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

Five reasons to take your meeting away from the office

The large and spacious conference room at West Park.Looking for a bigger and better venue for your team meetings? Why not organise an away day with your colleagues? Away days are great for sharing ideas, brainstorming, fostering team work or communicating key messages. Being away from the hustle and bustle of the office is a bonus and can help get those creative juices flowing.

Do you need some help with planning your away day? Our checklist will point you in the right direction:

1. Location

The location is always important for a group meeting, you don’t want your delegates having to travel too far or hopping from train to train. West Park is located just outside of Dundee city centre, so if you’re on the hunt for a meeting venue in and around Dundee, come and pay us a visit!

2. Facilities

Being away from the office you want to be sure you’ve got the facilities and equipment you need for the day. We provide projectors, screens, laptops and flipcharts upon request. We also offer free Wi-Fi.

3. Refreshments

Providing the catering for a number of delegates can be a real headache. Not all venues provide catering, so it’s important to find this out. We offer a number of lunch packages including delicious delicatessen nibbles and freshly-made sandwiches.

4. Flexibility

Our dedicated team at West Park will be on board from the word go, we can help- you create a successful away day for you and your colleagues. Our team can assist with seating and layouts of your choice, setting up equipment on the day and most importantly, providing your refreshments.

5. Motivation

There are many truths to working away from the office; some have claimed speed and quality are compromised when employees work away. We believe it’s good to mix up your working environment, taking colleagues away from the office at least once a month is a great way to crank up those brains!

If you’re interested in booking an away day at West Park we've got some fantastic packages. Get in touch with our team or fill out our conference and meeting enquiry form.

Read Five reasons to take your meeting away from the office…

Classroom training or virtual training? Choosing the best way for your employees to develop

West Park offers facilities for staff training and meetingsTraditional classroom training can offer greater benefits than virtual training, if you choose an inspiring location, a motivating trainer and the right equipment. Check out the advantages of offering training in a classroom environment:

Staying focused  

An inspiring environment means there are fewer distractions and interruptions, so trainees are more likely to concentrate and stay focused. You can take advantage of useful tools, from audio visual equipment and projector screens to flipcharts. West Park, located in the quiet suburbs of Dundee, offers spacious training rooms and all the equipment you’ll need. Providing refreshments and a brain-stimulating lunch will also help your team to stay focused throughout the day. Our menus offer delicious healthy food made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Interact with your trainer

The more interaction your staff have with the trainer, the more likely they are to learn. A good instructor will adapt the training content and the pace to meet your staff’s needs. Face-to-face learning also offers the chance for staff to pick the trainer’s brain.

Share experiences

The downtimes during breaks and over lunch provide ideal opportunities for staff to interact informally with each other. This is of particular value for staff from different teams, as it can help build relationships and break down silos. While online discussion forums provide an opportunity to interact, they don’t match the experience of sharing opinions face to face. West Park provides relaxing spaces both indoors and outdoors for trainees to network.

Removing the desk shackles

Offering some time out from the office environment can be the perfect way to motivate staff. The fresh air and the captivating scenery of West Park should help to build team spirit and get the creative juices flowing again. Opportunities like this can be rare, so your staff should be more likely to seize it with open arms.

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.

Read Classroom training or virtual training? Choosing the best way for your employees to develop…

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.

Read Six key factors to planning a successful training event…

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.

Read Bored of the same four walls in your meetings? …

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 enquiries@westpark.co.uk

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