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Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Do Companies Still Host Holiday Parties?

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Well, do companies still host holiday parties? It’s a good question – at least, we think it is. After the economy went down hill, company parties were brought in-house and belittled to pot-luck lunches or treated like another meal at a restaurant chain. But, we think company holiday parties will make their way back even if they aren’t as extravagant as they were before – in an all inclusive trip to Mexico kind of way. Companies will opt for an experience like this…

Video is footage from our holiday tasting with holiday inspired spirits and hors ‘d’oeuvres. We asked guests to bring new unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots.

Does your company still host holiday parties? On a side note, if you haven’t heard about our lead referral program for holiday parties at West Belmont Place/The National Conference Center you could receive an iPad 2 this November.

Activities to Keep You Busy at NCC {September Edition}

Monday, September 12th, 2011

It’s September and at our two lounges, Black Olive and Hop ‘N Vine there is plenty to keep you entertained and excited during your conference. With our Food and Beverage director and bar manager brainstorming a monthly activities calendar every month, this creative duo always has their juices flowing. On their calendar of activities, they brought back the game of paper football, salsa dancing, specials for Great American Beer Week and specialty cocktails for National Coffee Day. For those who enjoy working out while on business travel, the calendar has something for you too including Running/Walking Tuesdays, Yoga Wednesdays and Kenpo Fridays. Our lounges are also open to the public. If you have any questions, please contact Adam the Bar Manager at (703) 724-6542.


What would you like to see on the calendar during your stay? Let us know your favorite nights!

Hospitality Interns Bloopers Video

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

With video-blogging, there comes captured moments of lost thoughts, goofiness and laughter. In a summer long internship, each week our 5 ARAMARK interns focused on their experiences by providing confessions as well as triumphs, excitement and sometimes tribulations. To watch their progress over the summer, visit our YouTube channel and choose any of the Hospitality Intern videos. Here’s some bloopers footage over their eight weeks at The National Conference Center. We must thank them for being their-selves and not erasing these from the camera. As our interns say, “Thanks for watching!”

Hospitality Interns Recap Summer with Video-Blogging

Monday, August 8th, 2011

The 5 ARAMARK interns who joined us this summer from Virginia Tech and Purdue University recently completed their final project and submitted this video to recap their summer at The National Conference Center. Throughout the summer these interns documented their stay and experience with video-blogs and were able to create this video from their favorite footage each week and pictures. To view our other videos, see the NCCmeetings YouTube channel.

5 Things To See & Do Between Washington Dulles Airport and NCC

Friday, July 29th, 2011

#4 Luck Stone Quarry formed from molten lava flows long ago

As a conference center that is distraction-free and only 12 miles from Washington Dulles International Airport – we value our convenient location, ideal learning environment and yet the opportunity to experience many different activities in Loudoun County, DC’s Wine Country. In a place like Loudoun County, it’s no wonder we could easily name 5 things to see and do between the airport and arriving at NCC. Check out a variety of activities to do along the way here:

  1. Stop by Redskins Park – Loudoun County is home to the NFL football team, Washington Redskins and also where most of the players reside. If you visit Redskins Park, you’ll see where the players come for training camp each summer.
  2. Team Building at Dulles Golf Center and Sports Park - Voted among the Top 100 Golf Ranges in America by Golf Range Magazine, this golf center is often a place of choice for company events, business outings and team-building activities.
  3. Discover more in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center)This museum can exhibit thousands of air and space artificants that can’t be housed at it’s sister museum on The National Mall in D.C. The hangers include famous spacecraft, rockets, satellites and space-related artifacts on exhibit
  4. Luck Stone Quarry brings you back in time- According to their website the history of this Luck Stone began near the end of the Triassic Period when, “…rifts in the continent were created forming the Atlantic Ocean as well as inland basins that filled with sediment.” It has since served as an important landmark for Confederate and Union soldiers during the Civil War and then as a source of stone for roadways in the 1920′s-30′s.
  5. Wolf-Trap National Park for Performing Arts for a cultural or entertaining experience - this may not be the most direct way to travel to The National Conference Center, but the trip to Wolf Trap will be well worth it. In their 6,800 indoor/outdoor seating at Filene Center, you can enjoy an array of entertainment and music performances. At The Barns at Wolf Trap, you’ll experience a 382-seat indoor performance in a barn from the 1700′s. If you’re interested in seeing a performance during your conference or training at The National Conference Center, visit their website.

