small meetings blogIt may seem like an oxymoron, but small meetings can very easily and comfortably be held in large meeting venues. At this point, you may be scratching your head thinking, “How is this possible and why would convention center staff ever want to host small meetings?”

It’s possible because convention centers have scalable meeting space for breakout sessions and at least one boardroom dedicated to executive retreats. In addition, small meetings don’t conflict with an ongoing convention, as this space is somewhat removed from the general session room and trade show activity.

Let’s take a closer look at small meeting dynamics and why convention centers are a great place to host them.

Small Meetings Have Big Numbers

Small meetings are generally defined as a gathering with a specific purpose to carry out time-sensitive objectives. Typical small meetings are private board retreats, management training sessions, informal product launches or sales meetings.

In addition, small meetings are significant contributors to the meeting and event industry. Here are two sources to consider.

According to, 80 percent of all meetings in the U.S. have fewer than 50 attendees and represent more than $10 billion annually in spending.

Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Convene Meetings Survey indicated:

  • 78 percent of respondents expect the number of small meetings booked to remain the same as last year
  • 17 percent expect to hold more
  • 5 percent expect the number of small meetings they hold to decrease.

Why a Convention Center

Here are the five benefits of holding your small meeting at a large convention center:

1. Peace of Mind

The banquet staff, group sales professionals, AV techs and other support staff have planned and executed meetings for thousands of individuals over the years. Because the logistics of planning a small meeting are the same as a large one, you can rest assured the staff is prepared to help you every step of the way.

2. One Phone Number to Arrange Everything

In a convention center setting, everything is arranged for you, starting with a call to the group sales professional. Tell them what you want, and they will make it happen. No more frantic calls or RFPs to multiple hotels, caterers and AV companies.

This is especially helpful because most small meetings are planned within 45 days of execution. With tight schedules, it’s optimal to be dealing with a single point of contact.

3. There Are More Options

With a convention center, there will be on-site dining and usually on-site activities, especially if the hotel rooms are connected to the center.

In the case of Kalahari, after the meeting wraps up for the day, attendees can go to the waterpark, fitness center or full-service salon and spa. You can also take advantage of the many lounges or go on one of the nearby hiking trails.

In addition, if you wish to venture off-site, the sales staff can recommend local attractions and even help you book them. For example, if your group loves to golf, arrangements can be made with a golf course close by for the tee times you desire.

4. Can Utilize Outdoor Space

Many convention centers are creating outdoor space for attendees to gather and learn. Venue staff is finding attendees want to enjoy the great outdoors while listening to a presenter or brainstorming about a company problem.

5. The Rooms Are State-of-the-Art

Each room is already wired with Wi-Fi, has at least one large monitor in it for presentations and can be set up for a conference call or video conference.

In summary, when looking for a small meeting venue, consider a convention center for all of the reasons listed above. Go on a site visit and explore the possibilities!

About Kalahari

Whatever your need, Kalahari Resorts and Conventions has it all – a unique convention center, world-class waterpark and comfortable hotel rooms all under one roof.  Our group sales staff is standing by at 855.411.4605 to help you with your next meeting. We welcome all types of events; no meeting is too small or too large for Kalahari.