The blog from West Park - all our latest news and views — articles in the category "Conferences and meetings"

Six key factors to planning a successful training event

WestParks' boardrooms can be optimised for your meeting or training needs Off-site training events are one of the best ways to keep your employees motivated and develop their skills. If you’re planning a training event, here are our tips:

Choose a good quality trainer

Whether you choose a professional trainer or someone from your business, they need to be strong communicators and have good interaction skills to ensure trainees stay focused during the training.

Ensure the training content is engaging

If your training content is exciting and interesting, your trainees will be more willing to learn and absorb the information they’re given. To help keep your trainees motivated include a mix of activities, such as role playing or an informal quiz.

Pick a good venue

Trainers have told us that the most effective training occurs off-site because there are fewer interruptions and trainees are more likely to concentrate. So choose a professional venue in a good location that offers a good-quality service. West Park, located in the quiet suburbs of Dundee, offers spacious training rooms and a flexible approach to customers’ training needs.

Have the right equipment

A professional venue will provide all the audio visual and IT equipment you need whatever your planned activities, but not all venues include this in their package prices. If you’re planning hands-on training you may need Wi-Fi, flip chart paper and sticky notes, so make sure these are available.

Provide brain-stimulating food and drinks

A healthy menu and regular refreshments will ensure your trainees stay alert and motivated throughout the day. Our menus offer delicious healthy food made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. 

Measure your success

It’s a good idea to ask for feedback including the training content, the trainer and the venue. This information will help you to measure success, make improvements and identify further training for your trainees.  

If you’re planning a training session, our team at West Park can help you to deliver a successful event. Please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

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Bored of the same four walls in your meetings?

Glen Doll meeting room with desk in horseshoe layout If you need to brainstorm your next project or discuss targets for the next financial year, the same four walls or a busy canteen may not provide the most inspiring environment. Choosing an off-site venue is an ideal solution to make the most of your team's skills and get the creative juices flowing.

Here are five reasons why you should consider an off-site venue for your next meeting:

1.    Greater productivity.

The same environment and agenda can be boring for your team. A change of venue can encourage new ideas and creativity; it can also create a sense of excitement which can help to motivate your team even when they return to the office.

2.    Space.

Giving your team the right space, whether it’s a comfortable, bright meeting room or access to an outdoor space can help ideas flow more freely and allow employees to feel relaxed. West Park, located in the leafy west end of Dundee, has a range of meeting rooms available, suitable for teams of all sizes.

3.    No distractions.

When you’re in an office meeting there can be countless distractions which are difficult to ignore such as; emails, phone calls and urgent issues. Getting your team out of their comfort zone and into a new environment can energise them and help to focus on the tasks at hand.

4.    Good facilities.

A venue with helpful, dedicated staff and good facilities such as Wi-Fi, flipcharts and audio visual equipment is likely to make your meeting a better experience for your team. Providing refreshments and a brain-stimulating lunch will also help to keep your team focused throughout the day. At West Park, our menus offer delicious healthy food made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. 

5.    Networking opportunities.

When you move your meeting to an off-site venue, employees can get to know each other in a more relaxed environment. Your team will have opportunities to share their knowledge and build up key relationships which may contribute to the success of your project in the long run.   

If you’re looking for a new venue for your next meeting, check out our conference centre facilities. Our full-day delegate package is competitively priced at £27.99 per person and includes room hire, a venue co-ordinator, equipment hire and a delicious lunch.

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Top tips for planning a team building away day

Customers look over the reports during a team meeting at West Park. The image shows the suited customers pointing and discussing the documents. A team away day can be the perfect opportunity for even the closest teams to come together away from the distractions of the office, to break down barriers and focus on the months ahead. Here are our top tips for planning a team building away day.

    1.  Focus on your objectives.

Team away days sometimes come under criticism as ‘an office jolly with little value’. However if you focus on what you want to achieve from this precious time, you’ll be sure to maximise its impact. Do you want to come away with a new strategy, or bring your dispersed team together to get to know each other? Or do you want to motivate your staff and inspire them for the next financial quarter? Setting out clear goals as part of the planning process will help you figure out what activities you might run and what equipment you’ll need. If you can involve your team in planning their away day, they’ll be more inclined to ‘buy-in’ to its benefits.

    2.  Include a mix of activities.

Not many people want to sit through hours of PowerPoint and flip charts. Of course, presentations and brainstorming play an important role in corporate away days but including team games, team building activities, ways of getting to know your team mates better, workshops, and motivational speeches will keep momentum throughout the day, sustaining interest and engagement from your delegates.

    3.  Choose brain-stimulating food and drink.

A well balanced menu for your team away day can be key to keeping the creative juices flowing. A high protein meal can help avoid the post-lunch lull that all event hosts dread. Regular refreshment breaks will help your delegates concentrate so make sure you have lots of drinking water available to keep your guests hydrated.

    4.  Ensure you have all the equipment you need.

A professional venue will provide all the audio visual and IT equipment you need whatever your planned activities, but not all venues include this in their package prices. If you’re planning a brainstorm that requires flip chart paper, make sure this is on-hand and that your pens are full of ink! Plan for the un-planned where you can… if you think there’s a chance you’ll need ‘post-it’ notes, sticky labels or an extra laptop and internet connection, make sure these can be made available.

    5.  Pick an inspiring location.

An interesting view can stimulate creative thinking. Choose a venue that’s central for the whole team, especially if some have far to travel, but make sure your venue has something unique about it that will help motivate and inspire your staff. West Park is located in the leafy west end of Dundee and with stunning views of the River Tay from the manicured lawns it’s an ideal venue for clear-headed thinking. 

Planning a team away day? Discuss our flexible, professional venue by calling us on 01382 647177 or email

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