While larger venues are better suited for big groups, smaller spaces provide the intimate and personalised touch welcomed in high-profile closed-door meetings.

Story by KRISTIE THONG

The notion that big is better may be true when catering to the needs of large-sized conferences or exhibitions, but the C-suite will believe otherwise.

The selection of meeting settings is often determined by the purpose of an event, according to Adobe group marketing manager for Southeast Asia Janie Lim.
“Small meetings are typically hosted for the purpose of holding closed-door discussions with key clients and partners, in turn, encouraging interaction and strengthening relationships.”
Smaller meeting spaces, akin to boardrooms or unconventional spaces that take up to 30-40 pax, are designed for the purpose of offering a more intimate setting conducive enough for business discussions.
Kelvin Yong, a 15-year events management professional in Singapore and Asia Pacific, said larger spaces may compromise some touch points as they tend to have more groups, or larger groups to manage.
On the flip side, smaller spaces tend to eliminate “dead space” and tend to be more cost-effective, while providing a more responsive and personalised level of service.

The choice

Ms Lim stated that some key factors taken into account when choosing a small meeting space is its location, venue reputation, service reliability, availability and budget.
“We are inclined to select well-maintained venues that are appealing to our target audience. Ideally, the venue should be in an exclusive yet accessible location – a place which is easy for our guests to locate.”
When asked for some small meeting spaces that resonated with her, Ms Lim cited Conrad Centennial Singapore and Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok.

“[Conrad Centennial Singapore] is centrally located, which is accessible for our guests. The rooms are tastefully decorated with enough privacy to facilitate on-going discussions. On top of that, service standards are excellent,” she said.
Ms Lim also admired the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok’s versatile range of function rooms and unique and creatively-themed areas, which she said is one of Adobe’s “favourite places to host small group meetings in Thailand as the creative vibe the venue exudes is in line” with what the brand stands for.
With event organisers veering towards the unconventional, groups hosting meetings off-site have also seen an increase.
Mr Yong added that the advantage of using an off-site venue is the potential to design a different experience, the ability to think outside the box, and a greater flexibility with space usage.

When asked, he cited Commune by the Great Wall, Beijing and Tippling Club, Singapore as unconventional intimate small spaces ideal for intimate meetings.
“[Commune by the Great Wall combines] 12 award-winning spaces and allow very intimate and different environments for any type of audience or theme with very spectacular views,” he said.
He has also hosted an event at Tippling Club, a restaurant, which he believed presented a clear unconventional concept from the start.
“Leveraging on the culinary concept of the Tippling Club of deconstruction, the approach of the meeting was to ‘break’ the topics of discussion down and address the simple issues that mattered most. The theme was further carried through the food and beverages specially designed for the day,” Mr Yong said.