How to Spend an Afternoon in College Park

 

When you meet at The Georgia International Convention Center, you’re meeting in College Park. This beautiful historic city is known by its residents as “Atlanta’s best kept secret.” Well, we’re letting you in on the secret! If you find yourself with an afternoon break from meetings, follow this itinerary and soak in some southern hospitality.

 

12pm

Start your afternoon with lunch on Main Street. This is College Park’s Downtown District. Notice the numerous historic buildings that have been preserved and are now home to exciting shopping and dining venues. Our lunch recommendation? Radial Café. You’ll find unique takes on familiar farm-to-table dishes made with fresh, local, sustainable ingredients.

 

2pm

Keep strolling down Main Street to walk off lunch with a treat for your eyes. See if you can spot some street art by local artist, Yoyo Ferro, then pop into The City Muse to see the latest art exhibition.

 

4pm

Now, it’s time for a Historic Homes Tour. College Park boasts the 4th Largest Historic Neighborhood of Homes in Georgia, and you won’t be disappointed by the stunning architecture.

 

 

6pm

Seeing beautiful southern homes can work up an appetite, but Urban Foodie Feed Store has the comfort food to satisfy. Head there for supper and your stomach will thank you.

 

8pm

There’s still time for one more spot! End the night at Duck Club Speakeasy. You’ll find the secret entrance in the alleyway on the northside of Ronaldo’s Resto Bar. Look for a silhouette of a duck and you’ll find the door. Once inside, order a classic cocktail from the friendly bartenders and take in the rustic-chic space.

 

Once you check off all the spots, let us know what you thought! Tweet us @TheGICC.

 

 

Which GICC Campus Hotel is Best For You?

You’ve already made a great decision in choosing the Georgia International Convention Center (The GICC) for your event. Now, let’s select your group’s accommodations. There’s no more accessible option than to house attendees right on our campus. Aside from being extremely convenient by eliminating the need for a rental car or alternative means of transportation, each property on our campus offers a different benefit for your group – which can make it hard to choose!

 

Luckily for you, we’re here to help you decide which hotel is best suited for your time at the GICC!

 

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The Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway is the most accessible hotel from Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport. A free ATL SkyTrain ride from baggage claim will have you at the doors of this property in less than 5 minutes. After a long day of meetings at the GICC, you can choose to unwind in the salt water pool underneath the solarium or take advantage of the fitness center. For those with extra business to handle outside of the GICC, the Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway has 21 breakout rooms and 12 event rooms at your convenience.

 

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Located directly across the GICC, the SpringHill Suites Atlanta Airport Gateway offers a complimentary breakfast and hot breakfast buffet. The suite-style rooms with separate living and sleeping areas are perfect for lounging before and after events. If you’re in need of some relaxation, there’s an indoor pool sparing you from the elements and providing a nice place of solace. Not planning to leave the hotel and explore? You’ll enjoy the complimentary Wi-Fi and premium cable channels from the comfort of your bed.

 

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The 204 room Renaissance Atlanta Airport Gateway Hotel is a short ATL SkyTrain ride away from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The Renaissance can be a treat for both meeting planners and guests with its 6,000 square feet of meeting and event space and the highly fashionable Hickory and Hazel Southern Table and Bar. The 3,400 square foot Tango Ballroom is the perfect place to hold an upscale event such as a gala or wedding. In addition to being ultra posh and stylish, the Renaissance Atlanta Airport Gateway also offers a 24/7 gym for those that can’t let a day go by without breaking a sweat.

 

 

For more tips on making the most out of your time at the GICC, follow us on Twitter at @TheGICC!

Why Attendees Should Race to Solís Two Porsche Drive

There are numerous reasons why the Georgia International Convention Center (the GICC) is in a prime location for a successful meeting, but did you know that it is only five quick miles away from one of Atlanta’s newest luxury hotel?

 

You’ll “wheely” want to read on and find out what makes Solís Two Porsche Drive a stellar destination for all visiting the Atlanta area – including GICC attendees!

Drive a part of history:
Solís Two Porsche Drive is the first Solís Hotels and Resorts property in the U.S.

Bringing European elegance to the South, Solís Two Porsche Drive places our neighborhood in the big leagues of international travel. Attendees will want to experience this piece of history when changing gears from work to post-event exploration.

