Friday, 30 March 2012

Conference Meeting Rooms - Round up of this weeks best rates!

Where do you find the best value conference meeting rooms? Do you have to make 20 calls to find the right price for corporate conference venues?

You could trawl the Internet all day trying to find the right venue at the right price or you could use the services of a conference event venue finder like Well Placed Conference whose job it is to keep up to date with all the latest special offers. The best offers from this week that Well Placed Conference can bring to you are:

Mercure London City Bankside

Day Delegate rate from £48 INC VAT plus 2 complimentary upgrades from the following!
·Room Upgrade for the organizer
·In house audiovisual equipment
·Double Accor Meeting Planner Points
·Themed breaks
·Welcome reception drinks
·Free room hire with private dinner
·Drinks discount for all delegates at the bar.

One of many 4 star London conference hotels with special offers on

The Lensbury Hotel, Teddington Lock
This 4 star hotel to the west of London on the banks of the Thames is offering a special DDR in April 2012 of just £58.95 p/p to include free WIFI. Good value for its location and facilities.

Whittlebury Hall Hotel, Northamptonshire

This 4 star hotel near Silverstone race circuit is offering 46% off their Day Delegate rates @ just £35.00 p/p inc vat for all bookings between 1st May - 31st July 2012.

The 24 hour residential rates have also been reduced to £139.00 p/p! With over 200 bedrooms and 30 meeting rooms this is great value

Hallmark Hotel Manchester
A leading Manchester conference centre this venue is gettig ready for summer with some great rates!

Day delegate rates from £25.00 p/p inc vat to include WIFI and satndard equipment
24 hour residential rates from £99.00 p/p inc vat to iclude free car parking

76 Portland Place, London
Save 20% at this stylish Georgian venue, one of the Westminster conference centres in London 

For all bookings taking place in April you can save 20% off room hire with compimentary coffee/tea on arrival.

Well Placed Conference have access to hundreds of special offers which saves you time and money when searching for your next conference or meeting room.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

5 tips for planning International Conferences

Are you looking for international conference venues or starting to consider booking international conferences?

We know this can be a daunting task if its your first time and even if its your 10th time there is still a lot of planning to be done and details to be considered. We would always recommend you use the services of experienced international conference organisers who know the best international conference venues to use but in case you want to go it alone here are 5 tips to help you on your way!

Tip 1 - Prepare well in advance

Give yourself as much time as possible for planning and time for the delegates as well. With overseas meetings you have to consider passports and visa applications which your delegates may have to obtain which can be a slow process. You should also expect contracts, negotiations and travel planning to take a lot longer than for domestic meetings so give yourself time.

Tip 2 - Do thorough destination research

Know exactly what your chosen destination has to offer as you are bound to be asked by your delegates. Once you have chosen your conference venue then we recommend you research the city and the surrounding areas of the venue so that you have information to hand when delegates ask questions.

Things to consider are, transport links to airports and how long it takes, distance to downtown areas, recommended restaurants nearby, tourist sites they may want to visit if they have free time etc. Well Placed Conference provide destination guides on request to assist in your international conferences planning

Tip 3 - Make a checklist for travel

Think of all the things that your delegates may ask you for and make a checklist of them with the answers so you have them to hand. Items to include on the list are:
  • What currency is needed and exchange rates
  • Ensure mobile phones will work in the destination
  • Expected tariff charges for mobiles
  • What adaptors are required for plug sockets
  • Any peculiar customs in the destination that delegates should be aware of
  • Closing times of banks, shops etc
  • Time differences
This way your delegates will be fully prepared.

Tip 4 - Use a Destination Management Company (DMC)

Well Placed Conference have an extensive worldwide database of reliable DMC's for you to take advantage of.

Using the services of a local on site company is invaluable as it helps with language and cultural difficulties and they know the destination inside out so can make great recommendations on local restaurants or entertainment. They can also assist with transportation if needed

Tip 5 - Request copies of everything

Make sure you request copies of delegates passports, emergency phone numbers and important medical information so that even if the luggage gets lost you have all the important information to hand.

