Building Better Breakout Sessions

An important part of many corporate retreats and meetings is breakout sessions. Breakout sessions provide an opportunity to dive a bit deeper into the subject of the retreat. It provides a more personal space for the participants to explore a subject or topic of interest. It can also be an opportunity for participants to work on a problem or project together.

The following are easy ways to build better breakout sessions.

First, begin with an icebreaker. This helps the session begin on a lighter note and really allows each member of the group to have their voice heard. It also allows the members to better understand each other on a personal level throughout the rest of the session and retreat.

Building Better Breakout Sessions - Icebreaker

Next, have a goal. Nothing derails a breakout session faster than having no clear objective. Create a problem for the participants to solve. Make sure to assign one of the members to be a leader and give them direction on how to lead the group through the topic. Make sure the objectives of the breakout sessions cater to the larger directive of the meeting or retreat. Organize the breakout sessions so that it helps the participants understand and contribute to the bigger picture.

Additionally, set a timeframe for the participants to follow as best they can. Have them reach specific goals at specific times and move according to schedule.  This will help the participants allocate their time wisely and focus clearly on each subject assigned to each block of time. Without this kind of structure, it is easy to get distracted talking about many different kinds of topics and not focusing on specific ones.

Lastly, consider having different rounds of breakout sessions where participants rotate into different groups of people with new objectives and new goals. This would require each breakout session to be shorter and more concise, but would allow for participants to experience a wider variety of ideas from different kinds of people.

Building Better Breakout Sessions

By following these guidelines, your breakout sessions will be comfortable for participants, have clear objectives, and give the participants the opportunity to really feel like they are contributing to and learning about the bigger picture. Always remember that your participants should come away from breakout sessions having furthered their knowledge and their skills, so make sure you are providing that to them!

Interested in learning more about WinMock at Kinderton’s unique setting and full-service corporate event planning? Please contact Angela Carleton at or 339.397.2010.

Images: 1 and 2

Published in: Uncategorized on 04/21/2015 at 4:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wedding Wednesday: Entertaining Your Guests with Music and Dancing

Once the ceremony is finished and family pictures are captured, it is time to party at the reception!

To make your reception memorable, there are several entertainment options to ensure you and your guests have the time of your lives!


When it comes to music, a couple of different options are available to you – choose the one that fits your personality the best!


The first option is to hire a DJ. Should you decide to hire a DJ, you have the freedom to play a variety of different kinds of songs. A plus is that the songs will sound exactly how you want them to sound – no surprises or slip-ups! Also, a good DJ will have a large selection of music so that you can find something that everybody will like. From a budget standpoint, DJs are usually going to be more affordable than a full band.


Should your style and budget allow, deciding to hire a full band is a great option! This musical option will usually end up being more performance-oriented; each song will have its own personality. Bands have a way of exuding an energy that a DJ cannot. They are able to interact with guests on a more personal level during the songs, and are able to adjust their performances to the energy of the situation. They are more likely to get people out on the dance floor due to their infectious energy!

After you choose your method of musical entertainment, find a few ways to put some fun spins on it!

Hire a musical tribute singer to sing a few select songs (such as the first dance song, father/daughter dance, and mother/son dance).  Do you and your fiancé love the Beatles? Hire a John Lennon impersonator to sing a few of your favorite hits!


When it comes to dancing, there are lots of fun ways to entertain your guests.

Photography by Craig Mitchelldyer 503.513.0550

Have your bridesmaids and groomsmen learn a song or dance to perform after they have been announced. Keep it short and sweet, but also make sure they practice so that the crowd is impressed!

Group Dance

Another fun thing to do is to teach your guests a new dance. Find a cultural dance that you like or that resonates with your family history, and teach it to your guests so everybody can do it together! If you hail from New Orleans, teach your guests the Second Line Dance and perform that together! Everyone will feel a part of the action and it makes for incredible photos!

Second Line Dance

If you are Jewish, you may want to incorporate the Hora, or traditional chair dance. This is a dance during which a few strong guests hoist the bride and groom high above the crowd on chairs.


Other fun dances to teach a crowd can be things like swing dancing or square dancing. Keep it fun and simple, but try to encourage everybody to participate! Find a DJ or band that can easily teach a few moves and provide the right music for the dance.

Whatever you decide to do in terms of entertainment, make sure that YOU will enjoy it. Find something that fits your personality as a couple! After all, this is the best day of your lives – Enjoy it!

