NextME's Guide: Top 10 Brunch Spots in Atlanta

Top 10 Brunch Spots in Atlanta

The city of Atlanta takes brunch seriously. So seriously, in fact, they’ve even rewritten local laws around this delightful weekend gastro feast. It’s no wonder then that there are so many amazing options for fun and fantastic brunching throughout the metro Atlanta area! But what if you’re looking for something beyond the usual eggs and pancakes menu? We’ve got the scoop of some of the most interesting and unusual brunch spots from all across the Gate City.

Vietnamese Brunch from at Bonton

Photo Courtesy of Atlanta Magazine

Looking for a bit of funky Asian flavor with your brunch favorites? One of our favorite international brunch spots in Atlanta metro is Bonton on Myrtle Street. Known for their blend of Vietnamese street foods and Cajun seafood boils, this unassuming pink brick building has a delightfully quirky brunch menu. You can get brunch classics with a twist, like the Lafayette Breakfast Sandwich, the Vietnamese Omelet Bahn Mi, or Pancake Banh Xeo. Or pick any of the fabulous dishes from the dinner menu and add an egg for just $2. And don’t forget the mimosas, bloodys, and other boozy breakfast drinks!

Jewish Deli Brunch at The General Muir

Photo Courtesy of Eater Atlanta

The General Muir is a classic New York-style Jewish deli located in Emory Point. Their brunch offerings include several open-faced bagel selections along with plates like their pastrami and egg sandwich or the delightful smoked hash with crisped pastrami and caramelized onions. All of their bread and baked goods come from their own bakery, TGM Bread, located next door. And they have some of the most delish classic Jewish delights like matzo ball soup and latkes served with applesauce and sour cream.

Country Diner Brunch at HomeGrown

Photo Courtesy of Thrillist

If you’re in the mood for an incredibly unpretentious brunch, Home Grown Georgia is your go-to brunch spot. Inexpensive, locally grown comfort foods abound at this super low-key eatery. They grow some of their produce on-site, and source the rest as locally as possible. In fact, they invite you to take a wander through the garden, as long as you stay on the paths. You absolutely must try their signature Comfy Chicken Biscuit, and their enormous pancakes are enough to fill any appetite.

Outdoorsy Brunch at Ladybird

Photo Courtesy of Ladybird

When you’re in the mood for some delish brunch alfresco, Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall in Atlanta's historic Old Fourth Ward is your perfect brunch spot. Their menu is an imaginative offering of what they call “elevated campfire cuisine.” Standards like their biscuits with sausage gravy and shrimp-n-grits are plied alongside more unique options like grilled romaine with poached egg, or their Base Camp boards designed to share. Wash it all down with a Redneck Mimosa or Ladybird Bloody Mary, and afterward take a stroll along the beltline, it’s certainly close enough!

French Market Brunch at Le Petit Marché

Photo Courtesy of Le Petit Marché

Le Petit Marché literally translates to “the little market” and it’s absolutely the perfect name for this brunch spot in Kirkwood. Their french toast sandwich is legendary among the regulars, and the cheese grits or chicken sausage are also favorites. Best of all, everything is market fresh and they’re known for their friendly service and homey vibe. They even pass a guest book around the restaurant so you can leave your comments and read the stories of those who’ve dined before you. If the weather is good, opt for a seat on the patio, and now and then brunch is accompanied by live music.

Gourmet Brunch at One Eared Stag

Photo Courtesy of One Eared Stag

No listing of the top brunch spots in Atlanta would be complete without a mention of the fabulous offerings at the One Eared Stag. They have all of the usual delights, with a gourmet twist. They have options like chicken salad with truffles, milk-fed veal with chimichurri, and quail eggs sunny side up. Feeling a bit adventurous? Order the Chef’s Breakfast. It’s not on the menu because it’s literally whatever the chef feels like making for you. But don’t worry, it includes half a dozen options on one tray, so if you don’t like one dish, you’re sure to enjoy the others!

Dog-Friendly Brunch at Publico

Photo Courtesy of Publico

Looking for a brunch where your favorite furry companion can be welcomed? Publico is your dog-friendly Atlanta brunch spot. Their Sunday Funday Brunch features a live DJ and mimosa and cocktail specials plus a delightful array of food options for you and your pooch. Dine on the patio with your pup where they even have a full puppy menu, with all of its proceeds going to support the Howell Mill Humane Society. And the human brunch menu offers food you’re going to fall in love with. Everything is made-from-scratch and made-to-order, and as locally sourced as possible, for a fresh, unique taste you won’t find anywhere else.