We hope you’ll take advantage of all there is to see and do in Loudoun County near The National Conference Center. Please let us know if you do visit one of these sites and what you thought!

How Our Clients “Discover the Taste of Local” With Us

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

In most cases, we don’t know always know where the banana or tomato we purchased last week was grown. At our client tasting this past Wednesday, the theme focused on local and more specifically our farm to fork initiative and partnership with local farmers. Titled, “Discover the Taste of Local” our Executive Chef Craig Mason prepared dishes with local ingredients from Linda’s Farm and Mercantile in Winchester, Virginia, Blue Ridge Produce from Elkwood, VA and Profish out of Washington, D.C. Local wines and beers from Corcoran Vineyards made the perfect addition to each local dish. Check out the photos below:

Centerpieces featured muck boots with herbs from our herb garden

The backdrop was a video slideshow of Chef Mason with David Lay at Linda’s Farm and Mercantile

Being served the first course which included local tomatoes, corn and spinach leaves.

Our biggest turn out ever with over 80+ attendees proves how popular “local” is as a topic.

Local peaches for the dessert

Are there any topics you’d like to see at our future tastings?

What will you do in your downtime at NCC?

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Foodspotting at NCC

You’re on business travel for work. You’ve unpacked your suitcase and you’re laying in your guestroom at The National Conference Center, except it’s only 3:00 pm. There’s plenty to explore at the conference center, throughout Loudoun County, and in DC during your trip.

On Property…

  • Black Olive Sports Bar & Hop ‘N Vine – Black Olive Sports Bar provides entertainment at the end of your meeting day. Most evenings showcase karaoke, established Northern Virginia bands, pool tables, and 16 flat-screen TVs with the most popular sporting games. Jump over to Hop ‘N Vine the wine bar featuring local Virginia wines and beers as well as Asian and Mediterranean specialty dishes.
  • Wii Lounge or Red Commons – Games appeal to you most? The Wii Lounge whether for fun or as a team building exercise offers excitement above Black Olive Sports Bar. Red Commons is also perfect if you just want to relax and give your mind a rest – with a ping pong table, TV, seating lounge, and pool tables.
  • Fitness – Whoever said there aren’t enough options for exercise on business travel, hadn’t been at The National Conference Center. Choose your favorite means of exercise between the 24-hour fitness center on property, 1.3 mile loop road surrounding the conference center, and Flexx Sports Center featuring courts, lap swimming pool, and more.

On Property {Interactive}…

  • Foursquare - check in as you arrive on property for a special and tips from other guests. Leave a review of NCC on TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google or other review sites and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $100 VISA giftcard.**
  • Green QR Code Tour – you’ll need your smart phone as you walk around property scanning QR Codes. The first stop starts in the lobby as you discover how the conference center is eco-friendly and providing you with green meetings.
  • SCVNGRRestaurants first gained popularity with this app. You can use SCVNGR’s challenges option  to answer trivia questions about The National Conference Center and earn points to redeem them for a reward. In Loudoun County, the SCVNGR trek will guide in you exploring the County’s finest landmarks.
  • Foodspotting- Want to share what Executive Chef Craig Mason has prepared for lunch or dinner? Are you bragging to friends at home about a prepared breakfast from Paula Steves ‘Omelette Lady’ or dessert from our Sous Chef Willy Valdivia? “Spot” it on Foodspotting and share with others.

Sunset Hills Vineyard / Photo Credit: Linda of

In Loudoun County…

  • Outlets or Wine Country - With reservations, our shuttles take you to the Leesburg Premium Outlets for the best local deals in upscale shops. Loudoun County is also known as DC’s Wine Country and includes almost 30 vineyards for you to swirl and sip. Our transportation services can also you get you to and from your destination vineyard quickly and safely.
  • Restaurants or Historic Leesburg – Ancestors of the Civil War have not forgotten about Leesburg, Virginia. Civil War Battlefields, bumpy cobblestone roads, and historic structures still remain in downtown Leesburg today. NCC’s shuttles can bring you to the main street in Leesburg for you to explore exquisite dining and sight-see the town’s heritage.

