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Welcome to the Gastonia Conference Center

Gastonia Conference Center is a symbol; a sign of the people of Gastonia, North Carolina on the move toward civic, economic, and environmental sustainability. Designed to pay homage to the surrounding architecture and heritage of the area, Gastonia Conference Center is the premier destination for local, regional, and state-wide conferences and events, from metro-Charlotte based corporate meetings, to state-wide conventions, to local and community events, to memorable weddings.

This cutting-edge, 30,000-square-foot technologically advanced and sustainably built conference center is designed to generate business and support the local Gastonia community. The Conference Center accommodates over 450 meeting attendees and 300 for a seated banquet function and features ten separate, purpose-built and distraction-free meeting rooms, event spaces and 5,100 square-foot ballroom. It has already gained recognition as the greater Charlotte region's foremost destination for events of all kinds.

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Vital Etiquette Tips for Building an Outstanding Reputation at Conferences

Most business professionals have to attend many conferences each year, but hardly anyone realizes that the way they behave at these events significantly affects their reputation. Here are some important etiquette tips that will help you maintain your stellar reputation while being an attendee or a speaker at conferences.

Your Appearance makes a Difference

The way you dress and look makes a major difference in the way other people perceive you. Some people like to blend with the crowd by choosing the typical business attire, while some people like to stand out and make bold statements with their choice of clothes. Wearing a t-shirt with a comical quote is not wrong but you could as well use your t-shirt attire to promote your business or build brand awareness. The important point to remember in choice of clothes is to be tasteful, and not to hurt the sentiments of other people attending the conference in any way. 

You do not want to be controversial for the most part.


Most popular conferences are held to almost full capacity, which means there are not many empty seats to go around. Hence, do not use the seat next to you to keep your bag or laptop. Taking up more than one chair is rude, so be considerate to people who are looking for a place to sit. If the seat next to you is unoccupied wave to someone, and let them know there is an empty seat if that is what they are looking for. You will be surprised how quickly you can make some friends with this technique.

There are many ways to network.

Cell Phone Usage

During the conference, turn the ringer off on your cell phone. Attendees are paying money to hear the speaker, and do not appreciate being disturbed with your ring tone. If possible, try to keep the time of the conference free so that you do not receive any calls. However, if you have to take a necessary call, it is best to leave the room, since you cannot speak quietly enough so that you will not be bothering others around you.

Respect the Speaker

The speaker is an expert and is paid for his or her time. After a session, the speaker may not be available to provide you with tips and solutions for your problems. He might be scheduled to attend another meeting or give another lecture, or he is in a hurry to go somewhere. You can ask a question to the speaker after the session, but make sure to keep it brief, and do not expect a lengthy consultation. You may not want to speak about a certain situation anyhow in front of so many people.  

If you want or can, certainly the speaker has business cards that are available so you can take one of them with you before you or they leave the conference. Or perhaps they offered their contact information during the speech which you could just write down or save using your smart phone. Wait a couple of days, give them a call, and you may be able to extract some poignant information from them.

They may even be flattered someone chose to call them.


