Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cool IACC Venue Tips: Themed Break Stations

Written by Purvi Bhatt of the R. David Thomas Executive Conference Center in Durham, NC

This is the first post in the series of "Cool Conference Center Tips." The series of short tips which will feature unique ideas (free) for you to take and implement at your own property.

IACC's Emerging Trends Committee, made up of young industry professionals under the age of 30 will be creating and producing the "Cool Conference Center Tips." Worried about using the ideas of others? The most creative people get their ideas from others and build upon them. So go ahead - enjoy these cool conference center tips and be as creative as possible!

When working with a planner and setting up break stations, conference center F&B should try and make them fun, festive, and creative. Memorial Day is coming up, see if the planner is okay with having a festive break station to go with the holiday. Then work with your team to create customized break menu items.

For instance, during Mardi Gras at the R. David Thomas Executive Conference Center, we put out Mardi Gras/New Orleans themed items like king cake, mini po’ boys and much more. On the flip side, conference centers could go the extra mile to personalize their clients' experience. Imagine,... would any of your clients appreciate seeing something specific to their organization? A company focusing on sustainability would value a break station set-up with eco-friendly products, such as recycled bamboo and greenery. Another great idea is a conference center could offer fun drinks in test tubes for a company in the chemical industry.

Want to share other cool conference center tips? Write us a comment!


  1. Excellent tip! I love the idea about serving drinks in test tubes, maybe even a little shot to get the reception started.

  2. Building on these themes. what if:
    The conference center partnered with local chefs, crafts people and others to concoct "souvenirs" - edible and otherwise that the attendees could be given by the meeting planning client and/or sold to reinforce the "only could have happened here" feeling that many people prize, especially those who attend alot of meetings. As a speaker who has presented at over 500 meetings including at IACC I was impressed with the extra moves your members are taking to upgrade from what is offered at other conference centers and think that this series may spark more ideas for further personalization ("mass customization" as it is sometimes called). The benefits of supporting attendees in taking something home are considerable in memory-building and in proffering the bragging rights that spur them to show and tell others who matter to them, and who may also need a place to meet in the future. Smartpartnering to make such souvenirs available can tie your center to the best the region has to offer, another lure for people to want to use your center and for locals to feel an allegiance to it... and such partnerships can make your souvenir unique and perhaps less expensive

  3. Sure looks like some tasty drinks! Would be great to have something like that for our upcoming sales meetings - thanks for the idea!