Have copies of all your venue contracts and agreements with the DMC and all the phone numbers of the venues in case of laptop failure! Produce a hard copy of a full schedule of the event and programme, day by day with all the relevant information on and carry it with you at all times as you never know when you may need it!

Planning and participating at international conferences is great fun as long as all the ground work is done advance so remember, Plan ahead, educate and inform delegates and have your schedule to hand and nothing will go wrong.

Well Placed Conference have been planning and running international conferences for over 15 years now and are happy to help with any overseas events.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Conference venues that have your 'well being' at heart!

Should conferences and meetings all be about being locked inside a darkened room strategising and planning?

Or will you get more from your delegates if you combine the conference rooms with something that stimulates the mind and body as well?
Tai Chi at Chesterfield Mayfair
Conference venues are increasingly recognising that delegates don't want the full 3 course buffet lunch anymore and that if the delegates are energised from activities then the meeting will be more productive.  Even conference hotels that are city centre with no grounds or outdoor space of their own are jumping on the bandwagon with some great ideas that will enhance your meeting.

Take the Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel for example which is one of the great 4 star central London conference venues. They have introdcued a Tai Chi package which ensures your delegates give the maximum input back into the meeting. The package includes:

It is springtime in Mayfair, and delegates are practising Thai Chi in Berkeley Square whilst the Nightingale sings. Book a meeting through Well Placed Conference with a minimum of 15 delegates and they will arrange for a 20 minutes Thai Chi session to invigorate your delegates and maximise the effectiveness of your meeting. And it is fun, too! This package is available from 1st March to 31st May 2012.

The enhanced Spring Day Delegate Package includes:
  •  Meeting room hire
  • 3 servings of freshly brewed Starbucks coffee and a selection of teas
  •  20min Thai Chi session in Berkeley Square *
  • Working buffet lunch or 3-course lunch in Butler’s Restaurant
  • Notepads, pens and stationary box
* Healthy alternative: Start your morning with a sumptuous power smoothie to get the brain cells ticking.

Lime Venue Portfolio, the UK’s biggest collection of unique, historic and sporting venues, is preparing for the year ahead with healthy and cost conscious corporate entertaining in mind by adding a fruit basket, innocent smoothies and a balanced lunch to their DDR rate

Other examples include energiser sessions in the graveyard session straight after lunch such as drumming lessons or just simply including energy drinks at break times just to boost the brain power.

We at Well Placed Conference encourage these innovative ideas to make meetings more productive. Would love to hear of your stories and experiences of conference venues that are looking after your health & fitness as well.

We're off to do some Tai Chi now as our start to the day!!

Monday, 26 March 2012

The Latest Special Offers from Conference Hotels

With access of hundreds of special offers from conference hotels, business conference venues and training venues, by making your next enquiry through Well Placed Conference you know you are getting the best deal.

The following are just a small selection of what is available right now for your conference and event bookings.

The Vale Hotel & Resort, Nr Cardiff

Fully inclusive day delegate rates from £29.00 p/p inc vat
24 hour residential delegate rates from £129.00 p/p inc vat

Inclusive of catering, room hire, WIFI, basic AV equipment, accommodation and access to the great leisure facilities on site.

Mercure Leeds Parkway Hotel

Test match cricket package which means you could win tickets to England v West Indies in the summer and you also get complimentary national lottery tickets for every 5 delegates booked!

Day delegate rates from £25.00 p/p inc vat

Kingsway Hall Hotel, London

A great 4 star London conference venue in Covent Garden is offering a fantastic value for money delegate rate on all bookings held before 31st April 2012.

Day delegate rate from £45.00 p/p inc vat which includes standard AV equipment as well!

