When Meetings Get Whimsical at The GICC

Our favorite events at the Georgia International Convention Center are those that add the fun to function space! Every meeting and event space in the GICC is dynamic and transformable, making it easy to keep up with the imagination of any planner. We’re sharing a few of the most whimsical events at the GICC.

 

Meeting in Wonderland

This Alice in Wonderland themed event was quite the tea party. Decorated with clocks, colorful floral arrangements and plenty of “Eat me/Drink me” messages, our own Mad Hatters turned the GICC ballroom into the dreamworld at the end of the rabbit hole.

 

 

 

Potions for Meeting Success

The GICC engineered an event for the Shepard’s Sandbox group. Equipped with beakers, test tubes, periodic tables and lab coats, the theme was a true experiment in immersive decor. We expected success and, from these photos, you can see that our hypothesis was proven correct.

 

 

Step right up to the GICC!

Nothing screams fun quite like a carnival. With 150,000 square feet of exhibition space to work with, we were able to recreate a carnival experience inside the GICC. Everything you’d expect from the festive fairgrounds to the games, all the way up to a fully operating chair swing, were considered for a winning event.

 

 


At the end of the day, having fun is the name of the game here at the Georgia International Convention Center, and watching our event spaces take on a new life for attendees never gets old. Follow us on Twitter at @TheGICC for more updates and photos from all the fun things happening at the GICC.

How to Excite your Attendees through Event Decor

Choosing the right decór is a surefire way to “wow” attendees and make their experience a memorable one. While event decór is often unprioritized, at the Georgia International Convention Center (GICC), creating a fully immersive event is always top of mind. Our experts have a few tips for how you can better utilize innovative decor to take your event to the next level.

 

Use a theme

Selecting a theme will help turn your event decorations into a larger part of the attendee experience by creating a mood and overall tone for the event. Make sure your theme is easily recognizable and that the decor you select fits within the determined theme. Many of the overlooked aspects of decór (e.g., plating, textiles, seating) come in sets, making for a more cohesive outcome.

 

Incorporate food displays

Food displays are known attention-grabbers. Attendees pay attention to the location of the food, regardless the type of event you’re hosting. Make the most out of these high-traffic areas through creative culinary displays. Tiered/elevated displays, props, colorful arrangements and flattering uses of lighting call all make your food displays pop to impress your guests.

 

Use color effectively

A key part of achieving decorating success is understanding color and how it works. Vibrant colors can be eye-catching, but not always effective or on-brand for your meeting. Certain colors are associated with specific moods or feelings. For example, red is associated with excitement while blue is associated with calmness. Monotone decorations can give off a clean and concise feel while paired complementary colors can cover a range of messages.

 

Decorate the entire space

Decorations should start at the point your attendees first interact with your venue. Make your impression early with an attention to detail and keep that same attention to detail for the entire journey any attendee may take throughout the venue. Attention to detail where it is not expected can have a very big impact.

 

Take advantage of venue support

At the GICC we have a wide array of services available to event planners to make the most out of their interior and exterior design ideas. Ranging from full audiovisual equipment rentals and support to gourmet onsite catering, our goal is to work with you to sure that your event is a success. Make an effort to work alongside your venue and use their expertise to benefit both you and your attendees. Venues may be able to achieve your vision with assets already on hand, saving you the time, money, and stress that comes with ordering decorations.

 

If you’d like more tips on making your event decorations stand out, tweet us at @TheGICC.

 

Ride through the District’s Transportation Treasures

Did you know that Atlanta has been the transportation hub of the Southeast for almost 200 years? While you’re here for your event, take time to explore some of our area’s rail and aviation icons! All aboard and buckle up for this quick tour of the District’s transportation treasures.

 

ATL SkyTrain

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The ATL SkyTrain is the MVP when it comes making the Georgia International Convention Center the most accessible meeting venue in the city. The ATL SkyTrain began operating in 2009 and instantly put the GICC within 2 minutes of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s baggage claim. How is this possible? The ATL SkyTrain is a fully automated people mover operating on a raised light rail and 1 out of only 4 Mitsubishi Crystal Mover vehicles in the U.S.!

 

 

Delta Flight Museum

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The Delta Flight Museum is a shrine to all things Delta Airlines. Here, you can find some of Delta’s most iconic passenger airliners, historic vehicles, and even a flight simulator. A special treat at the Delta Flight Museum is the presence of the famous Delta Ship 41, the company’s very first passenger plane and the only remaining Delta Douglas DC-3 in existence!

 

Hapeville Train Depot

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The Hapeville Train Depot Museum was once a bustling train hub. You could make the case that it was to the ATL District in the early 20th century what Hartsfield-Jackson is today. You can see various exhibitions of rail history highlighting the depot and Hapeville’s contribution to the U.S. rail system. The ticket booth and rail control switches are even still intact inside the depot.
Bonus: This year, the Hapeville Train Depot will also be the home to Hapeville’s Visitor Center! Pop in to learn about this city’s transportation history and plan the rest of your exploration.

 

Did you learn something new? Tweet us at @TheGICC!

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.