Creating Meetings Magic


Airlie’s decades-long tradition of hosting meetings and conferences for the changemakers of the world has created a high standard for today’s team. Needless to say, going above and beyond for our clients is something we take immense pride in. How can we make their experience the best possible? How do we put our finger on what moves the needle from “good” to “great” to “phenomenal.” To learn more, we sat down with Lydia Ferguson, CMP, and Senior Conference Planner for Airlie. Lydia has been planning meetings and conferences at Airlie for over 18 years, and two instances came immediately to mind.

“Once I had a group who really wanted to do Culinary Team Building. It was for 40 people and would have been a great experience for them. The only problem was, we didn’t have a meeting space large enough to accommodate the activity. We were all booked up. So we ended up suggesting that we flip their meeting room, while the group went to lunch, so they could have the activity.  It was a huge undertaking to go from their meeting set to a culinary Team Building in such a short amount of time – but we did it.”


“We had a corporate group who wanted to do something really special for dinner. So we created a historic colonial themed dinner for them. We’d never done one before but we had the perfect venue – the Smokehouse. The amount of research and prep was staggering. It included a trip to Williamsburg to research historic menus, music, costume and design ideas. We hired musicians to play colonial music. Waitstaff were in full costume and character. All of the items on the menu were prepared and served as they would have been if guests were visiting a historic tavern. We bought custom games that guests visiting establishments in that timeframe would have played. Custom décor. Candles and lanterns for lighting. In the end, the client LOVED it.”



From an all-hands-on-deck room flip to researching a theme dinner in Williamsburg, Airlie takes the business of meetings very seriously to create the best possible experience. We look forward to working with you to surprise and delight attendees at your Airlie-hosted conference. Submit an RFP today to tell us more about your vision.