Meeting in South Carolina

Meeting prep, organization and planning are extremely important parts of creating an event that is both successful and productive.

Planning and organization are really only half the battle, because just as you wouldn’t consider an event without attendees a true ‘success’, you likely wouldn’t consider an event with a disengaged audience a success either.

With a little forethought, there are some tips and tricks you can use to ensure your meeting in South Carolina is a true success – complete with engaged, attentive conference guests that are both content and productive. Let the expert South Carolina meetings and events planners here at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort (KIGR) help guide you in the right direction with these tips:

7 Tips To Increase Audience Engagement

Build In Opportunities For Engagement.

First and foremost, if audience engagement is a goal for your next meeting in South Carolina, make sure you have built engagement into your agenda from the outset. To begin, start by thinking about a few basic questions:

What are attendees looking for in this meeting? How would they best like to participate in the presentations and demonstrations?

Let us share a few ideas that have worked well for our guests in the past:
Incorporate crowd polling.
If you have ever felt compelled to complete a poll on your local news channel website, you’re not alone. There’s something fun about submitting your opinion on a topic/question, and then seeing how that opinion stacks up to the opinions of others.

Bringing real-time polling into your conference or meeting is easier than ever – by using a simple phone app (like the well known Poll Everywhere App), attendees can vote on anything from their biggest marketing challenges of the year, to what areas the company should focus more R&D dollars in the coming year.

Try a few panel discussions.
Incorporating a varied approach to delivering information is a great way to spice things up and keep interest piqued. Experiment with allowing 3 or 4 topical experts from the audience to join the front of the room, where they’ll all give answers and opinions on various questions asked by the crowd and/or the presenter.

Get people talking.
It is one thing to take in a wealth of information, but it’s another to digest it in any capacity. Try adding in a few opportunities throughout the day for guests to either break apart into smaller ‘workshops’ to tackle a problem, question, or discussion topic, or give a few minutes at the end of a topic for attendees to discuss the material with the others at their table.

Reminder: You will also want to work with one of our event planners to determine which conference rooms on Kiawah Island best lend themselves to the various types of engagement and activities you’re most interested in – i.e.: do you require special A/V setup or training? Or, does the room need to be configured in a certain way? We’re here to help.

Keep Hands Busy.

Some people like to be ‘doing’ something at all times. For some, small actions like doodling helps keep them focused by engaging some of their senses. Giving attendees something small to do with their hands will help guests stay alert and stay awake – an important part of audience engagement!

Let audience members have a little fun and play with their senses by placing a few toys or exercises on the tables for them to pick up and use at their own discretion. Some great examples include:

  • Paper, pens & markers for people to doodle or take notes
  • Stress balls
  • Play-Doh or Silly Putty
  • Mini puzzles

Build In Time for Activity.

You don’t have to organize something overly extravagant, but incorporating time for conference attendees to get up and out of their seats for a few minutes is essential to ensuring productivity and engagement. Sitting still for hours on end is a sure way for guests to nod off and lose interest.

Since you are on the beautiful Kiawah Island, build in a 15-minute walk, mid-morning, allowing attendees to get outside for fresh air and a little activity, not to mention an opportunity to see the beautiful beach!

Or, for smaller groups, invite one of our trained professionals in for a demonstration. Why not have one of our expert yoga instructors lead a few group stretches to get the blood flowing? Or have one of our excellent golf teachers in for a putting demonstration, letting your guests brush up on their golf skills prior to their after-meeting games?

Provide Ample Fuel.

It’s no secret that the right foods at the right times help fuel our bodies and prepare them for the tasks ahead – whether it be physical activity or prolonged periods of concentration.

Carefully planning a menu that provides each guest with the nourishment they need to focus is a great way to ensure your audience stays engaged with what’s happening at the front of the room.

Before your meeting on Kiawah Island, be sure to chat with one of our talented chefs about crafting a smart menu for your guests that features the freshest, locally sourced foods that will energize them all day long.

Take Adequate Breaks.

Whether you’re having an intimate strategy session for 15 in the Calhoun Boardroom, or a presentation for 115 in Governor’s Hall here at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, the one constant to maximizing the ROI of any meeting is to set a humane rhythm to enhance productivity. Meaning: plan a few breaks.

Find ideas for refreshing breaks for productive meetings & conferences at Kiawah.

Offer Something to Look Forward To.