Appreciate European design:
Every guest room features motorsports-inspired interior design

There’s an undeniable uniqueness to the hotel’s interior design, and that’s because it is auto-inspired with high-performance amenities, such as European-inspired beds. These guest rooms are a welcome and sleek post-meeting retreat for those parking for the night.

Fuel up over spectacular views:
Apron and Overdrive Lounge bring more to the table than delicious bites and sips

 

Apron’s laid back outdoor patio space sets the scene for guests to dine on inspired Mediterranean dishes. Panoramic views of the Porsche Experience Center driver development track and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport fly high above Apron’s patio at eighth-floor Overdrive Lounge, where guests sip on hand-crafted cocktails while enjoying live entertainment.

 

What do you want to experience most at @Solis2PorscheDr? Tweet us at @TheGICC!

 

 

3 Things that Take Longer than Getting to the GICC from Atlanta Airport

One of the best things about meeting at the Georgia International Convention Center? It onlytakes a few minutes to arrive from Hartsfield-Jackson. To make our point, these are just a few things that take longer than getting to our campus from the airport.

ATL

Your Morning Routine

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. For most people, it may take them longer getting ready for the day than it takes getting to The GICC from the Atlanta Airport.

Event Registration

Sure, technology has come a long way in terms of expediting the registration process for meetings and events. Unless you have your browser set to pre fill fields with your information and credit card information stored, registering for an event will take you longer than the ride to the GICC.

Parking

Especially during big events, Convention Center parking lots can be hard to navigate. It’s likely you’ll walk through the GICC’s doors thanks to the ATL SkyTrain before you can find a place to park your car (don’t even get us started on traffic!).

Whether you’re an Atlanta local or flying in from afar, traveling to the GICC via the SkyTrain is one of the most convenient options. See how easy it is:

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4 Budget-Friendly Event Planning Ideas

Let’s face it. Some events have bigger budgets than others. While most people believe that with unlimited funds you can potentially move mountains, it does not mean that events with smaller budgets are going to be less impactful and successful. Below are some ways to help you make a strong impression with a tight budget:

Budget-Friendly Event Planning Ideas

  1. Less is more
    When it comes to decorations, event planners tend to take on a “sky’s the limit” attitude, even when they don’t mean to. Luckily for you (and your budget), minimalism is a popular trend. Keep décor simple and, more importantly, logical. A good rule of thumb is to imagine everything and then scale it back times 10. Another area to cut down: SWAG bags. Instead of spending money on several chotchkies, consider one popular, local item that relates to the brand or the culture of the host city. A sponsor might even donate pieces for the exposure.
  2. Negotiate
    This seems like a no-brainer, but people often get shy about negotiating with venues, caterers and rental companies. Don’t be. Most businesses actually anticipate you to negotiate. Additionally, there are more venues than companies having events, so feel free to negotiate as hard as you feel comfortable. Remember, the worst they can say is “no.”
  3. Location is everything
    When choosing a venue, consider its location not only for overall cost, but also factors such as transportation logistics and lodging. Look for event venues that offer a walkable, centralized location, free shuttle service for your guests, or spaces that are convenient to public transportation. If hosting out-of-state visitors, use a venue with onsite hotels to save on extraneous transportation costs. Campus hotels may even offer exclusive incentive deals to groups meeting onsite.
  4. Go digital
    In the age of smartphones, investing in a mobile optimized website, event app and email marketing service is the way to go. Each can be used year-after-year and allow you to save on printing costs. Also, since most venues have screens throughout the space, lose the individual event programs and display them on the monitors. Your bank account and the environment will thank you.

Need more budget-friendly tips? Tweet us at @TheGICC.

Top 4 Tips for Avoiding Event Planning Mistakes

Our job at The Georgia International Convention Center is to keep your event running as smoothly as possible while allowing your guests to have the time of their lives. You can prevent an event disaster and avoid the most common event planning mistakes by following the helpful tips below.

