A host of spectacular settings guarantee non-stop excitement

Conference experts have long suggested that people have a maximum attention span of only ninety minutes, so if you want your delegates to remember what’s been said, it’s vital that you keep the sessions brief. But what do you do to fill the gaps in between? Rather than delegates retiring to the bar or twiddling their thumbs in their hotel rooms, our region is fortunate enough to be home to a number of exciting attractions where you can supplement your conference or presentation with an array of extra-curricular activities.

Many of our major attractions offer top class conference facilities and often run special deals where guests can also obtain free or discounted entry to their shows or events away from the conference. Some will even allow exclusive access to the attractions outside of regular opening hours. Certainly if you’re asking your employees to spend time away from their families, it makes sense to offer up something that couldn’t be done in the office. Adding something special and unique to the conference line-up means you’re sure to attract reluctant delegates to attend. In addition, small companies – where all the staff are working together on a regular basis – should benefit from making use of attractions. If there’s only a handful of staff, it’s unlikely much team bonding will be required as they probably know each other well enough already.

Throughout our region, though, companies can book places at a whole range of existing events which offer a new experience. Attractions such as those featured in these pages can certainly add another dimension to the traditional conference. Certainly the use of an active imagination is important if you want to ensure your conferences don’t get stuck in a rut. Organising something special is all very well but it becomes less interesting if you then repeat the concept every single year to diminishing enthusiasm. Indeed getting employees involved by inviting them to help choose the venue and entertainment for the event is a great way to keeps spirits high.

The increasing role of attractions in the thoughts of conference organisers emphasises the value of creating special experiences that will stick in the mind and provoke talking points, rather than simply bringing people together in the hope the conversation might start flowing. Promising something unusual in the evenings will doubtless also ensure that minds are concentrated on the serious business going on during the day.