St Giles Hotel, London

Good value for money central London hotel has the following B&B rates which are applicable until 4th May 2012

£95.00   Standard Single (Limited availability)               
£124.00 Deluxe Double/Twin (2 Pax)
£104.00 Standard Double/Twin (1 Pax)                    
£132.00 Executive Single (1 Pax)
£109.00 Standard Double/Twin (2 Pax)                    
£142.00 Executive Double (1 Pax)

These rates are B&B and inclusive of VAT.

At Well Placed Conference we will always get you the best possible price at the best possible venue whatever your event so just let us know how we can help with your next conference booking.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Ways to save money on Conference Venues Bookings

5 ways to save money on conference venues

In these difficult trading times corporate businesses are always looking to save money wherever possible. A major expense in the budget is usually travel, business hotel reservations and conference venues. Indeed conference venues in London are amongst the most expensive in the world now according to the latest figures.

So how do you get value for money from your conference venues? Well Placed Conference, the specialist conference venue finder offer a free service to ensure you do save money every time and here are 5 tips to help you achieve those savings.

1.    Can you be flexible on dates

Consider holding your conference or meeting on a Monday or Friday rather than midweek. These days are quieter for hotels and conference venues and so they give better rates.

2.    Negotiate your AV costs.

Choose a venue that includes projectors and screens and WIFI in their delegate rates as these extras can add significant costs to the overall budget. Most venues will now include AV in your overall package if you ask them to.

3.    Do you need a 3 course lunch!

Most delegate rates are packaged to include full catering for lunch when in reality your delegates don't need this. You don't want them asleep in the afternoon session, so ask the conference venue to reduce their offering and the price accordingly. Barcel√≥ hotels have a £19 delegate rate which just includes sandwiches for lunch which saves quite a bit.

4.    Use the main room as a syndicate.

Why pay for an extra syndicate room if you can use the space in the main room instead. Check if extra tables can be set up at back of main room for instance. Why leave the main room empty when workshop rooms are being used, try and utlise it and eliminate the cost of 1 syndicate.

5.    Location, location, location

Choose a venue that is close to your offices or is easily accessible for majority of delegates to reduce your travel costs to and from the venue. Consider conference hotels close to train stations to cut back on taxi or car parking costs at the venue

Your next conference rooms booking needn't break the budget and you can still get the same quality venue but for a reduced price just by following the above tips. Of course Well Placed Conference do all this for free for you when you ask us to search for conference venues as that is another tip to saving money, use a professional conference venue finder service!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Business Conference Venues News

Paul Welling highlights a selection of new and refurbished business conference venues across the UK. Keeping you up to date with where is 'hot' in the world of conference venues UK.

Thistle Euston London

Thistle Euston London has been given a new look with 6 refreshed conference rooms and WIFI throughout. The lobby now has a 'meet & greet' area and breakout point with laptop sockets. New facilities in the executive rooms also. This is a great new venue now if you are looking for conference venues in London

Chewton Glen Hampshire

Chewton Glen is building 6 new tree house suites in a forest setting with floor to ceiling glass!
Set to open in late 2012 each tree house will have 2 bedrooms and a kitchenette and can be hired for meetings or small incentive for up to 8 delegates. Now that is a unique setting.

Hilton Brighton Metropole
Hilton Brighton has just completed the refurbishment of 140 bedrooms at the front of the hotel. The events section has also been expanded with the addition of the Park Suites and 3 syndicate rooms allowing for a self contained area if needed.
This brings the iconic sea front hotel right up to date with nearly £4m spent on it

De Vere at Rich Arena
De Vere at Ricoh Arena has just expanded from 71 to 80 bedrooms and is set to add a further 120 bedrooms by September this year.
These bedrooms will compliment the extensive event sapce available at the arena.
The new training suite was also launched recently making it an impressive conference venue in the Midlands.

