Planning a business retreat, conference or two-hour meeting can be just as difficult as planning a wedding. Accommodating food allergies, selecting a productive atmosphere, creating effective floor plans, and following rules and etiquette can make hosting an effective meeting a daunting task.

One way to handle this is to think outside the box. Relocate your meeting off-site to a unique location that will take the stress out of planning, help you stay within budget and provide a relaxing environment.

Nestled in the heart of a bustling Downtown Columbia sits a serene, Federalist-style manor surrounded by acres of landscaped lawns, gardens and wooded areas called Historic Oakland. While the historic property is more than 200 years old, it boasts 21st century amenities. Owned by Columbia Association and managed by Town Center Community Association, the property sits just off of Vantage Point Road. Pathways, sidewalks and hotel shuttles make Historic Oakland accessible to all Downtown Columbia has to offer. For many, it’s a convenient location for meeting guests coming from Washington, D.C.; Virginia; Pennsylvania; or other regions of Maryland.

Many a satisfied client can offer a good review, like the following from Krysta Huxford, director of marketing and business relations at Davis, Agnor, Rapaport & Skalny.

“Tucked away from the hustle and bustle, yet conveniently located between Baltimore and Washington, Historic Oakland offered a classy and comfortable venue for our recent seminar series. The staff was a delight to work with and the flexibility to bring in our own catering was a benefit for our planning committee.”

Brian Jolles rents Oakland for his LeTip organization and meets in its lower ballroom every Wednesday morning. “This is the perfect meeting place for us; it’s an elegant venue, very fairly priced, and the staff goes out of their way to make us welcome,” said the CEO of Jolles Insurance and LeTip of Howard County president.

At Historic Oakland, the accommodating staff manages the setup of your meeting space with various floor plan options, covered tables and soft banquet chairs. Use of Wi-Fi, projectors, screens, easels, wireless microphone and podiums are always complimentary. Food, coffee and beverage service options are available, with service included. Outside catering is always welcome. Discounts are given to nonprofit organizations and Columbia-based organizations.

Across two levels of hardwood floors and wool carpeting sprawls a conference room, two spacious ballrooms and three other versatile spaces to choose from, including a library and a board room. For more information, visit or call 410-730-4744.