Enjoy A Little Local Flavoring!

When attending conferences, one of the things I always enjoy is getting out and sampling some of the area restaurants. I’m thinking Fred’s Mexican Cafe in Old Town San Diego, Guadelupe Cafe in Santa Fe, numerous places on the Riverwalk in San Antonio to name just a few. Chain restaurants don’t count. You can do that back home. I’m talking places the locals love to go!

With this mind, I thought it would be interesting to ask our Ridgecrest sales team where they enjoy going to eat in and around Asheville. Here’s what they came back with:

  • Tupelo Honey Cafe – How can you go wrong when their website tagline says, “New South Flavors. Scratch-made Fun.”? Must admit I have never tried this place, but definitely have it on my list for later this spring.
  • Corner Kitchen – Housed in an historic Victorian house located in Biltmore Village, this is a favorite with locals and out of town guests.
  • Moose Cafe – Located on the grounds of the Western North Carolina Farmer’s Market and featured in Southern Living for their homemade “cathead” biscuits and applebutter. Need I say more?
  • My Father’s Pizza – A Black Mountain tradition that is well known to Ridgecrest guests. My favorite is the white garlic, roasted chicken pizza!
  • Red Rocker Inn – Another Black Mountain favorite. This historic B&B offers a great dining experience and you will definitely want to save room for their killer desserts!

What about you? What are some of the local restaurants you’ve enjoyed when attending a conference?

8 Quick Tips For Creating A Successful Event

Retreats and meetings matter.  Whether you are booking a staff retreat or your organization’s annual conference, remember these 8 quick tips to help you create a successful event:

  1. Pick a destination where your attendees WANT to go. While you would hope they want to attend because you’ve planned a great agenda, it doesn’t hurt to hold the meeting in a location where people want to go.
  2. Create a sense of anticipation. Help them see this is a retreat or conference they simply don’t want to miss.
  3. Enhance your evening gathering by creating a theme to provide a unique experience. Try to give them something they will remember when they get home.
  4. Build a little free time in the schedule. Hopefully you’ve chosen an interesting location so be sure to give them some time to enjoy the local area. It amazes me how some groups that come to Ridgecrest don’t allow time for their folks to enjoy all the areas of Asheville and Black Mountain have to offer.
  5. Use technology to your advantage. Look for ways to provide information and allow registration via technology. Many of your attendees are packing smart phones and want to use them. Let ’em!
  6. Don’t plan every meal. Give your attendees some private time and opportunity to check out the local dining scene. It will save you money too!
  7. Give attendees easy to read information. Be sure to tell them the who, what, where, when and how.
  8. Offer a variety of activities to better meet the varied interests of your attendees. Not everyone enjoys a screaming run down the zip line!

What about you? What are some tips that have worked for you? Please feel free to share them with our readers. Thanks!