In a perfect world, cocktail hour at a conference or meeting is the place to network with colleagues and important people in your industry. Yet, it can also be fraught with awkward encounters and a low-energy vibe after a long day of breakout sessions and speakers. Read on for some ideas on how to liven up your cocktail hour, and leave a lasting impression on your attendees.
Shaken, Not Stirred
Work with event catering staff to create signature cocktails and mocktails that are on theme with your conference. Showcase an ingredient native to your organization's hometown.
Photo booths are a great way to engage your attendees and get them interacting with one another. Provide props to get people feeling festive. Most importantly, make sure everyone knows your event hashtag for sharing their fun photos on social media.
Battle of Wits
Test your attendees knowledge about your industry and the history of the city or venue hosting your event. Make sure they're in it to win it by offering great prizes - partner with a local restaurant for a gift card or go the extra mile with a small discount on registration for next year's event.
Mess-Free, Stress Free
After attending a full slate of conference sessions, your attendees will be faced with the delicate balance of eating while networking. Choose appetizers for your menu that won't leave them with sticky fingers or stains on their shirts as they try to make a good impression with their colleagues.
Change of Scenery
By the time cocktail hour arrives, your attendees might be tired of roaming the same halls. Break things up by moving to an offsite location that showcases the local flavor of your host town/city. Whether it's a cultural institution or popular hotspot, show your attendees why you chose this particular place to host your event.
Of course, the experienced staff at The Otesaga can help you plan an unforgettable cocktail hour for your next meeting. Whether your attendees marvel at the spectacular view from our veranda, or enjoy an offsite excursion at memorable locations like the Fenimore Art Museum or the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, your next meeting can take full advantage of everything Cooperstown has to offer.