Building some exciting entertainment into your meeting or conference in South Carolina is another excellent way to keep attendees engaged all day long – and, after hours as well.

Having dedicated time for socializing and quality entertainment gives guests something to look forward to (and serves as an additional reward for their presence and hard work).

It also extends engagement the whole day through by discouraging attendees from returning to their separate rooms after your meeting is over thus creating more time for connection and creativity.

From excellent entertainment options on the resort (like a visit to The Sanctuary’s shopping wing, or games of golf, or tennis), to off-resort entertainment in the nearby city of Charleston where you can visit numerous mansions, plantations, parks, gardens and more, we have many options for added entertainment to your meetings in South Carolina.

Make Comfort a Priority.

Finally, it’s no surprise that we are all at our best when we’re comfortable and well-rested. Your South Carolina meeting guests are no different.

It all starts with a good night’s sleep. And luckily for you, KIGR has just what you need with many comfortable and luxurious accommodations perfect for your next meeting in South Carolina.

We will even help you bring comfort into your event suite, by creating ‘lounge’ areas with comfortable furniture, setting up coffee stations, providing charging stations and WiFi, and so on. Simply give us a call to explore your options for your next meeting in South Carolina.

Looking for More Information?

If you’re interested, get in touch with Marty Couch, Director of Group Sales, by calling 843.768.2886 or emailing

best family beach resort - kiawah island golf resort

Travel + Leisure magazine just named us the 3rd best family beach resort in their World’s Best Awards. This was announced in the January issue:

Here is the top 10:
No. 1 Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Kapolei, HI
No. 2 Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa
No. 3 Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, SC
No. 4 Cloister at Sea Island, GA
No. 5 (tie) Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, HI
No. 5 (tie) Hammock Beach Resort, Palm Coast, FL
No. 7 Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, FL
No. 8 Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Lake Buena Vista, FL
No. 9 LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort, Naples, FL
No. 10 (tie) Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, HI
No. 10 (tie) Sandpearl Resort, Clearwater Beach, FL

So, if you’re looking for a family vacation, a intergenerational getway or family reunion, check out Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

Gourmet & Grapes Benefiting Hollings Cancer Center to be held February 6-8, 2015, at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort

The Seventh Annual Gourmet & Grapes Culinary Extravaganza offers guests a chance to sample gourmet food and select wines from around the world while raising money to fund critical research at the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Black tie dinner at The Ocean Room

Black tie dinner at The Ocean Room

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Cherrywood Meal


South Carolina is known as the “Birthplace of Barbecue.” This long tradition of slow-and-low-cooked pork has deep roots here, so much so that the state’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism initiated the “South Carolina BBQ Trail,” a marketing campaign to entice visitors from far and wide to visit the Palmetto State to celebrate its diversity of BBQ. Nearly 200 restaurants that specialize in BBQ are part of the Trail, and Kiawah’s Cherrywood BBQ and Ale House in the Osprey Point Clubhouse is one of them. While many of these 200 restaurants offer very “rustic” appeal, Cherrywood is unique as it offers a more “upscale” BBQ experience.

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Gourmet & Grapes Benefiting Hollings Cancer Center to be Held February 6-8, 2015, at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort

December 15, 2014, Charleston, SC – The Seventh Annual Gourmet & Grapes Culinary Extravaganza offers guests a chance to enjoy five-star culinary talents and select wines from around the world while raising money to fund critical research at the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina.

MUSC Hollings Cancer Center located in downtown Charleston, SC

MUSC Hollings Cancer Center located in downtown Charleston, SC

Jeanelle McCain became involved with Gourmet & Grapes after her husband Will died of melanoma last year.  Through her husband’s experience, she learned of the critical need for advanced therapies, and she quickly became immersed in the importance of clinical trials.  After looking all over for the best therapies for Will, she explains, “We were thrilled to learn that the latest, most innovative care was available right here at Hollings.”

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If you are looking for a great place on Kiawah to warm up this holiday season, you’ve come to the right spot. Bartender Lesly Oliver of The Ocean Room at The Sanctuary is sharing her signature hot toddies to start your own new holiday tradition.

