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So, you’ve been tasked with planning a company outing. (Gee, thanks, boss.) Or maybe a big family reunion. (Happy to do it, mom.) Need help? The Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau (GLCVB) gives free assistance to professional meeting planners all the time, helping them pull off killer events in the Capital Region. The same rules of thumb apply to your gathering.

Yes, I admit, it’s brash to call an appetizer the “best.” There are scores of restaurants in Greater Lansing where you can eat appetizing food (stuffed delicata squash at Capital Prime, anyone?) and, of course, I haven’t tasted everything on every menu. So it’s probably more accurate to say the eats that follow are only my personal favorites.

Do you ever walk into a reception room at a conference or convention feeling a little socially awkward and think, "Well, I've introduced myself - Now what do I talk about?!" I'm guessing a lot of you have been in this awkward and lonely boat. I’ve been to many mixers, event receptions and conference socials and the ones that have a unique signature cocktail make it very easy to start a conversation with someone you don’t know yet, but want to get to know better as a potential business contact.