Whether you want to impress potential clients, or encourage some bonding among your employees, there are all sorts of reasons to hold an event in person – as conference coordinators at Gloucestershire venue Eastwood Park know well.
From the top three things to consider when settling on a venue, to harnessing insider knowledge and how to make an event extra special for attendees, general manager Paul Cadby tells SoGlos how to ensure your next event is a success.
About the expert – Eastwood Park
Easily accessible from the M5 and by train from Bristol, the 18th century Eastwood Park in Wotton-under-Edge offers 10 meeting rooms to suit events of all shapes and sizes, alongside 200 acres of outdoor space. The venue also benefits from in-house catering, as well as being able to accommodate delegates overnight, thanks to its 70 ensuite bedrooms.
For more information, visit eastwoodpark.co.uk.
How far in advance should businesses start planning an event?
The joy of conferences is that they can be pretty last-minute if needed – you never know when you’ll need that short notice meeting!
If you want to book in something bigger, like a team building event, then it’s definitely key to give yourself time. That way, you can focus on the detail – itinerary, catering, activities and accommodation – to ensure you’re really making the most of your event.
What are the advantages of being able to hold and attend events like this in person?
We’ve all adapted to virtual meetings, which are brilliant in so many ways, but there really is no replacement for in-person contact.
No matter the organisation or its size, team building is a fun and effective way to boost morale, strengthen relationships and build trust with one another – all whilst having a good time! And when your team bonds, the benefits speak for themselves.
Events such as team building offer an opportunity for employees to showcase their individual talents and skills; it also enables managers to discover the natural leaders in their team.
What should be front of mind when choosing a venue?
The three top things you should consider are space, catering and equipment.
Consider the number of guests and the style of conference you’re looking to achieve, whether you’d like a formal cabaret style conference, or a relaxed catch up with outdoor activities.
With 10 meeting rooms, 70 bedrooms, in-house catering and 200 acres to play with, Eastwood Park provides the perfect location for your conference, no matter your demands.
Then it’s time to discuss catering, which is always best to do well in advance, so your venue can accommodate for all dietary requirements and any special requests.
What are the benefits of having a dedicated conference co-ordinator?
A dedicated conference co-ordinator can use their experience from running daily conferences to ensure your day runs smoothly and every detail is captured.
Their knowledge is something to really take advantage of – they know what works well, what’s trending and what isn’t going to work, as well.
Use your co-ordinator from planning, all the way through to delivery and rest assured that your event will be seamless.
What should event organisers consider when it comes to catering?
Staying focused for long periods of time can be difficult and I’m sure you’ll be trying to pack lots into your day, so breaks are incredibly important.
Scheduling regular breaks will keep your guests happy, motivated and engaged. Morning pastries and coffee work a treat to get your conference started.
At Eastwood Park, we offer in-house catering options to suit your event – whether that’s a small buffet, or a full gala dinner with champagne.
What equipment is available at Eastwood Park?
At Eastwood Park, your conference comes fully equipped with Wi-Fi, notepads, pens, place cards and refreshments.
If there’s a certain activity you want to add into your itinerary, we work with third party suppliers for team building, décor, musicians – you name it, we’ve usually got a partner to fulfil your needs!
How can organisers make their events extra special for attendees?
Start your event planning with a goal in mind – what do you want to gain and what do you want your guests to take away? Then start to think outside the box on how you can achieve this.
Using a venue such as Eastwood Park, the options are almost endless: hot air balloon rides, assault courses, cocktail-making and clay pigeon shooting are just a few that come to mind.
Keep an eye on what’s currently trending and liaise with your event co-ordinator for innovative ideas.
In partnership with Eastwood Park | eastwoodpark.co.uk/conferences/