When we start to plan workshops and events with our clients, the discussion includes the question about ‘where shall we hold this event?’
Of course there are the usual practical considerations, including cost, ease of access, capacity and facilities at the venue and the cost! At another level, we consider the opportunity the location and environment provides to enhance the event itself.
We worked with the Energy Strategy UK team to explore the future of transport energy. The workshop was held at a Transport Museum in Coventry. This venue provided an insight through a tangible record of transport energy in the past. In the workshop design we incorporated activities using these resources to ‘hover above’ today and look back and look forward. A great way to stimulate creative thinking about a future where transport may look very different to the past.
- We worked with a Programme Manager who needed a project group, composed of very technically competent specialists to understand the interrelationship between their disciplines and how the various parts of the project formed the whole mosaic. In this case a countryside site, remote, but accessible and modest, was chosen for their monthly two-day project review workshops. The two days together in a remote location enabled the team to leave behind the shackles of the day-to-day workplace. A more collaborative style of working was established so that the specialists were able to deliver coherent and highly effective solutions.
- A team needed to develop their Customer Relationship Management capability so we held their workshop at a conference venue that shares space with an up-market repair centre for prestigious cars. The venue provided a great opportunity for participants to see first-hand how the repair centre went about its work – and particularly to see the attention to detail that really makes a difference and generates referrals and repeat business.
We worked on a “Sandpit” event for the TSB, who were seeking projects to support radical innovation in the Long Term Care of people. We agreed on Crewe Hall, a location that enabled visits to be made to local venues to provoke thinking. This included a visit to a local garden centre which highlighted the intense dedication of the plant specialists, for many of them their work was much more than a means to earn money. We also planned a visit to the Methodist Chapel, which provided insight into communities, care and peaceful revolutions.
A well-chosen venue can support the overall theme of an event and can become part of the process. Seeking out interesting locations is a challenge but can often add real value to the event.