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Published in: Uncategorized on 04/08/2015 at 12:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

How to End Your Meeting on a High Note

It happens all too often. A meeting ends, and employees leave confused, unheard, or uninterested. It is important, as a meeting leader, to end your meeting in a way that enables your employees to go back to work with a sense of direction and focus. By following these three simple practices, you can ensure that you are ending your meetings on a high note!


1. Recap

Review the objectives that were addressed in the meeting. If possible, have a document on-hand that outlines the main points that were discussed and hand this out to each employee after the meeting adjourns.  If appropriate, personalize each list to include the objectives that are expected of each individual. This will help each employee understand their purpose and make them not only feel like their time was not wasted, but that they are an important part of the team. Also, if time permits, provide some question and answer time to review any remaining questions or concerns.


2. Reassure

Everybody loves positive feedback, so make sure to provide some at the end of the meeting. Give a quick overview of what went well and what was accomplished. Praise good suggestions or creative ideas that were offered by individuals during the meeting. This is a time to make your employees know that they are valued members of your team and that their contributions are welcome.


3. Relate & Relax

After all is said and done, spend a short amount of time doing something fun as a team, preferably non-work related. Whether it is a playing a short game or completing a team building activity, when done correctly, team building exercises can strengthen the overall effectiveness of a team by creating and developing a strong sense of unity.


If playing a game or activity is not the right avenue to end a particular meeting, then at least spend a short amount of time mingling with your team instead of heading straight back to your desk. Catch up with individual employees about their personal lives or plan a group lunch. Taking purposeful time to relax before heading back to work will make your employees more productive in the long-run and reassure them that you value them as people, not just workers.

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Keep in mind that employees want clear direction, positive feedback, and to be valued as individuals. Finding ways to incorporate these kinds of practices into your meetings, as well as everyday interactions, will foster a strong team environment within your organization.


Interested in learning more about WinMock at Kinderton’s unique setting and full-service corporate event planning? Please contact Angela Carleton at or 339.397.2010.

Published in: Uncategorized on 03/30/2015 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Meet Rebecca – Director of Weddings and Social Events

It is with great pleasure that we introduce our new Director of Weddings and Social Events, Rebecca Kearns! Rebecca came to WinMock about a year and a half ago to further her career in events. Her enthusiasm for the events industry took us by storm and we cannot wait to see her succeed in this role!


In light of her new role, Rebecca answered a few questions for us – and left us with a craving for something sweet!

What are you most passionate about professionally?

This may sound just beyond cliché, but I really am most passionate about seeing tiny visions blossom into reality—whether that is a ceremony under the North Carolina blue sky, elegantly styled reception in our Loft, marrying the gentleman of your dreams, or even an intimate baby shower bounding in florals—I love to see them all come together!


What most excites you about your new role and the contribution you can make?

I am most excited to spend more sweet time with our brides and social clients. It is no secret at all that my heart sings to the tune of weddings and celebratory soirées, so it is a true honor to be able to work on a much closer level with each and every one of them. I truly believe that WinMock is an incredibly special place, and I am beyond blessed to be able to share its beauty with others.


What would be impossible for you to give up?

Goodness—I would have such a difficult time giving up cupcakes! I have a serious sweet tooth, and fluffy buttercream icing is the perfect cure!


 What can’t you stop talking about?

On any given day, you can hear me mention at least these three things: my faith, my family, and weddings, of course!


Where can we find you when you’re not working? What’s your favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon?

Sunday afternoons are my absolute favorite! They are just right to slow down a bit, spend lots of time cuddling with my little family, including our pup, Cashmere, and baby on the way!  After church, you can also find me antique shopping, where I love to search for mismatched china and brass candlesticks, or in the kitchen trying out fun new recipes (although I cannot guarantee that they are all successes!).


Interested in WinMock for a special occasion? Give us a call at 336.397.2010 and schedule your tour with Rebecca today!


Published in: Uncategorized on 03/20/2015 at 3:22 pm  Comments (2)  

Wedding Wednesday : Favors

A wedding favor is the perfect way to say “thank you” to your guests for supporting your marriage. These small tokens of gratitude can be an edible treat or simply something fun to use!

We particularly love the idea of French macarons in your coordinating wedding colors – and what a great way to incorporate table numbers!


Help your guests continue the celebration with a miniature bottle of champagne to take home with them.


A useful household item such as a drinking glass would be a great favor as well – a sweet reminder of your wedding day each time it’s used!


If there is a particular cause that is special to the Bride and Groom, making a donation is a thoughtful way to include your guests in something that is important to you both as a couple.


Images: 1/ 2/ 3/ 4

Are you in search of a venue? Give us a call at 336.397.2010 to schedule a tour of WinMock today or click here for help coming up with the perfect “thank you” for your guests!

