The blog from West Park - all our latest news and views — articles for January 2014

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? …

How to plan a sports team celebration event

A sports dinner setup in the West Park venue. One way to round off the end of your sporting season or to motivate your sports team is to organise a celebration event or awards ceremony.

Whether it’s a black tie night to celebrate winning the local rugby league, a social gathering for your orienteering team or an awards ceremony to recognise your Tae Kwon Do team’s efforts, West Park has the perfect space available.

Advance planning is the key to creating a successful sporting celebration event, so we’ve put together a checklist to make your event a success:

Choose the right venue.

Make sure the venue is suitable for the size of your party and is within your budget. It should be within easy reach for your guests, ideally with parking facilities, or has accommodation on-site or nearby for overnight stays. West Park has a wide variety of venues, suitable for a small intimate dinner or a gala banquet with a DJ or band, on-site parking and disabled facilities. We also offer comfortable accommodation in the summer months.

Check the venue’s facilities.

It’s important that the venue supplies everything you need to make your event run smoothly, including electrical and audio-visual equipment. West Park’s event experts can arrange tailored events with all the equipment and facilities, so you can enjoy your event without any hitches.

Set a date.

Make sure the date you pick doesn’t conflict with any other events in your guests’ calendars.

Price everything up and decide your budget.

You need to know how much you have to spend on the venue, food, transport, entertainment and gifts.

Select the menu.

An exciting menu that offers lots of choice and caters for special diets if necessary will keep your guests happy. At West Park we offer delicious menus sourced from the finest local ingredients and we cater for special dietary requirements.

Send out your invitations.

This could be a simple email, a text, a poster on your clubhouse’s noticeboard or you could even create a Facebook event to remind your guests to save the date.

Organise your seating plan.

This will help everyone know where they should go when they arrive and it tends to make guests feel more comfortable.

Add some fun.

You’ll want the event to be enjoyable, so arrange to have some images on a large screen or a video playing of your sports team’s highlights or achievements. Holding a raffle with donated gifts from local businesses or friends and family is also a popular choice.

You can find out more about holding your next event at West Park on our Sport events page or contact us to discuss your needs.

Read How to plan a sports team celebration event …

Nine questions to ask your wedding venue

A wedding layout in the Balbeggie Suite at West Park. Possibly the most expensive item in your wedding budget is booking the wedding venue. It’s really important to ask the right questions to get exactly what you want from your dream venue and to help your big day to run smoothly.

Here’s a list of questions to ask your potential venue:

1. Is it big enough for all my guests?

Only visit venues that are suitable for your numbers. West Park offers intimate wedding suites to suit small gatherings and can comfortably accommodate bigger celebrations too.

2. Is my preferred date available?

Wedding experts advise you to book as early as you can to get your preferred date. If your dates are flexible, you can get some great last-minute deals. Check out West Park’s late-availability packages.

3. Is there an in-house wedding co-ordinator?

A good wedding co-ordinator will take the organising out of your hands so you can concentrate on the rest of your planning. West Park provides a friendly, personal service from the moment you book right through to your wedding day.

4. Can the venue accommodate my theme?

Check if they can make your ideas a reality and if there are any restrictions with decor. Find out where the photographs will be taken to make sure the backdrop fits in with your theme.

5. Is there in-house catering?

If the venue provides food, ask to see all the menu options and if they’re flexible on menu choices; ask if they cater for children and special diets too. Find out more about West Park’s wedding menus.

6. Is all the equipment included?

Check if the room hire includes tables, chairs, linen, glassware and extras such as; chair covers, personalised menus and a cake stand and a knife. These small things can add up, so if you need to hire them, make sure you include them in your budget.   

7. Is entertainment allowed?

If the answer is ‘yes’, check there is sufficient power supply for any entertainment and sound systems that you may need. Also, find out how late the bar will be open and what time you and your guests will need to leave the venue.

8. Is there sufficient parking for guests?

It may not be a deal breaker but if there isn’t enough parking available, ask the venue for details on alternative parking nearby and let your guests know the location.

9. When does the deposit need to be paid?

To secure a venue you will often need to pay a deposit, so ask how much it is, when it needs to be paid and when the rest is due. It’s worth attending the wedding exhibitions at potential venues, so you can often take advantage of generous discounts. West Park offers a reduced deposit and the previous year’s price, if you attend their free wedding exhibitions.

West Park offers the finest traditional Scottish hospitality, first-class cuisine and a choice of suites. If you would like to arrange a viewing West Park, please get in touch.

Read Nine questions to ask your wedding venue…

Planning your big day? West Park’s Wedding Exhibitions have all the inspiration you need

A bride and groom on their wedding day. If you’ve just started planning your wedding or you’re looking for those all-important finishing touches, a wedding exhibition is a great place to start. At West Park, our wedding exhibitions provide an excellent opportunity to meet with Dundee’s finest wedding suppliers and discuss your specific needs, and to see a wide variety of wedding products and services, all under one roof.

Here are some useful things to consider when going to a wedding exhibition:

Which wedding exhibition?

Small wedding exhibitions are often less crowded and more intimate than the bigger events, so they’re definitely worth a visit. They’re great for finding local suppliers that can provide everything you need for your special day. At our next exhibition, you’ll have a chance to explore our variety of wedding suites and talk to our friendly wedding co-ordinators about your special day.

Who should you take with you?

Take people that you trust and are keen to be involved in the planning of your big day, such as your groom-to-be, your mum or your chief bridesmaid.

Meet local wedding suppliers face-to-face.

You’ll find the best wedding products and services that Dundee has to offer at our wedding exhibitions. By talking to local suppliers directly; whether it’s a florist, a photographer or a venue planner, you can decide if they’re right for you and your wedding. You’ll have a chance to see their products and services, and get some inspiring ideas.

Keep your budget in mind.

It’s a good idea to let suppliers know your budget so they can show you their products and services within your price range. Don’t be afraid to ask how much things cost or get quotes. Suppliers will usually have something to suit most budgets and tend to offer generous discounts and incentives at wedding exhibitions.

Take advantage of offers and discounts.

Exhibitions are ideal if you’re looking for late-availability wedding venue packages and fabulous discounts on everything; from bespoke wedding cakes to entertainment. Any brides-to-be attending one of our wedding exhibitions will be offered the previous year’s prices, if they confirm their booking at the event.

So brides save the date! West Park is hosting a free wedding exhibition on Sunday 26 January 2014. We look forward to seeing you and helping you to plan your perfect wedding day!

If you can’t make our exhibition, you’re welcome to come along another time, just give us a call on 01382 647171 or email

Read Planning your big day? West Park’s Wedding Exhibitions have all the inspiration you need…