At GICC, Planners Are Happy Campers

Planners, next time you are trying to select the next convention center for your next event – of any type or size – here’s an idea, grab a cup of coffee and start reviewing the various online testimonials from any targeted facility’s website. Navigate from there and then consider the source, too, to see how a pleased client matches your own organization’s profile in terms of the type of event and its objectives. 

Recently, I did just that, floated around on the internet, and accidentally landed at That stands for the Georgia International Convention Center, in College Park. Otherwise known as GICC, the facility is Georgia’s second-largest convention center and it is uniquely positioned to offer its clients unprecedented convenience. What is particularly special about it is its location in that it is directly connected to a major international airport. The site says it’s the only one in the U.S. to be so positioned. The center’s mission also makes it special. For instance:  

Our modern facility embodies the grace and efficiency of flight itself. But what we are most proud of at the GICC is our staff. We consistently earn the highest ratings from event planners and their guests for service, support, and attitude. Whether you are hosting an event with us or attending a show here, we look forward to serving you at the GICC.

More than that, the GICC is part of The Gateway Center campus which includes the Gateway Center Arena, six hotels (two of which are newly constructed), a Class-A office building as well as a BMW Training Center, along with multiple dining options. One step further, all are connected by the ATL SkyTrain, a complimentary two-minute ride to and from the airport, and the Centralized Rental Car Center (Con-RAC.)

Wow, no wonder there were more than a handful of more-than-pleased meeting and event planners from various types of organizations. Happy campers you might say. Although names and affiliations are given online, I’ll respect their privacy here and just pull out some phraseology and comments that would seal the deal for me. Here’s goes:

One letter, apparently from an event planner’s first event with a new client, was down-to-earth and really personal so that tells me that by the time her meeting event had completed its purpose, everyone was still on “real good” terms. Well, that’s a deal-maker. This writer said things like “Everyone is still raving about the food…and the entire wait staff was so nice and helpful. And would you kindly thank the Chef for accommodating our extra headcount so quickly and far delivering such an amazing meal.” Extra headcount? That last sentence is very telling about the quality of staff at GICC. Congrats to them!

Another was a planner from a financial firm. He had a long-term association with the center, one that began in 2011 “when we held an all-day event on President’s Day to bring our employees together to discuss strategic priorities and recognize top performers,” it read. “After the success of that inaugural event, we made the meeting a permanent part of our business practices. We have returned to the GICC annually based on the quality of its facilities and convenient location.” Evidently, it was a match made in heaven as the writer also commented that the event had grown significantly in size and complexity through the years, “and the GICC enabled us to scale up and incorporate more sophisticated staging and audio-visual components. Of course, the main attraction for us is the professionalism and responsiveness of GICC’s staff. They consistently meet our expectations, including pre-event planning, catering, onsite support, and cost. We look forward to partnering with GICC in future years.” This event sounded like one of true complexity and, yet, the center held up its end big time with this client. Can it get better than that for a planner?

Still another letter, and there are many more, was a chairperson from an association who sentimentally recalled that way back in 2005, their technological conference was searching for a new venue to host its annual event and ultimately decided on the Georgia International Center. “Little did we know at the time the decision would result in a successful partnership that has now lasted nearly two decades,” he recalled. “We came to the GICC looking for a facility that had a great layout that could accommodate our growing conference. We got what we came for and so much more. The team at the GICC is dedicated to ensuring our success and eagerly meets with us to discuss plans for our yearly conference.” No doubt was a win-win situation for all.

Well, the testimonials roll on: happy campers one and all. Each testimony had its own special profile, specific requirements, and complexities but GICC proved its worth each and every time and continues to do so. I’d say the Georgia International Convention Center is pretty much a hard act to follow.

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