Bernard Sunley Room A-1

    A range of flexible meeting spaces in which to host your event

    St Catherine’s has a wide range of meeting facilities, offering flexibility for various different types of event.

      st catherines college conferences header

      A range of flexible meeting spaces in which to host your event

      Popular accommodation in Oxford. Bed down for the night between conferences, having explored local attractions both beautiful and historic.

              How to Save Time and Money on Business Meetings

              4 Minutes Read

              If you’re planning a meeting with a large group of delegates, it can be difficult not to feel the pressure.

              Business meetings are often a necessity when it comes to communicating with in-house teams. From making big decisions to solving company challenges, sometimes there’s no substitute for being in the same room to collaborate; but it’s also not without its complexities.

              From planning speakers and key messages to organising meals and overnight accommodation, arranging an in-person conference is a formidable affair with few shortcuts – especially if you’re doing it all yourself. However, there are certainly ways that you can make your budget and time stretch a little further – without risking your event quality (or personal sanity).

              Here’s our 10 tips for saving time and money on business meetings, while still keeping your standards high.

              1. Prioritise the event location.

              It’s vital to choose the most convenient location for your guests, considering factors such as parking and public transport. Travel expenses soon mount up, so make sure your chosen location is central and easy to access (which will also prevent delays due to unreliable transport networks on the day).

              A good location also helps to ensure the maximum turn-out. Not only is it easier for guests to arrange logistics, but they’re more likely to engage if the venue is in a spot that seems ‘worth a visit’; be that due to the unique nature of the establishment itself, or the appeal of the area it’s located in.

              2. Negotiate with the venue.

              When booking a venue, you’d be surprised at the savings you can make, just by asking the right questions.

              • Flexible on your meeting date? Ask if there are any off-peak periods, or a discount if you book well in advance.
              • Planning more than one event? See if the venue can offer a better rate for multiple bookings.
              • Large numbers in attendance? Discuss if there will be flexibility in the pricing depending on the number of attendees, or the length of the meeting.
              • Have your own equipment? Ask for a breakdown of the services associated with the venue rental, to make sure you only pay for what you need.

              You should also ask if there are any complimentary services or amenities – such as a free cancellation policy, Wi-Fi or parking – so you can weigh up these savings against other venue offerings.

              3. Check for inclusive packages.

              Some conference and meeting facilities offer inclusive bundles, such as audio-visual equipment. Choosing a venue with an inclusive package can be a cost-effective option as you won’t have to pay for these services separately.

              Where technology is concerned, this may eliminate the need to spend time and effort sourcing equipment and setting it up correctly – which can be a battle in itself!

              4. Use technology to reduce travel expenses.

              Yes, you want your delegates to attend in person where possible – that’s why you’re booking a venue in the first place. However, using video conferencing or other online collaboration tools can help to maximise your meeting – for example, allowing guests to attend when it may otherwise have been impractical due to time or distance.

              This method doesn’t just allow you to save money on long-haul travel. It’s also a more sustainable approach, with less fuel miles. In addition, you may be able to re-purpose recorded footage and really maximise the resources spent on the day.

              5. Plan the meeting agenda carefully.

              Make sure you have a clear schedule for the meeting and that everyone knows what is expected of them – well in advance.

              This will not only help to ensure that the meeting is productive, but it stops time and resources being needlessly wasted. Similarly, a clear agenda can highlight requirements that you may not have previously considered; for example, planning a clarity break if a planned session will be particularly laborious.

              6. Consider in-house catering.

              Many facilities offer in-house catering services, which can save time on coordinating with external suppliers.

              The venue will be familiar with the operations of their existing team, which is more likely to result in a seamless, high-quality provision. This can be particularly helpful if, for example, there are last-minute changes to the catering plan.

              7. Enquire regarding dedicated event planners.

              Many conference and event facilities employ dedicated event planners. They’re worth their weight in gold, especially if the idea of preparing your event end-to-end is making you nervous.

              These planners can help with logistics, scheduling, and even provide recommendations for local vendors. This knowledge and experience can be priceless when planning your event, so be sure to ask if your venue can offer this support.

              8. Look for on-site accommodation.

              If participants are traveling from out of town, some conference and event facilities offer on-site rooms for overnight stays. This can save time on coordinating transportation and logistics for participants, as well as offering a handy opportunity for networking and socialisation after the meeting ends (no need to rush back home, after all!).

              9. Read supplier reviews and case studies.

              Save yourself a costly error by seeing what past attendees have had to say about your chosen supplier. If you can’t find the information you need on their website or a review site, ask the supplier if they have dealt with an event similar to yours – and see if there’s a past customer you can chat to.

              10. Check for hidden costs.

              No reputable supplier or venue will slap you with hidden fees – but unfortunately, they do exist.

              Before signing a contract for any service, ask for a full breakdown of what you’ll be paying for – so nothing takes you by surprise, or threatens to consume your carefully-planned event budget at the last minute.

              St. Catherine’s College can offer you a unique Oxford conference experience.

              When planning your next business meeting, why not consider our unique and stylish event venue within historic Oxford?

              We offer…

              • A wide range of flexible conference and event facilities
              • Superb event catering
              • Ensuite accommodation for up to 250 guests
              • An experienced, welcoming in-house team
              • A tranquil setting, encapsulated by stunning design and architecture by Danish architect Arne Jacobsen.

              Talk to us about your next event. We’re happy to help