, personalization and attention to detail drives the most impact. Throughout your meeting, keep the following in mind to maximize the impact with your attendees.

Little Gestures
Everything matters, even if you think it doesn’t. Small gestures create more of a 360º event experience and add a welcoming feel and great environment. Consider adding personal touches to everything during your planning phase: signs, presentations, booklets, music, decor, menu and even staff attire.

Cultivate Customer Service
Amongst all things, guests will certainly remember who they met at the event. From each attendee greeting to the farewell wave, make a lasting impression on attendees. Guide your staff and team members on the “what-to-dos” but more importantly the “what-not-to-dos!”

Communicate Effectively
Accuracy is key! Cross your t’s, and dot your i’s. Spell check is your best friend. Short messages resonate with guests looking for quick information. Stay cohesive will all messaging throughout the event.

Stay on Schedule
Make a schedule and stick to it. The more off-book you go, the more attendees may get nervous. Keep track of the schedule guests get and stay to that. Plan leeway time slots into your schedule in case you’re running overtime mitigating time issues beforehand.

Need more help? Visit our venue or see our website for more details. Feel free to tweet us at @TheGICC

Creating a Welcoming Environment for Attendees

The south is nothing without hospitality. Spice up your upcoming event with a warm welcome and personalized messaging at the GICC.

A Grand Hello
However you say it, make the welcome big. Have some personal greeters, welcome signs and if possible, a fun grand entrance. Get your guests excited the minute they step into the venue.

Fuel Them Up
Even if your event is a few hours, plan for some sweet and savory treats. Who doesn’t love a snack every now and then? Get your guests energized to take action.

Comfort is Key
Be unique and give your guests some comfort with a lounge seating approach. This will make your guests a bit more relaxed and at ease, even if they sit for only a few minutes.

Tweet us some of your ideas on getting guests excited for events at @TheGICC.