Avoiding Event Planning Mistakes

  1. Don’t Do It All Yourself
    Event planning shouldn’t be a one-man job. Whether you ask an intern to help with tedious tasks or you recruit your team for full support, you’ll need to assistance to keep the planning in motion. Feel swamped? Let us take some off your plate! The GICC’s employees are talented in a wide range of event planning skills including catering, tech, design and more.
  2. Promote, Promote, Promote
    “If you build it, they will come” does not apply to event planning. To ensure guest attendance, promote your event far in advance for ample planning time. Utilize your social media accounts, send an invite via your newsletter system, even use your attendees to spread the word. We recommend promoting your event at least 6-9 months before the opening week, with more frequent event updates leading up to the registration deadline.
  3. Make It Fun for Attendees
    The easiest way to make your event more attractive is to make it fun. Include a variety of activities in the schedule, including helpful and informative sessions, offsite social activities and plenty of networking. Incorporating un-related activities like a yoga break or a brief stand-up comedy show will allow attendees to make the most of the event and go home happy and fulfilled.
  4. Expect the Best, but Plan for the Worst
    Sometimes mistakes are inevitable. With large (or even small) events, there are many things that can go wrong. The only way to assuage their affects is to think ahead and plan for the solution. Make a list of all of the things that could go wrong, then pair that list with ways to combat the aftereffects.

How did you rebound after a meeting planning mistake? Tweet us at @TheGICC.

4 Ideas to Keep Attendees Engaged During Your Event

Your meeting or event is not a success without attendees who are both interested and focused on your sessions. Attendees’ excitement and willingness to engage is one of the top factors in making your event worthwhile. Make sure your event is a success with these ideas to keep attendees engaged during your event.

Keep Attendees Engaged

Attendees’ excitement and willingness to engage is one of the top factors in making your event worthwhile. Make sure your event is a success with these ideas to keep attendees engaged during your event.

Play a Game For events spanning multiple days, organize a group-wide game or challenge to keep all guests involved and working towards one single goal for the complete time period. This could be a daily scavenger hunt, a point system for attending the most sessions or a trivia game that creates questions from the event content. If the prize is worthwhile, the audience will want to be involved.

Involve the Audience If you are hosting smaller sessions including breakouts or small group meetings, be sure to create an interactive atmosphere. An easy way to do this is to encourage audience participation by bringing audience members onstage for interactive presentations or to simply incorporate polls, in which users can vote by tweeting or texting. Offering hands-on activities like virtual reality experiences is a very innovative way to keep attendees excited and engaged.

Surprise and Delight Make sure your guests know how grateful you are for their attendance. Whether you shower them with special gifts upon check-in or hand out giveaway prizes for checked-in attendees throughout your event, exclusive gifts given to those who chose to attend will brighten days and encourage guest to stick around. They may even become advocates for recurring events like annual conferences!

Host New and Exciting Experiences The easiest way to keep attendees engaged is to offer new and exciting experiences they cannot discover anywhere else. These can be exclusive product launches, a behind-the-scenes look at a popular item or a personal experience with a celebrity or popular industry personality.

Have more questions about our space? Tweet us at @TheGICC.

5 Things You Didn’t Know about The GICC

If you’re in the market for a location for your next group event in Atlanta, you’ve found it. The Georgia International Convention Center is a special event space with a top-notch staff, easy accessibility and plenty of space to host your small board meeting or large convention and anything in between. Just how special is it? Keep reading to learn 5 new facts you didn’t know about The GICC.

The GICC

The GICC is the second largest convention center and one of the newest in Georgia. Opening in 2009, it is second in size only to the Georgia World Congress Center. The facility is 400,000 total square feet with modern décor, services and unique components including top-level security, state-of-the-art audiovisual services and flexible spaces for every type of event.

Despite coming in second place for the largest overall square footage, The GICC is home to Georgia’s largest ballroom. Coming in at 40,000 square feet of open, spacious and modern design, the ballroom has been host to a variety of events from religious conventions to extravagant holiday parties – even a life-size game show set!

How ever will you feed all of these attendees? CulinAero of course! CulinAero provides full-service, onsite catering with the capacity to serve 4,000 meals at one time. The Executive Chef, General Manager, catering staff and wait staff will ensure that no guest goes hungry at The GICC. Whether it’s a casual breakfast bar or an executive 5-course meal, each menu can be tailored to fit your event’s needs.

Have no fear of finding a place for your guests to rest. The GICC’s campus is home to two onsite Marriott-brand hotels that offer the quickest commute to and from sessions. These hotels also offer dining options, fitness facilities and indoor pools just steps away from planned festivities at The GICC.

