In Jersey, businesses are discovering a new, neutral destination for international conferences and team-building. The largest of the Channel Islands has activities ranging from the culinary to the adrenaline-fuelled to keep all kinds of businesses suitably busy.
Jersey's easy distance from the UK and its self-contained nature make it the prime place to book a conference. Hamish Reid, general manager at Jersey Conference Bureau, shares his insights into the advantages of meeting in Jersey for business.
Jersey is small enough that within minutes of your arrival you can be at your meeting, or networking before the event even begins. "Nobody has a head office here, nobody sneaks off home, nobody goes off to meet clients. The organiser can keep the group together and get a better ROI from the event," says Reid. "The fact that once on the island everything is just 15 minutes away means more time for the event than stuck in transfers."
Jersey is also home to several venues that go well beyond traditional conference centres. Reid recommends "La Mare Wine Estate, a working wine estate with fun activities, and the slightly quirky Jersey War Tunnels, which provide an inspiring history of what it was like to live under occupation. Les Mielles is great for team activities, with lots of different choice. It's right opposite the five-mile beach. Mont Orgueil Castle is a brilliantly preserved 11th century castle overlooking France. Sheer drops to the Channel remind of the constant battles with neighbours."
The diversity of interesting venues on this island is ideal for team-building and bonding between conferences, whether you choose the dramatic, beautiful scenery of the castle, or the eco-friendliness of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, which Reid describes as "a perfect example of CSR, having been doing it for 50 years. The learning experience is second to none."
For more adventurous parties, a spot of surfing is always on the cards. "Many of the activities are based on land and water," says Reid. "Jersey being just nine miles by five miles means we try to get delegates to experience both and to see as much of the island as possible."
A lasting impression
Jersey's proximity to the UK, coupled with its unique business centres, make it one of the best possible locations to leave an impression on your group. "Jersey is very much like the UK when it comes to business etiquette and practises. Though with the après-sea lifestyle it is a little more relaxed," adds Reid.
Our Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel, Jersey, situated opposite the magnificent sweep of St Aubin's Bay and Elizabeth Castle, is perfectly placed to reach the rest of the island. "Taxis are plentiful but book in advance if you are at the hotels," Reid suggests. "It's the same for excellent restaurants, which necklace the island for client entertaining. One tip – when getting to the airport, ask the taxi driver to take you on the valley road if you want to see a Jersey cow!"