Family Friendly Brunch at Ration + Dram

Photo Courtesy of Ration + Dram

It’s not often that a bar offers a kid’s menu, booster seats, and crayons, but on weekend mornings Ration + Dram is a great option for a family meal. Dubbed the “Best family-friendly brunch in metro Atlanta” by the AJC, this local bar with a fun kids’ Brunch menu is perfect for the littles as well as the adults. They even offer kid-friendly mocktails like juice blends and rootbeer floats. For the grown-up set they serve up chicken biscuits, eggs benedict, and their own creations like the Sweet Lady or The Gringo. And of course, you can pair your brunch faves with boozy faves like bloody marys or one of their communal cocktail punches.

Tex-Mex Brunch at Superica

Photo Courtesy of Superica

Looking for a little spice in your Sunday morning fare? Superica is the brunch spot that brings you a border-town feel without having to leave town. With two locations, Krog Street and Buckhead, this eatery’s fare is so popular it’s got its own cookbook. For brunch, they offer south-of-the-border options like their migas plate, tamales with eggs, or chilaquiles with avocado. Or go for the BBQ brisket sandwich served on Texas toast with guac, jalapeño pickles, and two sunny side up eggs. It’s a taste of Texas you won’t soon forget!

Weekday Brunch at Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours

Photo Courtesy of Twisted Soul

The weekends were pretty much made for brunch, but if your days off don’t fall on Saturday and Sunday, your options become more limited. Don’t worry! Twisted Soul in Westside has you covered. They offer an amazing brunch variety seven days a week. Try imaginative sandwiches like the Harissa Hot Chicken Muffuletta, or salads like the Seasonal Soul Salad with Moscato poached pairs and duck prosciutto. Entrees include crispy catfish with pimento cheese grits or the southern tofu scramble full of soul food faves like black-eyed peas and collard greens. Whatever you do, save some room for Ivy’s Heavenly Peach Cobbler. You won’t be sorry!


Innovative Ways to Engage Event Attendees

Top Ways to Increase Engagement at your Events

Photo Courtesy of CES 2019

Any organizer who has been in the business for long knows that event engagement is an excellent way of measuring the effectiveness of your events. Simply put, engagement is how fully your attendees are participating and how much of their attention your event has captured. If attendees are tuning out or working on other things, you’ve lost them. So it’s important to captivate your audience, from the moment they arrive until the event doors are closed. But how?

Encourage Real-Time Feedback

Asking event attendees what they thought of the event after it’s over is a useful way to improve your outreach. But when guests have a great experience or need someone to complain to, they want to be heard right now. The good news is, since every one of your attendees is likely carrying a phone, you can make that happen easily.

Create a virtual suggestion box and publish it before the event even begins, allowing them to have input through the registration process and leading up to the big day (or days). Include polls and survey questions in presentations or on event literature. Encourage them to text your brand or engage with social media via targeted hashtags, then be sure to monitor and respond to those feeds in real time. Create an event app that allows them to interact with and give feedback on every part of your event, in real time. The options are endless and often easily implemented with the help of current event management technology.

Skip the Lines with a Digital Waitlist App like NextME

Nothing will lose a captive audience quicker than to make them stand around and wait. If you want to keep your attendees engaged and excited about your event, allow them to skip the lines and spend that time learning, networking, or exploring instead. One simple and effective way to manage this is with the NextME app. It allows attendees to sign in quickly and then go do other things while they wait for a panel to start or an interactive experience to be ready.

Rather than forcing visitors to stand around waiting their turn, NextME allows them to sign in with just a few simple details. The app will then text them a link that includes a countdown to their place in line. You can customize this link to include all sorts of information, links to your social media, prompts to help them engage further with your brand, and even interact with your eCommerce site. They can then wander the event as they please, spend some time networking with other attendees, or go grab a snack or a quick drink. A few minutes before their spot is ready, the app will prompt them to return. They can confirm or cancel their reserved spot with a quick return text. During and after the event, you’ll get insightful and actionable reports on everyone who checked in, allowing for easy follow-up and feedback. And all of this without requiring them to download a thing!

