Those tagged to select an out-of-town hotel for a company's annual meeting should keep in mind two simple truths: everything is negotiable, and get it in writing.

Before choosing a hotel and negotiating terms, consider the meeting's objective and review its history.

Event planners say a meeting's objective will dictate its location. For example, if it's a quick board meeting, a hotel near the airport might be best so executives can fly in and out the same day. If it's a stockholders' meeting that requires seating for 2,000, a downtown hotel with space to accommodate the group would be best.

"You should develop your vision and budget based on the objectives and needs of the meeting," said Barbara Connell, senior vice president of education for the Professional Convention Management Association. "After that, you can quickly hone down the location."

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