A cozzy chair by the fire place

A cozzy chair by the fireplace

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Chef Michael Perez of Indaco Restaurant joins the culinary team at The Ocean Room at the Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in its “Guest Chef Dinner” in support of Lowcountry Street Grocery

Chef Michael Perez

Chef Michael Perez

Chef Michael Perez of Indaco restaurant will join Chef de Cuisine, Jason Rheinwald and the culinary team at The Ocean Room at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort for a special “Guest Chef Dinner” on Thursday, December 18, 2014.  This dinner will take place in The Ocean Room on Kiawah Island and benefits the Lowcountry Street Grocery. Founded by Lindsey Barrow, a College of Charleston graduate, the Lowcountry Street Grocery’s  mission is to provide the farmers market experience on wheels, providing isolated ‘food deserts’ with access to healthy, local produce and nutritional education while stimulating the local economy.

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From a chocolate 30+ lb. turkey to a Frozen gingerbread display, The Sanctuary Pastry team is letting it go this holiday season!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

You know the saying ‘Christmas in July’, well when it comes to a creative team like our Sanctuary pastry department early planning is what they are all about. Back in July our team was racking their creative brains about what displays they could put forth this holiday season. With the pressure of Thanksgiving and our annual gingerbread display unveiling close together, pre-planning is a must. After all the brainstorming and many hours spent on creating these displays, we think you’ll agree that all that effort paid off!

Planning out for Thanksgiving and Christmas

Planning out for Thanksgiving and Christmas

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Whether you’re having an intimate strategy session for 15 in the Calhoun Boardroom, or a presentation for 115 in Governor’s Hall here at Kiawah Island Golf Resort (KIGR), the one constant to maximizing the ROI of any meeting is to set a humane rhythm to enhance productivity. Meaning: plan a few breaks.

Mingo Point picnic tables

Though it seems like a common-sense approach, improving how we work by not working is still a relatively new idea. A 2011 study from the well-respected journal Cognition found “that even brief diversions from a task can dramatically improve one’s ability to focus on that task for prolonged periods.”

Scientists looked at the “vigilance decrement”; or, the rate at which our eyes start to droop, our seat goes numb, and even the simplest concepts and figures become hard to grasp by the end of long meetings. This is no matter the comfort of the setting or importance of the topic. Professor Alejandro Lleras says in the summary that “constant stimulation is registered by our brains as unimportant, to the point that the brain erases it from our awareness.”

Now, any organizer wants to avoid any erasure of what will be an otherwise impeccably organized event. The goal is to plan a stimulating, productive meeting; something memorable where participants are kept fully aware and immersed in the task at hand. To create that atmosphere, distraction plays a key part in immersing participants.

Here are our top tips and suggestions for quick breaks to incorporate into your organization’s meeting plans.

Three of our clubhouses are situated by some of the best leisure facilities in South Carolina, in our decidedly biased opinion. At Turtle Point Clubhouse, the Tommy Cuthbert Golf Learning Center and the Roy Barth Tennis Center, they provide easy access to formal instruction and group lessons. Informally, Night Heron Park and the beach can make a fifteen minute breather into something extraordinarily restful. A covered, wraparound balcony with beautiful views of a challenging course is accessible from both the Legends Room (hosts up to 380 people) and the more intimate Drawing Room (up to 60 people, with an adjacent private terrace.)

The Osprey Point Clubhouse and Ocean Course Clubhouse both provide sweeping views of their respective golf courses as well. It’s a perfect vantage point to take a short breather and discuss strategies useful in both the boardroom and on the greens.

If it will take more than gorgeous scenery to prompt healthy breaks in your business, arrange for a catered break. We can come around with coffee, tea and a selection of standard or much more creative fare. Of course, for proper meals and fantastic team-building dinners, we offer a range of dining establishments from the informal Southern Kitchen to the elegant Ocean Room.

Tying your event to one of the exciting weekends we have coming up through the end of 2014 and into 2015 offers a different tone to any conference. For those who are art & culture minded, we offer everything from our annual comedy weekend to the roster of winter traditions that we celebrate throughout the holiday season.

At any time of year, the weather around Kiawah is mild and beautiful – a fact that’s particularly evident in classic, ecologically authentic settings like Mingo Point or East Beach. We’re entering a mild season in the next few months that’s especially appropriate to meetings and focused conferences. It’s worth noting that conferences and meetings booked between December 15 and January 28 are eligible for a range of special offers.

2015 Kiawah Special Events

For the past ten years, the resort has been expanding its Kiawah Special Event Series. The weekends are varied in their target audience – ranging from golfers and tennis players, to foodies and comedy and music lovers. Watch and the resort’s Facebook and Twitter feed for exact dates once they become available.

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