Might micro meetings be the new normal?

As a response to the shutdown of large gatherings, small meetings have been trending since late last year and could remain the main meeting go-to throughout 2021, especially when paired with a virtual component for a hybrid mix.

Hotels are all over it, offering deals and packages that cater to small groups. Here are opportunities across the land.

Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt, Austin, Texas; Kimpton Pittman Hotel, Dallas

Kimpton Pittman Hotel, Dallas

For 10 people or fewer, both Kimpton properties are offering board-style meeting rooms, such as The Republic and Red River at Hotel Van Zandt and Think Tank Boardroom and Elm + Good’s private dining room at Pittman Hotel; other spaces are available as well. This package also includes the following.

  • 10 percent discount on audiovisual equipment (hybrid meeting packages available)
  • Mini office kit: note pad, pens and bottled water
  • 10 percent discount at Geraldine and Cafe 605 (Hotel Van Zandt, Tuesday and Wednesday nights only) and Elm + Good (Kimpton Pittman)

Inns of Aurora, New York

Inns of Aurora offers small groups outdoor-centric meetings and breakouts with its Adventure Aurora package. The four-day package includes private rental at one of five luxe inns, plus activities like light yoga and meditation, fishing and archery lessons, arts and crafts workshops, and bonfires with gourmet s’mores.

Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, Key West, Florida

Casa Marina offers a range of special features for your program, from boot camp for the fitness-oriented to branded sand sculptures welcoming your group to the property. For meeting professionals looking to go all out, the resort’s Iconic Package includes amenities such as cigar rolling and musical entertainment, bike rentals, watersports, and deals on Casa Marina’s F&B offerings.

Keeneland Racecourse, Lexington, Kentucky

This historic racetrack also features meeting venues—and has created small meetings packages to accommodate hybrid and virtual meetings, in-person functions and team-building events. Keeneland’s Hybrid Hospitality packages offer fun activities for virtual and hybrid gatherings.

  • A Virtual Day at the Races

A customizable package of interactive games, snacks and drinks from Keeneland. With Zoom backgrounds, “betology” education and Keeneland’s virtual call to the post (trumpeting to signal the arrival of the horses onto the track), your group will get the full Keeneland betting experience via virtual platform.

  • Hybrid Bet-to-Win Game (hybrid meeting add-on)

Bringing the race day to your group’s door, this game includes components usually only enjoyed in person, such as a racing program, Keeneland Cash and mutuel tickets, which will be shipped to your attendees. The call to post will draw attendees to their screens, where they’ll cheer their horses to the finish line. Perfect for a break or cocktail hour, Bet-to-Win is rivalry-fueled team building.

The Foundry Hotel, Asheville, North Carolina

In partnership with Asheville Hot Air Balloons, for up to 16 people, The Foundry offers meeting opportunities that are sky high. The property also has three meeting spaces: Eagle Boardroom, 1,800-square-foot Savoy Ballroom and an event ballroom, as well as on-site catering.

Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston

The iconic downtown property refashioned its fourth-floor Fairmont Gold Lounge into a private, conference-style meeting space for groups up to five. Featuring windows to let in natural light, the space resembles a Gilded Age residence. The Work Away From Home micro-meeting package includes the following.

  • Scheduled disinfection breaks
  • Socially distant seating
  • Complimentary PPE kit upon arrival
  • Easel board
  • Flexible cancellation terms prior to five days to arrival

And optional package upgrades are as follows.

  • Discounted guest rooms for meeting attendees
  • Livestream event technology to expand the meeting virtually

The Reach Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton

The Reach Key West is newly renovated and on Key West’s only private natural-sand beach. The resort has three non-combinable offerings for groups.

All-inclusive F&B packages (offering to groups of between 20 and 80)

  • A la carte breakfast, lunch and dinner options at Four Marlins, The Reach’s restaurant; and pool and beach

Drive and Save

  • Complimentary parking
  • Waived $45 resort fee
  • $50 gas voucher per room for three or more nights
  • Flexible attrition and cancellation
  • Double Hilton Honors points
  • All-inclusive meal plans

Waived set-up fee for Gazebo Boardroom, plus double Hilton Honors points

How to book: Allison Diange, allison.diangle@hilton.com

The Drake Oak Brook, Illinois

The Drake is home to more than 34,000 sq. ft. of outdoor space, made up of gardens, a veranda, a patio, two fountains and a gazebo. In cold weather, the property has four igloos that can accommodate up to six people each. And while your group is there, they could step up their cigar-rolling skills during the Cigar Rolling and Whiskey Tasting Experience. In addition to two hours of cigar rolling, your group gets a lot more.

  • 20 imported ready-to-smoke CF Dominicana SoHo Cigars
  • 40 imported unfinished CF Dominicana SoHo Cigars—rolled at event
  • Custom-designed cigar band
  • Guided tasting of five whiskies (1 oz. pours)
  • Includes a 10 percent discount on food ordered from its restaurant or catering menu

Hilton Chicago O’Hare Airport

The Small Meeting with Big Savings package comes equipped with Hilton’s EventReady Hybrid Solutions, designed for hybrid meetings of up to 10 people in person and virtual attendees. The package’s meeting room is on Hilton Chicago’s second floor and features the usual suspects, such as F&B specials, including continental breakfasts and bento lunches, and audiovisual equipment.

How to book: chioh-salesadm@hilton.com

Waldorf Astoria Park City

For 20 guests or fewer, Waldorf Astoria Park City will create meeting space specific to your group size, and you won’t have to share foyer space with other programs. In addition to this, the property is offering the Intimate Meetings Package, which features some attractive items.

  • Full kitchen, great for setting breaks away from the meeting room
  • Private guest restrooms, only accessible to attendees
  • Additional space attached to main meeting room

Waldorf Astoria Park City also has offering exclusive for Smart Meetings clients that secure their 2021 meetings.

  • Complimentary one-bedroom suite upgrades (varies based on size of program)
  • Reduced resort fee
  • Discounted meeting room rental
  • Guest room and meeting room Wi-Fi included within resort fee
  • Discounted F&B options 
  • Discounted audiovisual through Encore, the property’s partner; they also offer special hybrid meeting packages
  • Waived outdoor fees

How to book: Ashley Hardy, senior sales manager, ashley.hardy@waldorfastoria.com

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