Well Placed Conference are constantly keepig up to date with new opening and refurbishments so you don't have to. The unbiased and free conference venue finder service that is offered means you always get the right venue for your event at the right price.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Conference Venues News & Views

Well Placed Conference offer a free, worldwide conference venue finder and business hotel bookings service. The aim is to save you time and money on all your business conference venues and hotel bookings. To do this we constantly keep up to date with new openings, refurbishments and specials offers at hundreds of conference venues worldwide and the following is the best of this weeks news, updates and views for you to take advantage of.

Conference Venues nr Birmingham
Woodland Grange a conference venue in Leamington Spa is offering a great £32.00 + vat p/p day delegate rate on any meetings held at the venue in April 2012. This rate includes WIFI, LCD & Screen, Unlimited coffee/tea and cakes and a dedicated event manager. Very accessible conference venue. Email Us to check availability.

Birmingham Conference Venues
De Vere Venues open their newest conference, Colmore Gate in the centre of Birmingham at end of March 2012. With 18 meeting rooms for up to 150 delegates, free WIFI and the 'Grab and Go Verve Deli' this new venue will prove to be a popular meeting place. For more information and a quote Email Us

Lime Venue Portfolio, 5-a-day DDR
The "5-a-Day" DDR offers you a great value day delegate package with a light, tasty healthy lunch, FREE innocent smoothies and FREE fresh fruit, all to help you reach your 5-a-Day and make your event a success. Email Us for a list of business conference venues that offer this.

Conference Venues in London
etc Venues St Pauls is the newest London conference venue with 14 meeting rooms for up to 400 delegates. Packed full of technology and free WIFI in the heart of the city this event space is ideal for all sizes of meetings. Etc Venues offer a range of training venues across the city.

These are a very brief selection of new conference venue openings and updates on special promotions from Well Placed Conference. For more comprehensive details of these and other conference venues then call us on 01480 465000 or Email Us your enquiry and we would love to help.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Competition for business hotel bookings hots up!

"The customer is always" right may be a cliché, but it has never been truer than it is now, especially when it comes to frequent travelers. Hotels in the world's business cities are so keen to attract the corporate pound, euro or dollar that they are prepared to do almost anything corporate globetrotters demand. And if that means items that were once seen as extras are now included in the room rate, that's what they will provide.

Meanwhile, in these economically difficult times, finance directors in companies large and small are checking executives' business accommodation expenses with unprecedented, even forensic, attention. In a climate where every bit of expenditure has to be justified, it is small wonder that business travelers don't want any unpleasant surprises when they are presented with the bill.

"Gone are the days when I would be happy to just pay the hotel bill without questioning the cost of phone calls, the breakfast, the mineral water, the odd beer from the mini bar and those other minor extras that ensured my stay was satisfactory," says Nigel Massey, managing director of a U.K.-based communications company.

"Today I want complete transparency when I book corporate hotel reservations. I want to be able to demonstrate to my financial director that what I spent has been worth it and that value was my overriding criterion in every hotel," he says.

"I expect my room rate to include things that were once charged, so hotels like the Hoxton in London and the Hotel du Vin chain have been inspirational in their forward thinking," he says. "At the Hoxton I am delighted that local phone calls (and they are few as I use a mobile) are free, that the morning breakfast left at my door is included, as [are]…my morning paper and Wi-Fi costs," he adds. "The days of creaming off huge extras for unwary business travelers are numbered."

Generally, it is the boutique-style, smaller hotels that score best, Mr. Massey says, though some of the bigger hotel chains are also doing well. "Groups such as Jumeira and Mandarin are cleverly and sensibly waking up to the fact that they need people like me. We have a choice and the determining factor from now is transparency, honesty and value."

The Jumeira, for example, provides large bottles of shampoo and other toiletries in the bathroom, rather than the tiny plastic sachets that most hotels opt for.

"They also say that the word 'no' is not now used with regard to guest services. I have tested them with some pretty demanding requests, such as wanting them to find me a courier service in the middle of the night and asking them to arrange for a shop to deliver some running shoes to replace the ones I had forgotten to pack, and it is true. They are also making Wi-Fi and mineral water free," Mr Massey says.

