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

Top tips for putting together an agenda for your conference

A long conference table with notepad and pen Are you struggling for ideas on how to put together an agenda for an upcoming conference? You’ll want to make sure it covers everything required, as well as appealing to the relevant audience. We’ve put together our top tips for you to consider:

Think about the purpose

What is the purpose of the conference and what would you like the outcome to be? This needs to be at the forefront of your thinking when you’re planning in the topics of discussion to make sure everything is covered in your agenda. If you’re conveying a key message throughout, you’ll want the delegates to leave with this message in their mind.

Keep it clear and concise

People reading the agenda will want it to be brief. They’ll want to know what’s happening and when. A brief description for each section will normally suffice. On your agenda the start and end time should be made clear so that delegates can plan their travel accordingly. Prompt start? Ask your delegates to arrive 15-30 minutes early; you don’t want to be hanging around waiting for people to turn up.

Include regular refreshment breaks 

In order to ensure your delegates stay mentally fresh throughout the day, regular refreshment breaks are essential, in addition to interesting content and topics of discussion. If your conference is for a full day, an hour’s lunch break in addition to two or three 10-20 minute tea and coffee breaks throughout the day should be enough. At West Park your delegates will be able to stretch their legs and clear their minds in our garden, while enjoying refreshments.

Leave spare time

Although you’ll want your agenda to be as accurate as possible, leaving yourself some spare time is likely to be beneficial. If a discussion is going on longer than planned, you’ll be covered. It’s better for the conference to finish slightly earlier than expected rather than later.

The key for putting together an effective agenda is to keep your audience in mind at all times, and to use it to emphasise the benefits of attending.

Read Top tips for putting together an agenda for your conference…

Why Scotland is great for a group tour in summer 2015

Edinburgh cityscape If you are looking to arrange a tour for your clients next summer, why not consider a trip to Scotland? There’s plenty on offer to enjoy for people of all ages:

St Andrews

Here at West Park we’re only a short journey away from the popular, historic town of St Andrews, which has something on offer for just about everyone! Known as the home of golf, the British Golf Museum is a must visit for all golf fans. There are also two beaches to choose from as well as an aquarium, several other museums and some beautiful parks and gardens for people to take in the scenery.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe (7-31 August)

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world! From musicals to opera, dance and comedy, the Fringe is all about having fun and being creative! It’s a great experience and the 2015 festival is the next opportunity to view all the exciting new talent from across the world.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (7-29 August)

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is all about music, ceremony, theatre and dance! With an existing audience in the hundreds of thousands, this world famous event should be on the ‘to do list’ of anyone planning to visit Scotland during the summer.

Glamis Castle, Broughty Castle Museum and Scone Palace

If you’re staying at West Park, you’ll be spoilt for choice with a wide range of stunning castles to visit in the local area. Glamis Castle, Broughty Castle Museum and Scone Palace are all full of fascinating history and are well worth a tour!

Discovery Point

Getting on-board the ship at Discovery Point is a great family day out for adventure seekers. Visitors will be able to learn about the history of the Royal Research Ship by interacting with the impressive audio-visual equipment, and will then be able to relax in the on-site café.

If you’re currently planning your tour for next summer, Scotland has more than enough to offer to keep your group intrigued and excited! If you’re thinking about accommodation, we offer affordable en-suite rooms from just £37 per night throughout June, July and August.

Read Why Scotland is great for a group tour in summer 2015…

Four things to do in Scotland during summer 2015

Festival-goers dancing Are you looking to plan a holiday for next summer, or just want to get away for a break for a few days? Why not come and see the beautiful sights on offer in Scotland while enjoying some entertainment? You certainly won’t be stuck for something to do while staying at West Park next summer.

The Edinburgh International Film Festival (17-28 June)

Are you a movie buff? If so, this festival will be right up your street. 2015 marks the 69th Edinburgh International Film Festival and you’ll be able to see previews of the most exciting and original new films, as well as the up and coming new talent just getting started in the industry.

T in the Park Festival (10-12 July)

Let yourself go at the increasingly popular T in the Park music festival! Taking place over three days, it attracts some of the best international artists. Keep an eye out for the 2015 line-up and see if any of your favourites will be performing!

