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Meet Small: Six Essentials of Small Meetings

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Titlecard Meet Small Essentials of small meetings

Small meetings are getting a lot more attention lately and for good reason. They are the way to meet these days. Currently social distancing guidelines call for gatherings of 10 people or less.

Catalyst Ranch has been a venue for such meetings since it opened in 2002. We serve companies large and small in our meeting rooms that exude nostalgia, creativity and comfort in its décor. Our meeting space is designed to foster communication and innovation. Our large rooms give us the capacity to host one or more 10-person meetings concurrently. That includes connecting teams locally, regionally and internationally through the use of technology.

We’ve been around for 17 years, and as such know a few things about the power of small meetings. And the excellent reviews that clients send us have one thing in common, we facilitate better participation, top tier customer service and an atmosphere that delivers on successful meetings every time. So as we forge ahead with small headcounts, let’s review the six essentials of small meetings that help you elevate your most valuable resources: people and time.


Who – The attendees matter

One advantage to smaller meetings is attendee management. It commands careful attention to your invite list. Who needs to be there? Whose input will be valuable? Who will bring a unique perspective to the issues on the agenda? Inviting a key group of people, who are all invested in the outcome of the meeting, will guarantee that the discussion is informed and on-target.

What – More productive meetings

Just as small team collaboration leads to better communication, they are also believed to prevent groupthink. Participants in smaller meetings are less likely to “go with the flow” and more likely to voice individual ideas, feel more included in the process, and furthermore feel more engaged. Smaller teams that provide more perceived support are further able to buffer stressful experiences and promote performance.

When – For big decision making

Employees in small teams are more likely to voice their own opinions, challenge those of others, and eventually make better, more thought-out decisions; to discuss or decide on a topic or issue. Smaller meeting groups make each guest more accountable for contributing. Meetings with a smaller number of people give each person a chance to share their thoughts without fear of time constraints and really feel like they’re being valued. The result is effective meetings produce a tangible outcome and do it faster (or better) than asynchronous collaboration.

Where – Location, location, location

Take it offsite. Going offsite can have the advantage of removing participants from the distractions of the workplace and give you the opportunity to keep people focused, motivated and energized. But where you go should meet these qualifying markers.

  • Space to roam
  • Natural light
  • Flexible meeting formats
  • No surprise prices
  • Professional meeting facilitation referrals

Why – Less is more

Smaller teams allow for autonomy, greater accountability, and flexibility, both in terms of scheduling and idea-based changes. They tend to foster greater trust among team members and less fear of failure.

How – Guided professional help for best outcomes

Once you’ve identified the reason for meeting, the attendees, where to meet and when, you might need help keep things on track. For best outcomes and met meeting objectives, a professional meeting facilitator will help make your meeting session even more productive. A facilitator will make sure everyone listens, stays on topic with the agenda, knows their roles, and feels included in the process. That includes team members who attend via video conference.


When you’re getting your departmental or management team in one space to brainstorm, team build or plan for the next quarter or year, come to Catalyst Ranch. We have the experience, expertise and the know-how to help you achieve the results you want when getting together. For single or multiple day meetings, meals and snacks, we are open to take your calls and inquiries. Get in touch today, or pass us along to someone who could use our meeting services. Our record and reputation shows that meetings here are more productive, and more engaging.


Headshot of Catalyst Ranch Marketing Manager Amanda Pink, smiling.Amanda Pink is the Marketing Manager at Catalyst Ranch

(312) 207-1710 or

Catalyst Ranch is a unique meeting and events space located in Chicago’s West Loop, supported by a professional staff dedicated to providing a stimulating and electric environment that ignites the imagination.