It could have been any prominent U.S. city, but Atlanta, Charlotte, and San Diego round the top three most in demand destinations nationwide for small business meetings. These types of meetings take place all over the globe with 25 million meetings conducted every single day just in the U.S alone. Whether at a corporate environment, association, non-profit, or government agency, the most popular corporate events typically served by Chilternscatering.com.au food catering.
Meetings.com, the premier site for information on meetings including function space and venues around the world, has revealed their latest findings on industry trends in consumer behavior from meeting and event planners who booked meeting space in North America within the last year. Collectively, these popular cities offer quality venues with a variety of meeting rooms and flexible event spaces for small groups that planners are looking to reserve.
The new data was compiled by analyzing small business meetings reserved through Meetings.com, which features more than 100,000 hotel accommodations, meeting space, conference venues, and hospitality services available in the market today.
Meeting Space Reservations
On average, small meetings are generally between 10-100 rooms. Based on the data, 50 percent of meeting and event planners book space at least 120 days out with only 12 percent waiting 30 days or less to find the ideal destination and venue. Planning ahead and booking early can pay off when it comes to staying within budget, especially if one is flexible with dates and meeting space preferences. Venues can often provide even better rates and premium meeting space during their slower season months if willing to negotiate.
Aside from the meeting space itself, finding the right room layout is just as important. 37 percent of planners prefer a classroom layout above the rest due to its comfortable setup ideal for training, breakout sessions and small to medium group presentations. Small business meetings provide an easier way to manage team coordination, keep attendees focused on top priority objectives, and allows for better engagement and productivity.
In Demand Destinations and Venues
According to Meetings.com, 88% of business meetings are taking place domestically verses internationally. In North America, the most in demand destinations are ones that cater to meeting and event planners looking for great value in an ideal location with close access to public transportation, a variety of dining options, and local activities for all attendees.
San Diego, CA made the top of the U.S. cities list for small business meetings at #1 due to its favorable climate, attractive beaches, and plentiful attractions. The times of year driving these types of meetings in the city are in September and October as these months offer lower rates and the perfect balance between warm weather and smaller crowds. To the ideal venue, meeting and event planners are choosing 3-star properties Handlery Hotel San Diego, Hilton San Diego Airport Harbor Island, and 4-star accommodations San Diego Marriott La Jolla, Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, The Dana on Mission Bay Best Western Premier Collection, and Wyndham San Diego Bayside.
Charlotte, NC came in second with Crowne Plaza and Renaissance Charlotte Suites as leading meeting space venues with the majority of their small business meetings being booked in the fall from October through early December. Visiting during the shoulder season is the best time of the year for the lowest rates. Close behind, Atlanta, GA rounds the top three destinations with Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia, Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta Airport North, and Ramada Plaza Atlanta Airport. Late May through July have an increase in small business meetings in the city offering planners and attendees a variety of local business networking events and activities happening over the summer months.
Las Vegas, NV and Minneapolis, MN also came in respectfully in the fourth and fifth slot with noted properties La Quinta Inn & Suites Las Vegas Airport North, New York New York Hotel & Casino, Treasure Island Hotel & Casino as well as Doubletree Minneapolis Park Place and Embassy Suites by Hilton Minneapolis Downtown. Las Vegas is a great meeting destination year-round, but December to February are typically the ideal months when planners conduct small business meetings in the area while Minneapolis in the springtime avoids the summer tourist crowds and brings with it reasonable hotel rates and mild weather.
As to the type of venue, meeting and event planners prefer an airport hotel with the added convenience of shuttle services to and from the site but still close enough to downtown amenities, as well as a suburban hotel which offers a quieter and more private location with roomier accommodations, and minus the hassle of traffic and congestion with city center venues.
Requested Items and Overall Effectiveness
For planners and their attendees, having access to a multitude of offerings is critical to manage a highly effective and successful small business meeting.
According to Meetings.com, the most requested items in order include:
- Sleeping rooms
- Projection Equipment
- Sound System
- Airport Shuttle
- Coffee/Tea Set Up
Meeting spaces equipped with the latest technology, catering services, and venue support help create rich, memorable, and customized experiences that connect to the needs of attendees.
“At Meetings.com, we understand the importance of how critical these types of meetings are in their overall success and productivity when planning, structure, and engagement are met,” stated Ross Hosking, President of Meetings.com. “Face to face meetings are the engine that drives business. Facilitating small meetings is what Meetings.com is all about and we are innovating every day to make the process easier, faster and more profitable.”
In the end, meeting and event planners are continuously in pursuit of ways to improve how small business meetings are conducted, the importance of creating valuable attendee experiences and overall, how to balance top business goals and avoid distractions in the process. Based on the data uncovered, the trend for more small group interactions and inclusive gathering places continues to grow and greatly impact the meetings industry for the better.
Meetings.com is a sister brand of HotelPlanner, focusing on business travel and helping corporate event planners book space for meetings plus hotel rooms. Through direct, collaborative relationships with the leading meeting and banquet venues around the world, Meetings.com will quickly find clients the perfect space and the best price. Combining technology with an experienced worldwide client-focused team, Meetings.com provides exceptional service to help each client select the optimal venue and/or develop an exclusive corporate hotel travel program always delivering the best price for their hotel travel needs. With a global team of travel specialists specializing in specific markets plus robust sourcing/hotel booking tools, Meetings.com is a one stop shop for all hotel program needs. The company also offers their technology and professional services as a SaaS solution for hotel brands, hotels, travel sellers and corporate accounts. Founded in 2003, the company has offices in West Palm Beach, FL (USA Headquarters), Las Vegas, Nevada, London, England, (European Headquarters) and Hong Kong (Asia Headquarters). Meetings.com is a wholly owned subsidiary of HotelPlanner. For more information on Meetings.com or to become an affiliate, please visit: https://www.meetings.com/Become-Meeting-Planner/