Make Networking Simple and Fun  

One of the biggest reasons for attending in-person events is the ability to network with peers across the industry. Not only that, good networking automatically means increased engagement and a more favorable response to your event. Why not make it easier with fun and interactive networking games?

Create a networking scavenger hunt, where attendees have to interact with one another to fill in a list. Use simple prompts like, “find someone with the same initials as yourself,” or “find someone celebrating a birthday this month.” Once they’ve completed the hunt, they’re in the running for a door prize or other gift. They’ll meet tons of new people, have fun doing it, and possibly walk away with a prize.

Encourage smaller networking groups. Large networking mixers can be intimidating, and it’s often hard to find the right contacts in a room of hundreds of people. Instead, have your attendees fill out questionnaires at registration and then use the data to place them into smaller, targeted groups of 20-25 people. This will help to encourage more meaningful connections and provide increased value for attendees.


Event Planning & Management Technology Guide for 2019

Event Planning & Management Technology

Event planning & management technology guide 2019

Live events like conferences and trade shows have been proven to be one of the most effective means of marketing in today’s world. But putting together an event that will not only draw people but also make the sale, is no small task. It requires creativity, marketing know-how, organization, and the right tools to keep everything running smoothly.

What is Event Technology?

Years ago, in a much lower-tech world, everything was handled on paper. Eventually, the paper files containing lists of attendees moved to digital formats like Excel spreadsheets. But these manual processes are tedious and time-consuming, so marketers knew they needed a better option.

Fortunately, today we have streamlined processes and easy-to-navigate tools that make the more tedious parts of event planning a breeze. So you can spend your time developing a great event and marketing it, rather than updating spreadsheets and files.

But with so many options on the market, how do you know which will be best for your event? We’ll examine some of the best tools available to help you choose the ones that fit best, and make your next event a success.

Event Planning Tools

The first category you’ll want to have on hand are event planning tools. These help event planners with all of the prep work before the actual event happens. From choosing a venue to creating a website, to getting the word out, they help with the logistics of creating the actual experience.

We’ve broken these tools down into three categories. First are tools to help you find the perfect venue for your event. Next website building platforms to help you give your attendees all of the details they’ll need. Finally, we have event marketing tools to help you get the word out and generate some buzz.

Venue Sourcing Technologies

EventUP - EventUP has listings for event venues in over 300 cities across the US. Their amazingly detailed filtering tools let you narrow down your choices by price range, budget, number of attendees, area radius, neighborhood, amenities, look and feel, and more. And once you’ve found a place you like, you can request a quote, or ask questions about the space, right from the same page. Want to host a corporate event in a loft downtown with exposed brick and an industrial feel? They can help you find it.

SocialTables - This event planning tool has a large database of venues ready to browse. Filter by number of attendees, size of the largest room you’ll want to use, total meeting space, number of meeting rooms, number of guest rooms, or amenities offered. Once you’ve picked out a venue that interests you, use their suite of tools to design floor plans and layouts so you can see exactly how your event will look and flow. With their easy drag-and-drop floor plan tools, you’ll know exactly how everything will fit before you book the space.

Splacer - Splacer is designed to help you find the perfect creative event space for your needs. More than just meeting rooms, auditoriums, and banquet halls, they can help you find sites for pop-ups, launch events, production spaces, and film shoots too. And they’ve got listings for some of the hottest and most unique spaces available in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago.

Website Building Platforms

Bizzabo - Called “The World’s Most Loved Event Software”, Bizzabo features a huge variety of features and options. Their website builder is designed specifically for the event space, and is incredibly simple to use. They have a drag and drop editor for those without coding skills, or you can create your own custom HTML and CSS pages to fine tune everything just the way you want.

EventCreate - Another option designed with the event space in mind, EventCreate offers you the ability to create a beautiful, functional site in just minutes. There’s no coding needed, and you can include forms, sell tickets, and track data all from their handy interface. They have several starting templates to choose from, or if you’re looking for a more custom option they offer design services too!

Wordpress - Wordpress is one of the most common tools for creating websites today. It’s known and loved by professionals in just about every industry because it’s so incredibly versatile. If you’re looking for a blank slate tool to build just about any sort of website you might need, Wordpress is often the way to go.

