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How ATL’s Food Scene Drives Meeting Attendance

Chances are, you remember the best thing you ever ate and where you were when you ate it. Memorable culinary experiences drop little pins on our mind’s map, forever associating a place with its food. We know the connection between meal and memory, but what about appetite and attendance?

For meeting and event planners, Atlanta’s food scene isn’t just a memorable experience waiting to happen; it’s a strategic asset. The city’s diverse and sophisticated food and dining offerings can be a significant draw for potential attendees, even tipping the scales in favor of attendance.

Good food → good mood → good engagement – they are all connected. Atlanta’s food offerings are driving attendance and shaping experiences at conventions and meetings in unexpected ways.

Tapping into Culinary Capital

Atlanta is one of the most diverse culinary destinations, boasting a modern twist on traditional eats.

When you think of a city’s intellectual capital, your mind might not immediately wander to the aromas of a bustling kitchen or a globally inspired dish. But in Atlanta, intellectual capital and food are intertwined, giving attendees an experience beyond the conventional. Meeting planners are leveraging our culinary excellence by tying it into their events and offering experiences that can happen only in Atlanta.

A Taste of History

Organizing guided food tours to historic restaurants is a unique way to highlight the city’s role in the Civil Rights Movement. Tours at restaurants like Paschal’s Restaurant & Bar or Busy Bee Cafe could highlight how these establishments served as meeting grounds for activism and social change.

Savor-the-City Receptions and Experiences

Plan a reception with curated menus celebrating our city’s culinary styles and featuring dishes from different neighborhoods, cultures and restaurants. Arrange interactive cooking demonstrations or classes led by local chefs to showcase unique-to-Atlanta influences and techniques.

Urban Eco-Tourism

Arrange visits to urban farms like Aluma Farm on the Atlanta BeltLine or community gardens throughout Atlanta to create farm-to-table experiences and provide insights into the city’s sustainable food practices.

A Global Hub of Food Trends and Excellence

Recipients from our MICHELIN-recognized restaurants take center stage. (Photo by Zach Hilty / BFA.com)

Atlanta is a hub for global trends – courtesy of being one of the world’s most connected destinations – and that’s reflected in our evolving culinary landscape, from celebrity chef-driven hot spots to MICHELIN Star restaurants.

The Star Power of Atlanta Chefs

People will travel for exceptional food, especially when it involves dining at a celebrity chef-driven restaurant. Atlanta has more than its fair share of stars in the gastronomic world. Dining at a celebrity chef’s restaurant adds a touch of culinary glam.

MICHELIN Star Restaurants

If you’re looking to add a touch of culinary prestige to your meetings, let our MICHELIN Guide to ATL’s restaurants inspire your plans. Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the MICHELIN Guides, lauds Atlanta as a powerhouse, noting our city’s “long list of styles and flavors for foodies to enjoy.”

Savoring Luxury at Signia

Signia by Hilton Atlanta is the stunning new 976-room hotel that elevates Downtown’s meeting options and the district’s culinary cachet. Nestled in the heart of Georgia World Congress Center Authority’s championship campus, the property’s exceptional dining offerings include eight restaurants and bars with cuisines ranging from classic Italian to a sophisticated stop for classic drinks.

Food-Centric Meeting Experiences

The options are limitless at one of Atlanta’s many food halls, including the one at historic Ponce City Market.

Food Halls with Event Space

From food halls to workshops, our city’s experiences give attendees a true taste of Atlanta. There are several food halls in Atlanta’s unique neighborhoods, each with a variety of cuisines. Among these are food halls with event spaces that serve as communal hot spots and provide innovative event spaces – places like Krog Street Market, named “One of the World’s Best Food Halls” by Travel + Leisure magazine, or Chattahoochee Food Works, founded by “Bizarre Foods” host and James Beard Award-winning chef Andrew Zimmern and Robert Montwaid.

Always on the Menu: Business Lunches

Atlanta has some top business lunch restaurants for a midday meeting. You get the best of both worlds: great food and the right vibe for business. The casual sophistication of Alon’s Bakery & Market in Buckhead has the feel of a European market, serving freshly baked bread, pastries and gourmet sandwiches. With Buckhead and Downtown locations, Alma Cocina is a contemporary setting with creative Mexican and Latin American cuisine, perfect for a more energetic and culturally rich business lunch experience.

Team Building with Taste

Engaging chef instructors and hands-on workshops are popular touches you can add to an Atlanta team-building activity. Also, experiences centered around food, like scavenger hunts or competitions at locations such as Ponce City Market, give teams a chance to explore the different food stalls and vendors while learning about our city’s culinary entrepreneurship.

In Atlanta, food is more than sustenance – it’s a strategic tool for engagement, networking and cultural exploration. Incorporate our city’s vibrant food scene into your next event and watch as the appetite for attendance grows.

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