Paris – Event Destination

Paris often has a reputation as ‘too expensive’ or is seen as more of a couples retreat than a corporate destination, but as we discovered this month there is a lot more to please a corporate crowd in the sprawling French capital than you might think …

Whether you’re willing to venture further out of the central arrondissements or want to be right in the middle of the thriving city centre, there are excellent properties and venues to suit every budget.


Hotel du Collectionneur is art deco gem located a short walk from L’Arc de Triomphe and opposite the picturesque Parc Monceau. As France’s largest 5* property (478 bedrooms) the service here is every bit as attentive as you would expect – visit in the winter months for great rates and a glass of champagne in their winter pop-up ‘bubble bar’.

For location alone the Napoleon is the place to be; with a prime position on the Champs-Élysées you are just a short walk from the tourist hot spots.

And if it’s something a little out of the ordinary you’re looking for then Les Jardins du Marais is an intriguing 4* just north of Bastille. Several individually themed buildings cluster around the beautiful central terrace area.


Despite it’s American origins Disneyland is now almost as synonymous with Paris as the Eiffel Tower, not the obvious choice for corporate groups but most certainly capable with everything from breakout rooms to ballrooms . Just 35 minutes from the city and within easy reach of the capital’s two international airports and of course park access can be arranged for those with time!

If it’s a historic setting you’re after then Abbaye de Royaumont is a beautifully conserved abbey just outside the city. A one of a kind venue with 13 meeting rooms and 45 spacious bedrooms overlooking the gardens or cloister.

8 Valois is the perfect blank canvas venue for a variety of events, the fresh modern space consists of two large interconnecting rooms (easily partitioned) and a handful of smaller rooms depending on your needs.

If you’re considering Paris for your next event, call us or send a quick email with your requirements and we can put together a free proposal.

Think outside the city – venues within easy reach of London

London is awash with venue choices, from the stunningly unique to ultra-modern and technology led, not forgetting historical and traditional styles too. But you can get a lot more ‘bang for your buck’ if you are willing to look just a little further afield …

This month one of our clients did just that! Starting with a range of locations and wonderful properties (including the stunning Ettington Park Hotel)  they selected 5 star Luton Hoo.

The magnificent mansion house facade welcomed guests for their sales kick-off meeting, the sumptuous surroundings, dedicated event staff and delicious catering ensured the clients were able to concentrate wholly on the content of their presentations.

As day turned to night the guests were invited into the lounge for a champagne reception as the room was transformed from corporate meeting space into elegant dining room. A silver-service four-course banquet ensued and a late bar kept the conversation flowing late into the evening.

Next time you’re looking for a meeting venue, speak to us about somewhere just a little ‘outside of the box’ and you will be pleasantly surprised!

Brussels Christmas Markets

The countdown to Christmas is in full swing once again! Last weekend whilst UK shoppers hit the high street in search of bargains, we took a corporate group to Brussels to add a little extra Christmas magic to their annual sales meeting.

Whilst there are many wonderful Christmas Markets across Europe, Brussels has the added convenience of a direct Eurostar route from London St Pancras, making it ideal for group trips.

After speeding through group check-in everyone had a chance to grab a light breakfast (and a quick snooze) on the train, before arriving in Brussels at lunchtime. We transported the group to Le Meridien hotel in the city centre where a sumptuous buffet lunch and meeting room awaited.

Following a successful afternoon of presentations and sales strategy discussion, the Effective Event Solutions hostess walked the team to dinner at the nearby Belga Queen restaurant.

Situated in a former bank building, the restaurant offers modern Belgian cuisine accompanied by stunning architecture. No Christmas party is complete without crackers & novelty hats (which isn’t exactly a Belgian tradition) so we had sent these ahead to ensure the British Christmas spirit was still in plentiful supply!

After dinner we had a private area booked beneath the restaurant in the late night bar, located in the original bank vaults. Celebrating their successes of 2013, the team danced on into the night.

Saturday morning’s itinerary left plenty of time to explore the Christmas markets and with Le Meridien’s central location near the famous Grand Place, the guests didn’t have far to go to experience all the wondrous sights and sounds of the festive season in Brussels.

With luggage full of Belgian chocolates and ornate Christmas baubles, it was time to head back home full of Christmas cheer and enthusiasm for the sales year ahead.

Croatia – Jewel of the Adriatic

An often overlooked destination, Croatia is an ideal location for a wide variety of events.

This month we’re focusing on Dubrovnik; there is much more to this beautiful coastal area than the UNESCO protected old city but that seems a pretty good place to start …

With walls that run almost 2 km (1.24 mi) around the city, varying from four to six metres thick on the landward side (but much thinner on the seaward side), it’s easy to be charmed by the maze of trinket shops and century-old churches. Incredible work has been done to repair the shell-damage the city suffered during the war; just a few shrapnel marks on a church facade and a small photography exhibition hint at the true scale of the destruction.

Effective Travel Solutions’ incentive group packages include a private tour of the area, with a local guide to explain the ‘hidden’ secrets – from ancient graffiti to the old orphanage building and other such wonders that the average tourist would miss!

Groups can enjoy a range of dining options in the old city, from the terrace of luxury restaurant Nautika housed in the Navy Academy building to the 16th century Sponza Palace which can be booked exclusively for private events.

Your time in Dubrovnik isn’t limited to life within the city walls though, a trip up into the surrounding hills can be taken by cable car, bicycle, jeeps or our personal favourite; a convoy of classic Renault 4s driven by your guests!

Equally the crystal blue seas provide many options for water activities, whether it’s a relaxing yacht cruise out to the Elaphite islands or adventurous sea-kayaking that takes your fancy, there are a wide range of vessels to suit any size of group.

But don’t be fooled into thinking this charming destination is just for incentive groups, it offers just as much for conferences and meetings.

One of Effective Travel Solutions’ favourites is the Valamar Lacroma 4 star hotel, located just under 10 minutes drive from the old town the modern property also boasts stunning sea views (best enjoyed with a glass of local wine on their lovely terrace …)

Valamar Lacroma has a multifunctional congress centre offering flexible space for up to 1,200 delegates alongside 400 onsite bedrooms (two additional sister properties within walking distance can be used for overflow rooms). The main space can be split with air-walls to allow breakout sessions or exhibition space in addition to the range of smaller meeting rooms on the next level (also flexible to your needs!)

The event space has road access allowing easy build for complex events and has a brilliant blank canvas ‘plateau’ level which can take marquees in winter or be used as open-air catering area in the summer months – although the sunshine and pleasant temperatures stretch well into spring and autumn too!

Whatever the size of your group or nature of your event, Dubrovnik has something to offer – get in touch with our team today to discuss tailored options for you and your company.