I have had the privilege of presenting the Heavy Hitter sales philosophy at more than two hundred national sales meetings and annual sales kickoffs. Below, you will find my top 10 hotel locations to hold a sales conference. Be forewarned, this list is based upon my personal experience and I wanted to include properties you may not be familiar with from all across the country. Also, I did not want to focus on mega-hotel locations like Orlando and Las Vegas (you already know all the places there). Finally, my list is based upon reasonably priced hotels (even though some may sound expensive) and these hotels offer something beyond the generic meeting place.
1. Château Elan (Atlanta, Georgia) – www.chateauelan.com Incredible property, great facilities coupled with impeccable attention to detail at a reasonable price make the Cheateu Elan number one on my list. Atlanta provides good year round weather and is easy to get to from anywhere in the US and even Europe.
2. Camelback Inn (Scottsdale, Arizona) – www.camelbackinn.com A beautiful hotel in a fabulous Southwestern mountain setting make the Camelback Inn one of the best locations for a sales meeting.
3. La Costa Resort (Carlsbad, California) – www.lacosta.com North of San Diego, the La Costa Resort is a great place for a meeting any time of year. If your meeting will also include your business partners and channel resellers, this is the perfect place.
4. Claremont Resort (Berkeley, California) – www.claremontresort.com Just twelve miles from San Francisco, the Claremont Resort is a wonderful Silicon Valley location for small and mid-size meetings.
5. Amelia Island Plantation (Amelia Island, Florida) – www.aipfl.com A very different Florida meeting location (better priced in the off-peak season).
6. Rancho Los Palmas (Rancho Mirage, California) – www.rancholaspalmas.com While Palm Springs may require an extra airplane connection to get to, the Rancho Los Palmas is worth the extra effort. Highly recommended activities: rent out the Palm Springs air museum for a nighttime event and “Field of Dreams” softball park for team building event.
7. SeaView Marriot (Atlantic City , NJ) www.seaviewmarriott.com A great place for a meeting in the Northeast US that you probably have never heard of.
8. Marco Island Marriott (Marco Island, Florida) www.marcoislandmarriott.com Marco Island is interesting alternative to the standard meeting in Orlando.
9. Long Beach Hilton and Executive Meeting Center (Long Beach, California) – www.hilton.com Good meeting facilities and a great location that provides some excellent evening event possibilities– group dinner at the Aquarium of the Pacific or on the Queen Mary.
10. Embassy Suites (Burlingame, California) – www.embassysuites.com I know you are probably surprised to see an Embassy Suites on this list, but this is a great place to have a meeting in Silicon Valley for up to 500 people. It’s only 5 minutes from San Francisco International Airport and situated right on the bay.
Here are some Honorable Mentions:
Westin – Indianapolis, Indiana
Hyatt Regency – Newport Beach, California
Hartford Marriott Downtown – Hartford, Connecticut
Carmel Valley Ranch – Carmel, California
Biltmore Hotel – Phoenix, Arizona
Pinehurst Resort – Pinehurst, North Carolina