Event Marketing Tools

Attendease - Aimed at the mid-sized event market, Attendease is an all-in-one event software that allows event planners to dramatically increase productivity. And their options for event marketing are incredibly robust and simple to use at the same time. This one interface allows you to create and send marketing emails, build custom branded websites and pages, and track and analyze all sorts of data from website traffic to ad performance. They even integrate with all sorts of other programs like Salesforce, HubSpot, Google and Adobe Analytics, and more.

Bizzabo - Bizzabo is helpful in getting the word out about your event too. Their marketing tools feature options like Hot Leads to retarget existing customers or Ticket Boost which uses the power of social media to sell tickets to your event. Everything is branded and integrated, from the website you’ve created for your event to email marketing messages and even an in-app networking platform.

CampaignMonitor - While it’s not designed for the event marketing space alone, CampaignMonitor is an incredibly useful and well-rounded marketing tool that many event planners find invaluable. This tool allows you to build the kind of email marketing messages employed by the big boys like SXSW, Rolling Stone, and HuffPost. If you’re using an event planning suite that you love, but you’re not as fond of its email marketing tools, this is the add-on you’ve been searching for.

Event Management Tools

Once you’ve planned and marketed your event, the work has only just begun. The day of the event can be incredibly hectic, but with the right management tools you’ll be able to streamline processes and ensure a good experience for all involved.

Event Registration Management Tools

Boomset - Boomset’s registration tools are in high demand from event planners of all sorts. They have all the usual features like a branded guest list app and badge or wristband printing tools. But they also offer features like kiosk check-ins, cashless payment options for attendees, and recyclable wearable RFID technology.

Eventbrite - If you’re in the market for something a little simpler, Eventbrite might just do the trick. They offer simplified ticket sales and event registrations with 24/7 real-time tracking features to help keep you on top of your numbers and demographics. What really shines here is the smart reports and data they generate, along with integrations with big names like Mailchimp, Salesforce, and even facebook.

ExpoPass - This simple and affordable option will help you to streamline your registration process. Then, as your event kicks off, use it to create custom badges and imprint them in real time at check in. If you’re working in the continuing education space, this one will allow you to distribute certificates to attendees who complete specific sessions with a simple mobile device scan. And after the doors close and everyone goes home, you’ll have instant access to all the details you need to turn guests into profitable leads.  

Regpack - Regpack is the online registration software that embeds into your existing site, for a smooth, secure registration process. They offer integrated payment processing, a custom database creator, group registration options, and even billing and payment plans to help keep expensive events affordable for attendees. Plus, they have the data and reporting tools you’re going to need to stay on top of your attendance numbers, and a personal support team to help out should you need them.

Event Agenda Tools

Sched - This is the agenda tool used by big names like ComicCon and techweek. Their full-featured scheduling tools allow you to create a functional and simple branded agenda app. This infinitely customizable tool allows your attendees to pre-register for workshops, book seats for panels, and plan out their day with ease. Meanwhile, on the backend you can monitor interest and registrations, and make changes in the blink of an eye. And it integrates nicely with your website or other event planning programs like Eventbrite.

Shdlr - Looking for a painlessly simple way to create detailed agendas and distribute them to your attendees? Look no further than Shdlr. This one can handle even the most complex schedules, and integrates seamlessly with popular calendar apps. You can embed your schedule on your blog or website, and import data in bulk from csv files if that’s your thing. What really shines here is the ease of creating a schedule. Drag-and-drop features and one click publishing mean you’ll have your agenda ready to go in no time flat!

Zoho Backstage - Once again, drag and drop simplicity wins. Zoho’s Backstage event planning interface allows you to build a detailed event agenda with ease. And their personalized agenda builder allows your attendees to create their own schedule, for the sort of customized experience that people love. But this one’s more than just a scheduler. It also handles website building, social media integration, and so much more.

Event Waitlist Management Tools

NextME - This full-featured waitlist tool is an amazing way to let your attendees check in for your event and then wait wherever they please. Since there’s no app download required for attendees, you’ll find greater buy-in than many other options. And they’ll be able to track their place in line in real time, so they can go grab a drink or browse other booths while waiting their turn and be back just in time. And at the end of the day, you’ll get all the data and analytics you need to make your next event even better.

