Plan Your Event

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The Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center is the perfect location for guests and hosts alike.

With facilities including 14,000 square feet of ballroom space and an executive boardroom with additional classrooms available, the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center is more than a great alternative to downtown Atlanta.

The Conference Center has 10 versatile meeting rooms that can be configured for events from 2 to 1,400 attendees. We can host one large meeting or many small meetings or a combination of both.

If you are planning a trade show or corporate meeting, our Conference Center offers a range of services including audio visual services, wireless internet, video conferencing, laptop rentals and more. For weddings and social events, we offer flexible options to meet your needs.

Planning Resources

With the advancement of technology and the fast pace of business in today’s world, it’s easy to spurn traditional face-to-face meetings and opt for teleconferencing, email, and other informal means of communication. Many feel that sit down meetings are unproductive—either untimely, off task, boring, or expensive compared to the derived benefits—particularly when you consider meetings held off-site that require travel and lodgings. However, while they may be cost effective, computer mediated means of communication present their own disadvantages. The potential for outside distractions such as email, text messages, other work tasks and side conversations between coworkers is high.

When trying to decide how to hold a meeting, take into consideration what the objective of the meeting is. Face-to-face meetings are preferable when you are working in a group setting that requires coordination between the members, persuading people toward a particular view, or when you are dealing with issues that involve people’s attitudes or values. However, if urgent results are needed, the decisions to be reached are less important, consensus among the group is not a priority, or the main objective of the meeting is simply to communicate information, then a computer mediated mode of communication might serve the company best.

From a psychological perspective, face-to-face meetings have certain positive aspects over computers:

  • Members can engage in and observe verbal and nonverbal behavioral cues from others.
  • Meetings occur in real time, eliminating technical problems that can disrupt computer meetings.
  • Meetings provide much needed human contact that our digital lives are depriving us of.
  • Face-to-face meetings allow participants to develop relationships and contacts that will help them in future business dealings.
  • Members build transparency and trust among themselves in a way that is impossible over digital means due to its cold and informal nature.
  • Participants have the opportunity to evaluate and judge the integrity, competency, and skills of other members.
Collage of people at business meetings

From a business perspective, face-to-face meetings allow companies to:

  • Make better decisions
  • Bond teams together
  • Inspire team members
  • Bring out the best in employees
  • Achieve breakthrough thinking
  • Build stronger relationships

To make your business meeting more efficient:
Decide whether a meeting is necessary, and if so who will attend. The fewer the better when decision making is crucial. Next, define the objectives of the meeting and prepare an agenda. If there is a lot to cover, it might be more productive to distribute the agenda and any background material before the meeting so that participants are prepared. Make sure that the location is physically pleasing with good acoustics, air conditioning and a convenient location. Take care of any food requirements beforehand.

  • Reward your employees for a year of hard work: take time to give a “State of the Company” address, talk about your vision for the upcoming year, and remind staffers of their important role in the larger mission of the organization.
  • Foster a closer relationship within your team by utilizing teambuilding activities as part of the festivities.
  • For one day, bring the executives down to the employee level to hobnob—it can be a rewarding and inspiring experience for those with higher career ambitions.
  • Remember that not everyone in the community is equally blessed. Find some way to give back, whether it’s a volunteer project, adopting a family, or collecting toys for kids.

Things to Consider:

  • Whether or not to serve alcohol. Consider liability, time and location of the function, and appropriateness to the nature of your business. There is certainly a middle ground here if you are uncomfortable with this idea—offer one champagne cocktail to folks as they arrive, but leave it at that. This also cuts down on the inappropriate antics that can discolor an otherwise festive function.
  • Whether or not to include spouses. Doing so will of course raise the overall cost of the event, but if you are hosting the party outside of normal work hours, it will be expected.
  • Whether or not to include children. Bringing the entire family together for a holiday party is a big way to say thank you and acknowledge your employees input to your business—not for the work the employee does, but also for the time they are spending away from their families day in and day out to make your business successful.
Holiday Star

Employees may not want to take time out of their busy personal schedule at the holiday season, get a baby sitter, and dress up in a festive outfit just to go back to the office and hang out with the people they see every day. Rather than planning an evening function, go out to lunch. If you have a smaller company with less than 15 employees, you can get a reservation at a local restaurant. You might even consider arranging with them to provide a limited menu at a set price—thus eliminating your concerns about the unknown cost of the event, as well as helping the restaurant serve the group in a timelier manner. Consider looking for a facility with a semi-private room so you can play a game or exchange Secret Santa gifts before the food arrives.

If your company employs more folks, or if you are planning to include spouses and/or children, you will need to consider an outside venue. Look at country clubs, conference centers, and private event spaces. Shop early! There are a limited number of Fridays and Saturdays in December, so the desirable locations and dates will go fast. Consider the size of the location, parking, and whether they will have other events going on at the same time. Investigate their catering policies. Do they have their own catering operation, or can you work with a local restaurant or catering company to provide the food? What are the alcohol regulations, if you choose to offer it? Will they be decorated for the holidays, or do you need to provide your own décor? Can you create your own entertainment, or will you need to hire someone?