Whether you're planning a large convention or a small meeting, there are many decisions to be made.

But one of the first decisions the planner of a smaller meeting needs to make is whether to stage that meeting at a small hotel or at a larger hotel or resort. In fact, there are advantages to both.

Small hotels and resorts can provide an intimate atmosphere for your smaller group. These properties can be particularly appealing if you have a tight-knit group, one that requires total confidentiality, or one that wishes to use the hotel's beautiful public spaces for private functions.

Some meeting professionals of smaller groups always opt to stay at smaller properties for additional reasons. Among the reasons cited are that they feel like they receive more personalized service, are more "important" to the smaller property (a big fish in a small pond), have more flexibility, or because they can often book their meeting further out at a smaller hotel.

They also feel like they can often negotiate a better deal at a smaller property. This may be true in some situations, but isn't generally the case.

Smaller doesn't mean less important. Since a large percentage of the meetings industry is composed of small meetings, hotels and resorts of all sizes realize the importance of the small meetings sector and know it is in their best interest to do all they can to accommodate the needs of smaller groups.

Smaller meetings continue to be vitally important to larger hotels and resorts. They do recognize the importance of these groups to the hotel's overall performance. They also realize small, high-level meetings can often lead to future, larger meetings, as a result of the service experience.

One unique way for many larger hotels and resorts to cater to small groups is by featuring a "hotel within a hotel” concept. This can be achieved by providing a self-contained setting within a larger resort. Groups enjoy a more intimate portion of a larger hotel, but still have access to the wealth of recreational amenities and dining facilities at their fingertips.

Talk to your group about the options that meet your needs. It may be one of the finest small hotels in a collection or may be one of a wide variety of larger properties that also specializes in serving "smaller" groups that could be the right solution for you.