Touch down, meet, take off
Delegates often fall into two broad camps, those attending only part of the meeting programme and those there for the duration. The former want a quick in and out solution with minimal travel time- think major hub airport hotels. Those staying longer often look for the chance to spend at least a few hours experiencing a little of the destination and culture of the, country itself so City centre locations are more appealing. Reconciling the two is the event organiser challenge.
We recently organised a meeting at the Sheraton Skyline at London Heathrow taking advantage of the airport shuttle bus (Heathrow Hoppa). This easy and direct transfer to the hotel avoids the cost of individually organised ground transport and offers the frequency of service necessary for those with only a short time to attend the meeting. For even more convenience it is possible to use hotels at the airport itself, making the meeting just a walk away and SWM has used both the Hilton at Heathrow Terminal 4 and Sofitel, Terminal 5.
For those staying for the whole meeting, how can an airport location work for them? In this case, it is important to build in some activity, for example to and from the event dinner in the heart of the City itself or a local place of interest. For Heathrow meetings, the traffic into London is often problematic but locally, there are other options, like historic Windsor or even Bray, and both have access to the river for boat trips.
For the meeting at the Sheraton, we organised the off-site dinner at the Hinds Head in Bray, one of Heston Blumental’s traditional English pubs. As well as experiencing traditional English dishes in an original setting, Bray itself offers an insight into an old English village.
SWM understand that every conference is unique and therefore every aspect of its organisation and management needs individual care and consideration. This includes the location of the conference’s venue and SWM offers a free venue-finding service which matches each specific requirement to the best suited venue – whether it is within an airport, “off-airport” or further afield!