Waitwhile - While it’s not designed for the event space directly, this easy-to-use waitlist can be integrated into just about any sort of business. You can track customer data and schedule bookings as you like. And guests who choose to wander away while they wait can stay informed with SMS notifications. Waitwhile is only available via your web browser and does not offer a mobile solution like NextME.

Event Attendee Engagement Tools

Event planning & management technology guide 2019NextME - Yes, the waitlist experts are also a great way to keep attendees engaged throughout your event. When guests register for your event’s waitlist, they’ll be sent a simple text message with a link to a marketing page you can custom design. On this page, they’ll be able to monitor their place in line, but more importantly, you can use this space to keep their attention while they wait. Encourage them to engage with social media, show targeted marketing messages, allow them to preview the experience they’re about to participate in, and just about anything else you might dream up. Even better still, because NextMe doesn’t require any sort of download for guests, it can be easily paired with any other app or site you choose. Your marketing page can then be used to direct guests to download conference apps like BoomSet, Expo Pass, Windsight, and others, so they can stay connected with everything happening in your event while they wait. It’s a great way to take your audience from bored to excited in no time at all!

Sli.do - If you’re looking for “Audience Interaction Made Easy,” you’ll find it with this handy tool. The web-based application from sli.do lets you do live Q&A sessions, real-time polling, and all sorts of other audience participation features. You can even allow them to access presenter slides on their own screens, either during the event or later at home. Plus, guests never have to download an app to participate. You’ll get the benefit of crowdsourced data along with moderated filters and the ability to identify and engage with your most influential participants. And at the end of the event, you can download all of those questions and all the data that goes with them to create and share infographics for post-event engagement too.

TweetWally - Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most effective. In today’s ever-connected world, one of the most important ways to keep (or lose) attendee engagement is through social media. If you don’t grab their attention, you can be pretty sure their phones will. So encourage guests to really participate with a real-time tweet wall you can show in the main hall, on your site, or anywhere else you like. Just create your hashtag and you’ll be on your way! Then, use their software to display, in real time, all of the tweets pertaining to your event. Customize your wall’s look and feel, then display it prominently for all of your guests to see. Before long, you’ll find engagement is up and buzz is spreading!

Event Success Measurement Tools

When the event is over, the event planner’s work is still not done. We live in an age of data, and if you’re not gaining valuable insights from the numbers generated by your events, you may be missing the big picture entirely. These tools allow you to track so much more than just attendance numbers. Generate KPI reports, learn about demographics, and get insights into what worked and what didn’t, so your next event can be even better.

Activity Cloud - Activity Cloud is one of the kings of predictive data insight tools. It will pull data from your marketing campaigns, usage history, participant info, social media, and just about anywhere else you can think of. Then it weaves all of these numbers and details into actionable reports to help you understand which areas you excelled at and what you could do better.

NextME - Once again, this event waitlist app shines with actionable data reporting to show you exactly how well your event engaged with waiting participants and what you could do better in the future. The analytics feature within the app offers you the kind of data you need to ensure your events always run smoothly and keep customers engaged and excited about your brand.

Piwik PRO - Remember that website you created? Wouldn’t you be interested to know how visitors to your site engaged with your brand, even if they didn’t register for your event? With Piwik PRO, you can. This analytics tool offers privacy-compliant behavioral insights, even in the most secure areas of your site. So you’ll know what pages attendees visited before they signed up for your event and after, as well as where you lost those who did not attend.

Event Technology Trends & Considerations

While the event marketing tool space is certainly booming, we look forward to seeing new and different uses for technology in the industry going forward. Over the past several years, we’ve seen brands launched, acquired, and integrated in numbers no one could have predicted. This means a more user-friendly event technology environment for planners and marketers across the board. And with the involvement of AI, a powerful trend in all areas of marketing, we can expect big things to come!

Meanwhile, attendees are learning to expect more and more from experiential marketing. That's why technology suites like Bizzabo are so vital to creating an experience that attendees will still be talking about when they return home. And innovations, like NextME, are a huge win. Instead of many attendees skipping some of your best booths because of long wait lines, they can experience it on their own schedule, stress-free.

Whether you’re planning your first ever event, or you’re an old pro at this format, it’s always a good idea to keep abreast of the new technology on offer. If you don’t, you could be missing out on market trends, valuable insights, and customer experiences that could take your brand to a new level!