How to Score Big when Selecting the Hotel for your Next Advisory Council Meeting

There are four types of hits in baseball. A single gets you to first base, a double to second, a triple to third, and of course, a homerun, which is an immediate score and cause for high-fives, pats on the back from your teammates and lots of cheering from the fans! If you're like most of us, you are always striving for that elusive homerun. We like to celebrate. What we often forget however, is that we should be celebrating every little base hit. After all, 4 little base hits equal the same as a homerun. They both score a run! Remember that the next time you select the hotel for an Advisory Council meeting. Look for the little things. They add up quickly and can make or break the score!

I've been selecting hotels for meetings and special events for a long time (25 plus years)! I've conducted hundreds of hotel site inspections all over the world and have stayed in nearly every type of hotel in nearly every type of location. I've seen some that are good, some that are bad, and yes, even some that are downright ugly! Those are the ones I'd rather forget! More than anything else though, I've seen a wide variety of truly fabulous and luxurious hotels and resorts that are all "perfect" in their own way. Some are perfect for newlyweds, while others are perfect for families with children. Some are perfect for large incentive groups, while others are perfect for industry-wide conventions. Still others are perfect for small group learning. There are lots of perfect hotels. The challenge is knowing what works best for the type of event you are planning. It's the little things that are often overlooked that add up to make a perfect Advisory Council meeting!

So what type of hotel is "perfect" for an Advisory Council meeting? Some people think it doesn't matter. Some people think you can hold a meeting anywhere and it will be fine. They are right. It will be fine. But is "fine" good enough? Is "fine" what you want for a meeting with executives from your top customers? I don't think so. So here are a few things to consider the next time you're trying to decide on the perfect hotel.

The Right Location - A Base Hit
First and foremost, location is key to the success of an Advisory Council meeting. It sets the tone for your entire initiative. Location is like the lead-off batter... his job is to get a hit and get on base. If you have no runner on base, it's impossible to score! Likewise, without a great location, you may score, but you won't score big! See my last blog for tips on selecting the date and location for your next Advisory Council meeting.

The Perfect Size - A Double
Large hotels are great for large groups, but they're not the best for Advisory Council meetings. Large hotels offer something for everyone, and have a plethora of dining and activity options. But small groups in large hotels tend to get lost. They disappear in the crowds and members never see one another outside of the meeting room. For a group of 24-30 people, which is the ideal size of an Advisory Council, smaller boutique-type hotels are perfect. Rooms are typically located near one another so members become neighbors. Their paths cross going to and from the fitness center. They walk to breakfast and the meeting together. They sit together at lunch. They become confidants, of sorts, learning about each others problems and sharing best practices. They build a rapport with one another, which develops into team camaraderie when they're with the larger group.

The Ideal Meeting Room - A Triple
Ballrooms are necessary for some events, but avoid them whenever possible for Advisory Council meetings. They are the worst! Who wants to sit in a box surrounded by four walls all day? Not me and certainly not the executives who sit on your council. I can't imagine anything much worse! What works? A room with windows and access to an outdoor patio. Weather permitting, breakout groups, refreshment breaks, breakfast and lunch can all be held outdoors, while presentations and full group discussions can be held inside. It works especially well for the snowbirds in January!

Ambiance - A Homerun
Executives deserve a break now and then, even if it is for just an hour or so between meetings. A tranquil setting will help them relax and de-stress during non-meeting times, rejuvenating them for the creative and rich dialog you hope to achieve during Advisory Council meetings. Quaint nooks and crannies for quick calls to the office during breaks offer peace and privacy. That beats a crowded lobby every time! So think "executive getaway" when planning your next meeting. It's an added perk that will keep executives interested in coming back the next time!

Remember, start with the right location and celebrate every little hit. They add up quickly. They all count toward the winning score, and you'll score big with every meeting!

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