Speaking of quick commutes, The GICC is proud to be the world’s only convention center directly connected to the airport. The ATL SkyTrain picks travelers up at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and sends them over directly to The GICC – all within 2 minutes. That’s quicker than it takes to call a taxi, and best of all it’s free.

Knowing what you know now about The GICC, are you ready to bring your group?

Have more questions about our space? Tweet us at @TheGICC.

5 One-of-a-Kind Events Held at The GICC in 2015

The Georgia International Convention Center is host to a wide variety of events from national conferences to small board meetings and everything in between. Not only does the space decorate well for large exhibitions, but it also makes an excellent backdrop for movie sets and parties. Take a look back at all of the spectacular events held at The GICC in 2015:

Meet College Park Annual Meeting

The Meet College Park Annual Meeting celebrated a successful year for College Park and East Point, Georgia meetings, tourism and visitation. Guests were treated to delicious dining from The GICC’s very own onsite catering, CulinAero, for breakfast goods and snacks.

One-of-a-Kind Events

JAINA Convention

The 2015 JAINA Convention showed The GICC what peaceful extravagance is all about. The weekend convention hosted spiritual development for those in the Jain community in addition to sessions on heath and well-being, social and ecological issues. The center was transformed into a makeshift temple complete with cultural dancing, awards and even yoga.

 One-of-a-Kind Events

Sleepless Night

The stars aligned in College Park for an exciting Hollywood production. The all new, not yet released, remake of Sleepless Night, starring Jamie Foxx, Gabrielle Union and Michelle Monaghan, made a stop in the GICC’s kitchen to film an intense fight scene. Jamie Foxx was onsite for filming, joking with employees and staff alike. The feature film will be released in theaters later this year.

One-of-a-Kind Events

Perfectly Posh Escape to Atlanta

A girl’s trip is not complete without a bit of pampering. Perfectly Posh Escape to Atlanta brought the whole gal group down south for pampering, games and more girly fun. Decorated as a casual hangout, complete with bean bags, this product sales convention brought the girly pink sleepover vibe to the usually business-oriented convention center!

 One-of-a-Kind Events

Delta Leadership 2015

One way to keep your attendees’ attention is to get them right in on the action. Delta did just that at their Delta Leadership 2015 event by bringing attendees up on stage to participate in a Family Feud-style team building exercise. You’ve seen how The GICC easily converts to a movie set, now see how it hosts a TV game show set!

One-of-a-Kind Events

3 Trade Show Secrets for Success

Trade shows can be exhausting, but with the right strategy they can also be extremely successful for your brand. Success depends largely on your preparation before the event including reaching out to attendees on social media, preparing an exclusive look at a new product or service and planning to host a session or show event. Want to know more? Keep reading to ensure your next trade show attendance is beneficial for the success of your company.

Connect On Social Media

Trade Show FloorIt is important to have a social media presence at the trade show before, during and after the event. Begin posting about the event well in advance using the established hashtag, getting attendees and speakers familiar with and excited about your brand. During the event, encourage attendees to interact with your event posts or publish their own social posts about your brand. An excellent way to promote social conversation at your trade show is to have a social activation at your booth. Be sure to interact with attendees who have visited your booth and reach out to those using the event hashtag who have not yet stopped by. After the show ends, continue socializing with engaged attendees to build relationships and loyalty.

Give Attendees Something They’ve Never Seen

Whether it’s a new product or service you’re releasing, give trade show attendees an exclusive look into your newest offering. Not only will it draw attendance at your booth, but it will also create buzz on social media, thus driving more outside engagement with your brand. If you’re unable to debut a new product, give a behind-the-scenes look at your process to deliver a unique experience to attendees.

Host a Breakout Session or Event

The easiest way to build brand awareness is to host or sponsor an event such as a welcome party or happy hour. Another effective way to build awareness and recognition is to sign up to be a guest speaker or panel member for a breakout session. In both of these situations, you’ll be able to assert your expertise and direct attendees to your booth for post-session questions and conversations.

With a bit of pre-event planning and stepping outside of the box, you’re bound to have a successful trade show using the tips highlighted above.

Which of these tips have you tried? Tweet us your recommendations at @TheGICC!