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Conference calling

Posted on: 20 Oct 02


A successful conference can play a vital part in the sometimes onerous management task of keeping employees motivated and well trained and in the last decade conferences have become an essential part
A successful conference can play a vital part in the sometimes onerous management task of keeping employees motivated and well trained and in the last decade conferences have become an essential part of contemporary company culture but for organisers the ingredients for a successful conference are difficult to pin down. Balancing costs and benefit, timescales and effectiveness are the non-physical side but your efforts will also be critically judged by every one of the participants and it is here that problems can occur. For participants the keys to a successful conference are often psychological. The networking and socialising that is done coupled with the perceived prestige of the venue, events, speakers and meals all contribute to the individuals view of the conference and, hence, how effective it was in building their morale and effectiveness in the workplace. By making the participants feel valued, a conference organiser takes a giant leap towards giving the message or training the chance to take hold in the participants mind. With this in mind choosing the venue becomes all important. Exotic locales immediately reek of expense but a balance must be struck between the cachet of putting a country name on the end of the locational information and the realities of ensuring that your participants receive the kind of service levels and understanding from the staff that will fill them with the enthusiasm to take information on board. Likewise big city hotels spell guaranteed glamour but also unending distraction, the lure of skipping a couple of seminars to check out x or y can often prove too much for even the most committed participant, and all that positive socialising can be shot to pieces if half the participants are in the local branch of Spearmint Rhinos. So where is the ideal location? Well, from what we’ve learnt so far it needs to be sufficiently distanced from the bright lights to keep people on site but suitably plush to make them feel valued. It needs to be ruthlessly efficient and experienced enough to deal effortlessly with the petty individuals that always populate larger groupings and it would be a huge bonus if it were local enough o keep costs down. An ideal example would be St.Andrews Bay, situated on the summit of a spectacular cliff formation offering breathtaking panoramic views of the bay's golden beaches and the medieval skyline of St Andrews, the location is domestic but also exotic, how many of your staff will have been up to St Andrews? A city chosen to educate the air to the throne not only because of it’s excellent academic tradition but also for it’s relative remoteness on our crowded island and it’s association with the finer things in life. The hotel boasts the largest complex of conference facilities of any hotel in Scotland, 16 purpose built conference rooms accommodate from 2 to 750 delegates, and also include a 106 seater tiered auditorium, abundantly capable of handling the demands of any size of conference. And after the meeting there are 520 acres of rolling landscape and a truly magnificent golf experience, ideal for relaxing or, alternatively for a series of teambuilding activities. The cuisine is also outstanding, as could be expected from a location so close to some of Scotland’s finest produce, for a more tranquil experience there is even the hotel’s European style Spa for rejuvenating both body and soul. The testimonies of satisfied visitor’s reflect the professionalism of St Andrew’s Bay and covertly demonstrate the blue chip nature of events held at the centre, "The standards of both food and service throughout the conference were excellent and the staff in all departments a credit to the St Andrews Bay." Mr Keith Chuter, British Airways, April 2002 "Experience and professionalism shone like a light throughout the weekend and made the event the success that it undoubtedly was." Ms Vivien Henderson, Law Society of Scotland, May 2002 "Your staff were exceptionally efficient and willing to help. Our event manager practically spent the entire conference looking after the needs of the delegates and nothing was too much trouble" Ms Natasha Ingle, Peter Rand Group, July 2001 "The standard of accommodation, catering and attentiveness of your staff was nothing short of excellent." Mr Jim George, Smurfit UK, December 2001 St Andrew’s Bay is the ideal event location, accessible yet exotic, prestigious yet affordable and efficient without being intrusive, to give your speakers the best possible to chance to get their messages across, PharmiWeb can heartily recommend it. Online at:,

Mark Stacey

Last updated on: 27/08/2010 11:40:18

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