Published in: Uncategorized on 03/18/2015 at 3:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Importance of a Venue Concierge

“Which way is the restroom?”, “Do you have an extra pen?” and “What is the Wi-Fi password?” are just a few of the common questions asked at almost any event. We all know how frustrating it can be to frantically search for someone with a name tag to answer our questions.

As the venue, it is incredibly important to staff concierge for your event. There is staff scheduled to set up, tend bar and wait tables, but this person would have a desk set up, visible to the guests and be ready and willing to answer whatever questions arise. Pens, extension cords, tape, staples and scissors are helpful items to have on hand for any guests in need.

It is also important for your concierge to have a copy of the event agenda on hand. Attendees are often not aware of the timeline for the day and may be curious as to what time lunch will be served or when the event is expected to end.

Having a concierge available to your guests will not only put them at ease, but will comfort those in charge of the event at  as well. Knowing that their employees/guests/family and friends are well taken are of allows for smooth sailing from the very start!

Conference Room - MugNeed a venue for your next event? Schedule a tour of WinMock today! Give us a call at 336.397.2010.

Published in: Uncategorized on 03/16/2015 at 2:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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WinMock at The Winston-Salem Flower School

A few weeks ago, we sent one of our very own team members, Rebecca Kearns, to the Winston-Salem Flower School! As soon as the announcement was made that these classes would be available, we just knew we had to be a part of it.


Amy Lynne Originals is an incredibly talented industry partner of ours, and we simply could not wait to learn from one of the top professionals in our area.


After a little small talk over delicious pastries and creamy coffee, we jumped right in and found our spots in the workshop!


The class focused on learning how to create an arrangement using compote vessels that were provided, along with other fun goodies like our own Winston-Salem Flower School apron and shears. Flowers, greenery, and even fruit options were nearly endless–silver dollar and seeded eucalyptus, curly willow, kangaroo paw, ranunculas, and garden spray roses were our favorite picks.


We learned to start with creating the lines of the arrangement–vertical, horizontal, or a little of both–and then add your anchor pieces, which were large gorgeous garden roses, in our case!

It was so inspiring to learn tips and tricks of the trade as well as gain insight into the beautiful floral work we have come to love and adore.


With the demonstration and question and answer session over, we jumped right in. Creating lines, snipping stems, carefully choosing the perfect color palate, and getting creative–it was a glorious morning!



What an amazing experience it was to meet and mingle with ladies from our very own community while learning from the best–we absolutely cannot wait to do it again!


See some of our snapshots from the Winston-Salem Flower School right here, including this gem!

Blog photography by Green Bee Floral Designs

Published in: Uncategorized on 03/13/2015 at 8:00 am  Leave a Comment  

WinMock Featured on Laurie Louis Blog

We have exciting news–we have been featured on Laurie Louis’ blog in her Spotlight series!


Click here to see the full post and learn more about WinMock’s history, what we offer, and a little insight into our favorite things!


Photo by Connection Photography

Published in: Uncategorized on 03/11/2015 at 7:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Coordinating Vendor Space Requirements

When planning an event, booking your caterer and audio visual team are big items to check off of your “To Do” list but there is still work to be done. While you may think that catering and audio visual needs are independent of one another, think again!

Vendor Space Requirements

Both of these teams have large, heavy equipment to load in. It is imperative to let your AV team know if they are in a space that will have catering before setting up their equipment.  This will allow them to avoid blocking access doors. Most of their equipment will also have cords that could be detrimental to servers if not taped down and secured properly. Screens, drapery, podiums, etc. are all things that should be communicated to your caterer as well so that they, too, are able to set up appropriately.

In some cases, these two vendors may be familiar with each other from other events and communicate well on their own. However, to be sure that all necessary information has been communicated to all parties involved, it is best for you to inform them with the exact same information, keeping them clued in on any set-up changes right up until show time!

Do you have an event coming up? Not only can we offer you a fabulous venue, but audio visual and catering services, too! Give us a call at 336.397.2010 to start planning today!

2015 Couples’ Choice Award

We are beyond thrilled to have been awarded the 2015 Couples’ Choice Award® by Wedding Wire!

Owner, Wayne Thomas, shares that “What we value most about this award is that it is based solely on client reviews and service consistency. From day one we have prided ourselves on sustaining the quality of our product and adhering to service excellence. To be recognized nationally and regionally for both in consecutive years is such an honor.”


Palmer and Katherine

Eli and Kelsey

We extend a sincere thank you to all of our happy couples!

The full announcement is available here.

Images: 1/ 2/ 3

Published in: on 02/06/2015 at 7:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

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