In Washington, D.C…

  • “Get-away & Explore” Package - The “Get-away & Explore” package gives guests the option to see DC’s famous monuments in one evening – Lincoln Memorial, The Washington Monument, Two Jima Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, and more.

Options such as these give meeting planners the distraction-free environment they’re looking for in meetings during the day with the benefits of allowing attendees to roam the conference center’s 110 acre property and explore the nearby sites. As a meeting planner or event professional, do you have a preference to the setting of your meetings? Or, if you’re an attendee – does the meeting location matter to you?

**One winner of a VISA giftcard will be chosen on 12/31/11.

[RECAP] In the past week at NCC

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011


Colson embraces Dustin Shipley, from Minneapolis. He is funny before a crowd and quick to hug fans.


Religion, hearing, literacy, and conference centers are just a few items we advocate for at The National Conference Center. In the past week, we’ve served as a “center hub” for non-profits, associations, and beyond. Here’s a recap of some of the more public events at NCC:

  • Evangelist Chuck Colson challenged a new group of Centurions to become a spiritual clone of himself and accept the obstacle of religious pluralism. According to The Washington Post, “They are regular people for the most part, though graduates include a few politicos (Bill Redmond, a former New Mexico congressman, and Bob Snelling, a former member of the Georgia House) and high-ranking executives (former Freddie Mac vice president Chris Morris and Documentary Channel Chief Executive James Ackerman).”  Read more from “Evangelist Charles Colson’s final mission: Spiritually cloning himself” at The National Conference Center last Monday.
  • American Girl Dolls Generate Hearing Aids – Each Spring, Blue Ridge Speech & Hearing hosts their annual American Girls Fashion Show for mothers and daughters to enjoy an afternoon of dolls and tea. Blue Ridge’s ultimate goal this past Sunday? To raise funds for hearing aids for children in Loudoun County. Watch Loudoun Times Mirror’s YouTube Video from the event which generated six hearing aids for families at no cost to them.
  • Be a BOLD Speller: Corporate Spelling Bee – B-A-T was in first grade, and when you’re in the Loudoun Literacy Council’s spelling bee, this is one competitive challenge you don’t want to miss! On Monday night, corporations from around Northern Virginia met for the challenge to spell and raise money to educate those below or at the poverty level in Loudoun County. Brian Mitchell, former Washington Redskins made an appearance as a spelling bee judge and was not reluctant to call players out. Rounds included spelling backwards, replacing vowels with “B,” and a spelling speed race. We won the title of 1st place and anticipate supporting Loudoun Literacy Council again in 2012.
  • IACC: Providing for Our Peers – Members of the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC) slowly trickled in on Tuesday evening of last week and expanded into a 300-person conference. Over the course of the week, members discussed best practices, learned about technology in the hospitality world, and savored the taste of exquisite dishes prepared daily by a group of talented Executive Chefs in the house. To find out what you missed from the conference, read “11 Takeaways from IACC 2011.

If you weren’t able to make it to these events, we hope to see you at them next year!

Behind the Scenes: Gearing Up for #IACC2011

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

You may be arriving on property here at The National Conference Center to attend IACC 2011, the annual conference for the International Association of Conference Centers. Or, you may have plans to attend the Thought Leaders Summit webcast tomorrow to enlighten yourself on trends in the hospitality & meetings industry. Behind the scenes of it all, ARAMARK Executive Chefs are working hard at the conference center to prepare regional dishes for the opening reception of IACC. Get ready to “Rev It Up” the theme of the conference this year.

Omelette Lady: A Conference Center Spotlight

Friday, March 18th, 2011

To someone who has made over 550,000 omelettes, Paula Steves a cook of 40 years says her secret to success at The National Conference Center is practice. Guests at the conference center have nicknamed Paula “Omelette Lady” for her talent in the kitchen. Paula celebrated 17 years at The National Conference Center yesterday. Watch her in action below: