Meeting trends: smaller meetings, smaller venues, closer to home

Meeting planners may want to look at recent trends and rethink the variables that go into planning for a successful meeting – factors like venue type and size, number of attendees in the group, and distance traveled,

According to the 2017 Global Meeting & Events Forecast, there is a predicted increase in the number of small meetings taking place this year. In addition, experts say they will take place closer to home, will be in smaller venues and at more affordable boutique hotels.

Surprisingly, more midscale hotels than luxury hotels will be unveiled next year, setting a nationwide trend that shows meeting planners will benefit from a competitive price point, convenience and high quality service as a result.

With these trends in mind, Fond du Lac – a small town located just an hour from Wisconsin’s major cities of Madison, Milwaukee and Green Bay – offers an affordable luxury boutique hotel that rivals those in major metropolitan cities.

Making the deal even sweeter is Hotel Retlaw’s location in the heart of downtown Fond du Lac. It gives meeting attendees the extra advantage of very little traffic congestion and the added convenience of walking to nearby restaurants, shops and art studios.  The result is a relaxing, upscale atmosphere that welcomes small group meetings as well as larger conventions.

Built in 1923, the eight-story art déco Hotel Retlaw has been the overnight choice for Hollywood stars and U.S. Presidents.  Currently undergoing a multimillion dollar makeover, it offers luxury at a price that will please even the most budget-conscious meeting planners.

“As a luxury boutique hotel, we built ourselves to be competitive with the larger markets,” said Steve Frantz, who, along with Dennis Doucette, co-owns the Hotel Retlaw.  “Meeting planners will find we are more affordable than similar properties in bigger cities. They can drive an hour to get here and still get more bang for the buck. Plus, it’s always a pleasant change to get your meetings off-site once in a while.”

Hotel Retlaw Lobby

While retaining its historic and elegant back-in-time look, the hotel will be “over the top” with modern updates, state-of-the-art technology and the latest high-tech meeting equipment.   The property includes an elegant full-service dining room, a coffee shop, luxury spa, an elaborate ballroom and seven tastefully decorated meeting rooms.

According to the 2017 American Express Global Meetings and Events Forecast, midscale hotels like the Retlaw outnumber luxury hotels opening next year by nearly four-to-one in the U.S.  They report that the demand for midscale hotel properties is higher than any other hotel type.

According to Frantz, Hotel Retlaw will provide flexibility in pricing and meeting packages that will suit every budget.

“We offer midscale hotel pricing, but what we deliver is a luxury hotel product,” Frantz said.

To learn more about the Hotel Retlaw or to view the new look, go to

For further information, contact Carrie Stollenwerk, Director of Sales at the Fond du Lac Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (920) 923-3010 Email: [email protected].

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