Rewind Festival Scotland (24-26 July)

Go back to the 1980’s with the Rewind Festival! Taking place in Perth in 2015, you’ll be able to reminisce with some classic hits and there will also be other entertainment on offer! Previous years have included a funfair, an inflatable church, fireworks and a silent disco!

Edinburgh International Festival (7-31 August)

Do you have a passion for creativity and artistic performance? The Edinburgh International Festival provides a whole three weeks packed full of music, theatre, opera and dance! With the packed schedule, there’s sure to be plenty on offer that you’d enjoy. If you’re an artist yourself, you could even be invited to perform!

You could create some memories that you’ll never forget by spending part of your 2015 summer in Scotland. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, here at West Park we offer leisure break accommodation in Dundee during the months of June, July and August.

Read Four things to do in Scotland during summer 2015…

Five things you need to organise an evening dinner party

An evening dinner party laid out at West Park, Dundee. Whether it’s for a wedding anniversary, birthday or just a special meal, if you’ve got a dinner party to organise you’ll want it to go perfectly. There’s so much to think about though, where do you start? Check out our list of essentials and your event is sure to be a night to remember:

Plenty of space

Sounds obvious, but make sure the space you’ve hired has got the right amount of room. The last thing you want is for your guests to be so close together their elbows are in each other's food, or so far apart they need to shout to have a conversation!

A venue with a range of rooms to choose from is ideal, and at West Park we have several beautiful function suites which cater for different numbers of guests, from 20 to 200. Drop our Events Team an email and they’ll be happy to have a chat with you about your requirements.

A tasty menu

It goes without saying that a delicious menu at a reasonable price is a must. Lots of venues will have a set price menu, which is a great idea for a private party as everyone can order what they want beforehand to save time and hassle on the night. Take a look at our celebration menu, our special three course dinner starts from just £21.95 per person.

Car parking

We’ve all been there – when you arrive nice and early for an evening meal out, only to get flustered because there are no parking spaces nearby or you’ve run out of change for the car park. Try and pick a venue that has a decent car park near; ours at West Park has free parking for over 100 cars.

Events support

If you choose a venue that has an in-house Events Team, that’s a huge bonus. They can support you in run up to your dinner party, answering any questions you’ve got, and be there on the night to sort out any last minute niggles so you can just concentrate on having a great time. If you organise your evening dinner party at West Park our friendly Events Team will be with you every step of the way, just get in contact for more information.

A place to rest your head

Wouldn’t it be great if after your dinner party has finished, your guests could just take a short stroll back to their rooms and not have to worry about having a drink or finding a taxi? If you can, find a venue where there’s accommodation nearby and your guests will definitely thank you for it. Better yet, a venue with accommodation included! If you’re organising a summer dinner party at West Park we can offer you preferential rates for our great value en-suite bedrooms.

Read Five things you need to organise an evening dinner party…

Checklist for a successful fundraiser

The suite Are you arranging an event to raise some funds? Take a look at our checklist to make sure you hit your target:

Select your audience and think about the venue

As with anything, a relevant audience is crucial. Think about the audience well in advance, which will be dependent on the type of fundraiser you’re arranging. How many people are you planning to invite? The venue for the fundraiser should be at the forefront of your thinking and needs to have facilities to cater to the needs of the attendees. Will you be dancing the night away? Some of our rooms at West Park will give you the option of a dance floor.

Send out invites early

You don’t want to leave people with short notice; their calendars may already be full! Invite people early, make them aware of the purpose of the event and encourage them to attend. Send reminders close to the date of the event so that those attending don’t forget it’s taking place.

Choose the right channels for promotion

When promoting your fundraiser, think about the most effective methods. Do you want to advertise it on the internet or social media? Or are personal invites over the phone or by email more suitable?

Think about key messages to convey during the event

Do you want to raise awareness of what you’re raising funds for? You might want to have a stand or some literature for people to take away and find out more. You may wish to seek some volunteers who are happy to be a source of information while the event is taking place.

Make it enjoyable

Everyone attending will be hoping for a fun-filled event, so you’ll want to do your best to make it enjoyable and memorable. Whatever your theme, be sure to focus on the expectations of your guests!

Plan your fundraiser carefully and you’ll be close to hitting your target!

Read Checklist for a successful fundraiser…
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