The blog from West Park - all our latest news and views — articles for November 2013

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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Choosing a party venue

An empty champagne bottle with bright party streamers and an empty champagne glass. Choosing a venue for a party can be lots of fun but it can also be quite daunting if you haven’t done it before. Our events team has shared their top tips to help you choose a perfect party venue, whether it’s for ‘a family do’, a school leaver’s prom or a graduation ball. When planning a party ask yourself:

  • Is the venue the right size?

When you start making enquiries about party venues, the provider will be able to tell you how many people their rooms can accommodate. If you’re hosting an intimate family celebration, you’ll want a cosy room that feels comfortably full but if you’re hosting a graduation ball, you need a spacious, room fit for all your fellow students. Be honest with yourself about how many people will attend- your guests will become irritable if there’s not enough room on the dance floor, but conversely, you don’t want a room that is so large it feels impersonal.

  • Can the room be styled or decorated in a chosen theme?

Some venue providers will offer styles or themes as part of a package, and some will let you decorate the venue yourself. If you want to bring in your own balloons, flowers, or streamers, check what the venue provider is happy with and make sure you have time to set up before the start of the party. West Park offers a ‘Celebration’ graduation ball package where the choice is all yours- you can even book your own DJ or band.

  • Does the party venue have a great entrance?

A fabulous entrance will set the tone for the party. Do you want your guests to come in to the events room through a balloon arch or a flower garland or is the entrance to the venue grand enough on its own? Choose a party venue that is adaptable and that makes a statement.

  • Is the location ideal?

Make sure your party venue is located centrally for your guests and is easily accessible. A stunning view or unique architecture will make the party memorable.

  • Is there a party planner that can help you?

A professional party venue will support you by providing an expert events planner. They’ll help you work out all the detail from music to catering and decorations which can really take the head-ache out of party planning for you. You’re looking for excellent service and attention to detail, so make sure the venue staff leave nothing to chance.

If you’re thinking of planning a party or celebration event and you’re looking for the perfect venue, look no further than West Park.

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