"I never forget the hotels that make 'gestures' however small. Free laundry of one shirt is a small gesture but leaves me with a warm and supportive feeling about the hotel which makes me vow to return."

But this inclusive approach doesn't go down well with everyone. Fund manager Richard Haylock, whose firm has offices in several European countries as well as throughout Asia, says "I don't really bother too much about whether everything is included in the room rate. In fact…I prefer having the option to choose which facilities and services I want and then pay for them."

Business travelers "always ask for itemized bills" rather than all-inclusive ones, says Debrah Dhugga, general manager at Dukes hotel in London. "We also offer complimentary Wi-Fi; however if we did not, I can imagine frequent travelers would demand it. I would," she says.

"What people really want is technology that's easy to use and the possibility of an early check-in," Ms Dhugga adds.

While there is little doubt the demand for smaller boutique-style hotels in city centers is increasing rapidly, the case for the chain hotels can also be powerful. Many business travelers enjoy staying in branded hotels not only because they know what to expect and are safe in the knowledge they can conduct their work efficiently and in comfort, they also appreciate the hotel chains' loyalty programs, probably the single biggest incentive for staying at a chain hotel.

"I tend to use the big business chain hotels, where there are no surprises, everything is familiar and you know exactly what you are going to get," says Mr. Haylock. "This is important when, as I often do, you wind up having to visit destinations slightly off the usual well-trodden routes."

Italy-based corporate lawyer Nicoletta Trapani, whose work takes her all over Europe and the Middle East, agrees. "I usually choose to stay in one of the big-name hotels when I'm away on business," she says. "I simply want to know that all the business facilities I need will be on hand and I need plenty of public areas in the hotel where I can meet clients."

"I think most hotel managers now realize that business travelers are on a tight budget and trim their rates accordingly," says Ms. Trapani. "Yes, I think it is nice when the occasional 'extra' is provided at no additional cost but for me the most important thing is that all the facilities I need, such as a good laundry service, hairdresser and efficient room service, are on hand".

Hoteliers say customized service is also important.

"I always expect a very high level of customer service," says Sir Rocco Forte, CEO and chairman of Rocco Forte Hotels, who travels at least once a week. "Everyone should feel important and be dealt with on a personalized basis.

"Service should meet the individual needs of a client like a bespoke tailor. I'm not a lover of huge hotels; I prefer hotels where you are recognized."

And for Reto Wittwer, chief executive of Geneva-based Kempinski hotels, the choice is clear. "Wherever I go, the location plays an important role, but what I treasure when traveling on business is efficiency and service," he says.

"I look for customized service and attentive staff. Everyone can build a four-star hotel, but the fifth star you only get through your staff and the level of service they are providing."

Access to a business center and all the high-tech gadgetry needed during a trip should be a given, travelers say, with Wi-Fi internet access as standard.

Orient Express Hotels , for example, the company best known for its luxury trains, is one of a number of hotel groups using a mixture of innovation and service to meet business travelers' needs. At one of its latest hotels, the Palacio Nazarenas in Cuzco, Peru, due to open in June, guests will find iPads in every room, loaded with insider city guides, handy tips, and daily newspapers in their own language.

Meanwhile, at the Grand Hotel Europe in St. Petersburg the emphasis is on offering a comprehensive concierge service for business travelers, which could include finding hard-to-get tickets for the theatre or ballet for travellers keen to entertain local contacts.

But for Ms. Dugga of Dukes, it is "service, service, service and a cozy bed with fabulous pillows and a good shower," she looks for when travelling. "Sometimes it's the simple things that make the difference."

The free conference venue finder and corporate business travel service offered by Well Placed Conference encompasses all the above points to ensure we offer a personal servcie to our clients giving them exactly what they want from their corporate hotel reservations

Source: Wall Street Journal