The great con­fer­ence es­cape

LOOK­ING FOR IN­CREASED SALES, HIGHER EN­GAGE­MENT OR MORE CREATIVE THINK­ING FROM YOUR STAFF? GET­TING YOUR TEAM AWAY FROM THEIR EV­ERY­DAY EN­VI­RON­MENT AND INTO A PUR­POSE- BUILT CON­FER­ENCE FA­CIL­ITY WILL MAKE THE WORLD OF DIF­FER­ENCE.

NZ Business - - CONFERENCING -

Many busi­ness own­ers try to hold their staff train­ing, mo­ti­va­tion, and busi­ness plan­ning ses­sions within the con­fines of their premises and peo­ple's daily sched­ules. And then they won­der why they’re not get­ting the re­sults they hoped for.

Shel­ley Eastwood, di­rec­tor of sales, con­fer­ence & in­cen­tives at Her­itage & CityLife Ho­tels, firmly be­lieves their in­vest­ment of time and money would be much bet­ter spent util­is­ing a pur­pose-built off­site fa­cil­ity.

Her ar­gu­ment makes sense: “Get­ting your team out of their ev­ery­day en­vi­ron­ment re­moves the dis­trac­tions, so they will have a bet­ter fo­cus on the meet­ing com­po­nent. It’s fun and pro­duc­tive to be in a dif­fer­ent set­ting with your col­leagues. You’ll see an in­crease of new ideas, brain­storm­ing and creative think­ing, along with stronger com­radery.”

In all the ‘busy­ness’ of to­day’s busi­ness world, it’s easy for man­agers and busi­ness own­ers to put off team meet­ings and con­fer­ence ses­sions, with the ex­cuse that ev­ery­one is just too busy – but Eastwood thinks this is a big mis­take.

“We are all time poor th­ese days but tak­ing the time to in­crease com­mu­ni­ca­tion amongst team mem­bers can se­cure huge ben­e­fits,” she says. “It al­lows ded­i­cated time to lis­ten to your team in a group set­ting – and it’s not just the staff mem­bers who can learn a lot in the ses­sions, but the busi­ness owner as well.

“It’s here where the busi­ness owner can iden­tify train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, fo­cus on cur­rent and fu­ture needs of the busi­ness, set strat­egy and for­mu­late new ideas for growth in a group set­ting.”

In terms of plan­ning the off-site ses­sions, Eastwood’s ad­vice is to ask for feed­back from your team on top­ics they would like tabled, well in ad­vance of the meet­ing.

“Then set an agenda, share it in ad­vance, keep to the time­line and keep on track to the main pur­pose of

bring­ing ev­ery­one to­gether.”

So why is busi­ness growth so de­pen­dent on in­vest­ing in reg­u­lar stake­holder meet­ings and team build­ing ses­sions?

Eastwood be­lieves there needs to be a high level of en­gage­ment, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, ded­i­ca­tion and pas­sion to en­sure growth. “It’s very dif­fi­cult to achieve if you don’t bring the in­di­vid­u­als to­gether.

“Your staff are your most pre­cious re­source and have valu­able in­sight. On­go­ing ses­sions al­low time to iden­tify how the busi­ness’s tar­gets are track­ing, where to next, and where the train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties lie.”

Hold­ing meet­ings and con­fer­ences off-site can also be vi­tal when it comes to staff re­ten­tion.

“Ev­ery­one wants to be part of a team, have in­put and un­der­stand the com­pany’s di­rec­tion. Call it net­work­ing if you will, a so­cial get-to­gether or team build­ing – the fact is that get­ting ev­ery­one to­gether in a fun and re­laxed en­vi­ron­ment is a great way to blow off some steam and get to know one an­other bet­ter,” says Eastwood.

CHOOSE YOUR VENUE WISELY

It’s true that not all meet­ing venues are cre­ated equal – there­fore what should a busi­ness owner look for in a meet­ing venue to en­sure that the gath­er­ing has the best chance of achiev­ing a suc­cess­ful out­come?

Eastwood firmly be­lieves that it’s all about match­ing the pur­pose of your meet­ing to a rep­utable venue, and this in­cludes lo­ca­tion.

“Her­itage & CityLife Ho­tels has a range of lo­ca­tions and prop­er­ties through­out New Zealand along with ex­pe­ri­enced staff who can rec­om­mend some spe­cial touches,” she says.

“Your venue can help with set­ting the cor­rect en­vi­ron­ment – con­sid­er­ing such things as the room lay­out, flow of pro­gramme, func­tion en­hance­ment, cater­ing for­mat, and rec­om­mend­ing out­side sup­pli­ers, such as ac­tiv­ity op­er­a­tors.” To learn more about con­fer­enc­ing at Her­itage Ho­tels, go to https://www.her­itage­ho­tels. co.nz/events/con­fer­ences

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