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, Proof of the Pudding @ GICC, 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 Proof of the Pudding @ GICC can develop custom menus specific to your event.

More questions? 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.

How to Elevate the VIP Experience

Give it all you’ve got at the GICC. Make the most of your VIP guests’ experiences at your next event with these tips.

Car Rentals
Have their ride ready to go. Did you know the GICC is connected directly to the Atlanta airport and the Rental Car Center? If your VIPs request a specific transportation option, we can help.

Hospitality Check
Hotel staff matters. You won’t always be around to cater to your guests, so make sure the hotel staff is available for assistance. Our on-site hotels, Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway and SpringHill Suites Atlanta Airport Gateway, offer 24-hour front desk support.

Selected Seating
For all your sessions and events, make sure your VIP guests get the best rows in the house. Show them special treatment by reserving the seats with their names.

A Reserved Reception
Incorporate exclusive time for VIP guests to mingle with one another. Keep the guest list small, but don’t forget to invite other speakers or special conference guests. This could be a special breakfast, or cocktail hour.

Designate a spot to Recharge
Rope off an area of the venue for some quiet and working time away from the rush of the event. This will give your VIPs some time to digest sessions and also catch on any urgent tasks.

Have a new idea to share? Tweet us at @TheGICC.

The Basics of Promoting Your Event on Social Media

You’ve been busy planning, organizing, working with the caterers, solidifying last minute details, and everything is in place for your big event. Time to tackle the biggest challenge: the attendee list. What’s the best way to get the word around and ensure the right people actually show up? If you’re organizing an event open to the public, social media is a no-brainer. If you’re targeting a niche audience, your chances of reaching them on social media are even better with the right strategy. Lucky for you, we’ve got some tips.


Create a Facebook Event

Make sure to have a Facebook event set up. This is a great way to promote and attract your target audience. Be sure to visit our GICC Facebook page to explore other events we’ve hosted at our venue for more ideas. If you want to reach a specific audience, try Facebook ads. Even a small budget can go a long way and you can very specifically target audiences with specific interests and locations.




These days, it’s all about the photo opp. Take pre-event pictures and share them on your Instagram account. This will excite guests and show them what they might expect before they even arrive. Don’t forget to snap pictures throughout the event to share on Instagram Stories and Twitter for live updates encouraging others to do the same. Also, create a unique hashtag that can be used to promote your event so the public can follow the event in real-time. Follow us for some inspiration.



Tweet It

Keep the conversation going leading up to the event, during the event and even after your event. Share registration details, exciting activities and thank guests for coming. Make sure they leave with a positive experience online and offline. Don’t forget to use your hashtag. Take our feed as an example.


Warren Bond Photography


Did we miss something? Tweet us at @TheGICC.



Dishes (and Drinks) that Quell Sweltering Summer Days

Summer gets pretty heated at the Georgia International Convention Center. In the blistering heat of Georgia summer, there’s nothing more refreshing than dishes and drinks that cool us off.

Photo by Stefan Johnson on Unsplash


Here are a few of our favorite salad and sips pairings that will keep guests feeling refreshed and lively throughout your event.


Grilled Pear Salad with Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc pairs wonderfully with our Grilled Pear Salad. The zesty flavors and acidity of the grape mesh perfectly with the pungent, fatty flavors of the Sweet Grass Dairy bleu cheese and the lightness of the Baby Artisan lettuce mix tossed with caramelized pears, candied walnuts and honey vinaigrette drizzle.


Chopped Crispy Caesar Salad with Chardonnay
Creamy dressings like our roasted garlic Caesar dressing require a wine with a small amount of weight to stand up to the dressing’s fuller body. The Chopped Crispy Caesar Salad’s fresh romaine lettuce, vine-ripe tomatoes, shaved parmesan cheese and house-made croutons add to the overall crispness of this salad-sip duo.


Wedge Salad with Pinot Noir
For those on the red wine team, Pinot Noir is a silky, full-bodied wine that shines alongside this Mesclun mix with cucumbers, shredded cabbage, carrots, vine-ripe red, yellow tomatoes and avocado-ranch dressing. If you’re a fan of all foods rich and creamy, then is your salad.


For more on refreshing meal offerings, do peruse our menu! Every dish at the GICC is made using local and sustainably raised produce.

Top 3 Tips for Boosting Attendee Engagement at Meetings

  • Create dynamic networking spaces.

    Encourage attendees to engage with one another by designing a networking area that invites and excites attendees to commune (and communicate) in that space. You can do this by incorporating details that are personal to your event, like these innovative displays. Additionally, themed lounges are sure to create pre-event buzz between your attendees by adding a layer of entertainment to the experience.



  • Ensure that your content is not only relevant, but applicable.

    When putting together content for your meeting, you can never go wrong by going back to the basics: keeping content current, specific and usable. With educational breakdowns, you can make sure to keep content relevant while keeping key takeaways in mind, especially for newcomers. That way, your attendees are well-equipped to follow along and apply what they’ve learned.

  • Delight attendees with tech.

    Dazzling attendees doesn’t have to be difficult, just determine what types of impressive technology you’re able to utilize throughout your meeting. Examples included virtual and augmented reality, but can be as simple as upgrading your experience to a more digital experience overall.

    Now you’re ready to creating a better, more engaging experience for attendees! Interested in learning about how to reel attendees in through event decor? Read more here and follow us at @TheGICC for other helpful tips.