How to Add Local Touches to Event Receptions

Author: Convene Editors       

Local Theme for Events

Adding local touches to events can be as simple as incorporating the music or food influences of the destination, says PCMA Catalyst members. (fotografiecor/Adobe Stock)

PCMA’s Catalyst community offers members a platform to ask each other questions, share ideas, or, as the website says, “communicate and collaborate.” Each month Convene features some of the most popular topics in the forum. Here’s a sampling from a recent Catalyst discussion.

Revamping a Reception

“I could use some creative ideas for a reception in Los Angeles at the convention center — a theme [that incorporates the destination’s culture] for approximately 2,000 attendees,” Noreen Burke, CEM, director of business development at Corcoran Expositions Inc., wrote on the PCMA Catalyst forum. “I’m looking for both food and experience ideas. Have you created an experience that your attendees are still talking about?”


Considering the audience, of course, we created a game night experience through roulette wheels, etc. In New Orleans, we had a jazz event with musician silhouettes as decor, and foods representing the city. Since [you’ll be] in L.A., maybe a night of old Hollywood and ethnic foods representing the city? Best wishes and have fun creating this experience.

Tammy Kicker, meeting and exhibition professional


I hired a bunch of impersonators one year in Long Beach — it cost us about $3,000 or so to get five individuals: Joan Rivers, Jack Sparrow, Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, and Austin Powers. We did a red carpet with a step and repeat and had a photographer take pictures as folks arrived. After the major crush of arrivals, the lookalikes worked the crowd. People really loved it.

Germaine Lutman Schaefer, Senior Director Meetings, Heart Rhythm Society