Some Fun and Crazy Wedding Entertainment Ideas

If you want to add some fun, craziness and zing to your wedding reception, we have a couple of wedding entertainment ideas for you. Most of these entertainment ideas are not expensive, and can make a wedding reception full of fun and joy.
Choose some beautiful and unique wedding music for your wedding reception: Music and dance can make a reception beautiful, fun and memorable.  In addition, to the wedding music for your reception, it might be fun to hire a dance instructor to teach your guests the latest line dance.  Or if you have chosen a more classic music genre your guests might enjoy learning a ballroom dance such as a waltz, rumba, salsa or tango.  If dancing doesn’t suit, you can plan a sing along, where the guests get to sing for the bride and the groom. Where there is music, dance and song, the party cannot be anything but fun.
Unleash the kid in you: Obviously, some children will attend your wedding reception along with their parents. So, use your imagination and arrange for a game room to keep them entertained. The game room could contain video games, a ping pong table, air hockey and maybe a popcorn machine. Adults might also find it fun to participate and unleash the kid in them. It is an entertaining idea which would be liked by both children and adults.
A photo booth with party props: A photo booth creates electricity among your guests and generates the energy to make your reception remarkable.  To encourage your guests to take more photos, use party props, a variety of hats, goofy glasses, masks, boas, beads and more!  You will capture the serious, silly and candid moments a photographer might not be able to catch.  So, let the photo booth help you create a unique way to capture very special memories of your wedding reception for both you and your guests.
A DJ, of course: The right wedding DJ can provide a lot of fun and entertainment for your wedding reception party. It’s more than just playing music, your DJ, working with your other vendors, is responsible for coordinating the timeline and flow of events.  He or she should be someone you like and trust, someone who can help manage the guests as well as be experienced at playing the right song at just the right time.   
Arrange dessert trucks to treat your guests: What’s nice about a dessert truck is that many of them are wagons that you can even have indoors!  After a night of celebrating, dining and dancing, why not treat your wedding guests to more that the wedding cake?Your wedding caterer can provide decadent sweets served from a dessert wagon or you could have a dessert truck pull up and serve them some heavenly confections as they leave the party. Either way everyone will love it!  
You can definitely consider these 5 fun and crazy wedding entertainment ideas to make your wedding reception party full of joy and laughter. READMORE

Tips for Alcohol Service at Your Wedding

A festive celebration may include an offering of alcohol for your guests. If you decide to make beer, wine and/or cocktails available there are several things to consider when planning your reception and deciding on the type of service.There are so many options for serving alcohol at your wedding reception it can be difficult to know what to do. The most important part of your decision making process is understanding your options:

The Toast
The toast is a traditional part of many receptions in which families and friends take a moment to speak a few words of support, love and encouragement to the bride and groom. The moment is often punctuated with a cheers and a celebratory two ounce pour of either champagne or sparkling grape juice.

Table-Side Wine Service
If you are having a sit down plated dinner for your reception then you may consider also providing table-side wine service for your guests. The Chef or caterer for your event can recommend a good wine to compliment your menu. Red wines are often served with Beef while white wines are served with dishes such as chicken and fish. Select the best wines you can afford so that they complement the dishes you serve. Providingyour guests with captivating entertainment and delectable food decreases the amount of alcohol your guests will consume.

Bar Service
A nice glass of wine, a cold crisp beer, or a stout cocktail helps your guest to relax and enjoy themselves while four or more drinks without food can lead to simple, messy inebriation. Choose the type of bar service for your reception around your guests’preferenceswhile being mindful of their normal habits and limitations. For example if your group of friends prefer craft beers then think about a Beer and Wine Bar featuring craft beers. If your mother’s side of the family has quite a few recovering alcoholics perhaps you should forgo the bar experience and offer coffee and tea to make certain all of your guests are comfortable.

Cash Bar vs. Open Bar
A Cash Bar is bar service in which each guest pays for their own beverage of choice at the time of ordering. A cash bar is a very effective way to reduce your expenses for the reception.

An Open Bar is bar service in which the guests’ beverages are complementary as a party favor for attending. Open Bars are charged to the event host in one of two ways. The host may choose a flat per person rate or the host may choose to pay after the event on a consumption basis for only what is ordered. If you have a heavy drinking crowd you may consider the host bar while a light drinking crowd would better serve your bottom line with the consumption based bar.

Brides will often consider a combination of Host Bar and Cash Bar. A host bar may be offered for the first hour or two after which the bar turns into a Cash Bar. This way guests don’t feel slighted and the final bill is somewhat controllable.

Focus on Lively Entertainment and Excellent Food
It is possible to have a magnificent time without allowing the alcohol to take center stage. Choose your entertainment options wisely, so that everyone is involved in the celebrations, nobody feels the urge to drink continuously, and your guests feel compelled to stay until the end. Consider options such as slide shows, a photo booth, a live band, special dances, special shows by different artists, and so on. The point is to keep your guests engaged and having a great time.

The Gastonia Conference Center has a full alcohol permit. Please see our Bar Packages with pricing to help plan your reception budget at the Gastonia Conference Center.


