My favorite things about small group meetings are getting to know the others in attendance very quickly and enjoying unique activities that might not work for larger gatherings. Five journalists from around Colorado and the U.S. had the chance to explore Telluride recently, staying at Hotel Madeline in Mountain Village and dining at both on-site restaurants, SMAK Bar and REV. We were lucky to meet Chef de Cuisine Bud Thomas the first night and spend the next morning shopping at the Farmer’s Market and watching him prepare two tasty salads and an incredible berry dessert for lunch using produce and strawberries purchased at the market.  Bud is starting a hydroponic garden in the hotel’s basement and has produce growing outside the restaurants.

There are so many festivals during the summer in Telluride that the season has eclipsed winter in terms of tourists. If your group is meeting in Telluride, figure out ways to tie into this built-in form of entertainment. We brought a fabulous picnic breakfast to Town Park early one morning to watch the balloons lift off during Telluride Balloon Festival and returned later in the evening to watch the balloon glow on Main Street. 

Two additional restaurants that work well for groups are Cosmopolitan, located across the gondola station in Telluride and with a nice glassed in area toward the back that works well for private dining, and Allred’s, situated at the midway gondola station. It is hard to beat the stunning views from Allred’s large windows. The cuisine and cocktails at both places are excellent.

Another fun outing is a four-wheel drive Ophir Pass tour with Telluride Outside. We were unable to reach the top due to the amount of snow still on the mountaintops so we did a side trip to the top of the iconic Bridal Veil Falls as well. One thing I realized is that some people are not candidates for this type of trip if the road is narrow, bumpy and hugging the side of a mountain. For those who are, it’s a great way to get out into the backcountry without hiking.

The Spa at Hotel Madeline is offering a variety of treatments using ISUN’s wildcrafted, organic and natural products. ISUN is based in nearby Ridgway. I tried the Gemstone Ritual ISUN, which uses crystal energy wants and four gemstone-energized oils, and left totally happy and relaxed. 

Explore new renovations and hotels for your group in Ventura County Coast. Mix business with sunshine! Host a safe, productive meeting at one of our hotels, then bond as a team relaxing at the beach or shopping, whale watching or exploring Channel Islands National Park (also known as “the Galapagos Islands of North America”).


Incorporating the host city into the framework of the meeting is an effective way to enhance the content of the conference.

Host in Local Hotel
While attendees might flock to flag hotels, consider a boutique hotel as overflow to showcase the destination. In Lubbock, the DoubleTree by Hilton offers a local flair through design and cuisine; meanwhile, just a few streets over, the Cotton Court Hotel pays tribute to the area’s cotton history. 


Plano, Texas is truly the land of plenty. Blending historic charm with modern luxury, the city brims with attractions and amenities. With nearly 60 hotels of various price points, 1000+ restaurants, world class shopping, a lively arts and nightlife scene, abundant natural beauty, and four walkable districts, Plano is the perfect city for a meeting of any size.