Helpful tips for a summer wedding

Whether indoors or outside, May through August is the number one most popular time of year to get married.  Summer weddings are full of sunshine and warmth, so take full advantage of the season and all it has to offer.  Here are a few tips we hope prove helpful when planning your summer wedding.

1.      Save-the-date: The summer season is a prime time for vacations, especially for families with school-age children.  Be sure to send out a save-the-date announcement well in advance, so that friends and family can get your wedding marked on their calendars.

2.      Summer wedding attire: Strapless and sleeveless wedding gowns are perfect for the bride who chooses to marry in the warm days of May, June, July or August.  Look to light fabrics such as linen, chiffon, crepe, organdy, georgette or other light weight silks, and do not add to much bulk.  To really evoke the season, consider a brightly colored dress or short floral cocktail dress for your bridesmaids.  The groomsmen can go for the very classic navy blazer and khaki slacks or a beautiful linen suit.

3.      A summer menu: Fill your wedding menu with fresh fruits and vegetables such as berries, pineapple, melon, lettuces, tomatoes and other seasonal favorites.  An elegant summer wedding menu could include an array of fresh seafood, including lobster and shrimp.  Serve granitas and sorbets between courses, or as an additional dessert.  A more casual fare could include barbecue and traditional outdoor picnic foods. Celebrate the bounty of the season.

4.    Summer flowers: How can you go wrong using the abundance of seasonal summer flowers at your wedding?  There are so many varieties readily available in the summer that you may find it hard to limit your choices.  Whether indoors or outside you can fill your wedding venue with bright, colorful flowers such as gerber daisies, sunflowers, dahlias, calla lilies, zinnias or bright purple dendrobium orchids.   


Makeup tips for a beautiful bride

Every bride wants to look her best on her wedding day. Apart from buying the perfect wedding dress, shoes and accessories, the bride also wants her make-up to be perfect. Here are some beauty tips to help you look stunning on the day of your wedding:

1.      It all starts with your skin: A healthy, firm and illuminate complexion offers the best base for any makeup.  If you haven’t had a regular skin-care regimen, then start one several months before your wedding day. There are many skin care products on the market and most likely you have your favorites, we suggest that you stop any extraction processes a month before.  Nothing is more beautiful than a radiant bride and it starts with hydrated, healthy skin.   

2.      Don’t forget your smile: When you smile for the camera, you’ll want bright white teeth too!  Use a whitener for the weeks leading up to your big day and pass on dark, stain-inducing drinks such as coffee, red wine and soda. 

3.      Schedule a trial run (or two): Thinking you will do your own makeup on your wedding day?  Great, but many brides prefer to bring in a pro.  If you decide to use a professional, choose one who understands your style, but either way, it is good to do at least one trial run several weeks before the big day.  It will make you feel better about achieving the look your perfect look. 

4.      Please don’t cry: It’s quite normal for a bride to cry on her wedding day, after all it is a very happy and emotional time.  As we all know, crying can cause eye makeup to run and smear, making you look less than perfect.  To avoid this use waterproof mascara, eye shadow and liner, it will ensure that your eye makeup stays in place and you are picture perfect all day!

5.      Kiss-proof lipstick, gloss or stain: For perfect lips choose a creamy full-coverage lipstick, stain or gloss that will keep your lips drenched in color and super moisturized with no chance of bleeding or transferring.  Just a suggestion about you choice of lip color, keep it neutral and one look that never fails is radiant skin, rosy cheeks and pink or translucent lips.  Your lips will look luscious and your wedding photos will be timeless. 

6.      Have a touch up makeup kit: Your wedding day will be filled with smiles, champagne toasts, happy tears and mucho kisses, so even the most well-applied makeup is bound to need a touch up.  It is a great idea to keep a touch up kit with you to ensure that you look great throughout the day.  Your kit essentials could include blush, translucent powder, lipstick or gloss, cotton swabs, tissues and hairspray. 

7.      Relax and smile: A bride who is relaxed and confident is ever smiling and looks beautifully radiant always. So, relax and enjoy your wedding day!

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145 S Marietta St
Gastonia, NC 28052
704 / 869 1949
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