Vulcan, Red Arrows and Typhoon Confirmed for Eastbourne Air Show

vulcan-r-Eric Coeckelberghs-courtesy of Vulcan to the Sky Trust

Plans for Airbourne, Eastbourne’s international air show have got off to a flying start this year with the Red Arrows, Eurofighter Typhoon and Vulcan cold war bomber all confirmed at the free, four day air show which returns from 13 – 16 August.

Featuring new look Union Jack tailfins, the world renowned RAF Red Arrows display team will wow crowds on the seafront, beaches and the reopened pier with three performances over Eastbourne, in one of the UK’s busiest free flying displays.

Joining the line-up, the RAF Eurofighter Typhoon will provide a fast jet highlight on three days and historic fans can look forward to the return of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, which features the Lancaster, Spitfire, Hurricane and Dakota.

The world’s only flying Vulcan bomber will also make an appearance as it nears retirement.

Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Tourism & Leisure, Councillor Carolyn Heaps said: “Eastbourne has a special place in its heart for the Red Arrows so we are delighted to welcome back the world’s best aerial display team… Coupled with the awesome Typhoon and what could possibly be the last chance to see the imposing sight and sound of the Vulcan, we are in for a real treat this year.”

The four day show also features plenty of fun on the ground, including a military exhibition, live music on the beach stage, children’s entertainment areas, helicopter pleasure flights, evening concerts and fireworks on the Saturday night.

Eastbourne’s 23rd Airbourne will also mark roughly one year since the pier fire of 2014, which closed the Victorian landmark just two weeks before the air show.  The pier, which reopened two months later, is a popular viewing platform during the show and includes shops, restaurants, tea rooms, a bar, nightclub and fishing platform.

To beat the crowds, there are exclusive seating areas available at the Bandstand and exclusive hospitality available on the Western Lawns with tickets on sale now.

 For more information visit


Airbourne returns from 13 – 16 August 2015 and entry is free, with more flying displays to be announced.  All flying is subject to RAF operational commitments, weather and serviceability.


Review: TGI Friday’s, Westfield Stratford


Out Of Office Magazine reviews TGI Friday’s – a well-known chain with a fun and welcoming atmosphere. 

TGI Friday’s in Stratford is a lively, modern restaurant and in this particular location the staff were constantly upbeat and willing to go the extra mile to ensure we had an enjoyable experience.

The food is American diner style with a good price tag. We started with the chicken fajita nachos sharing platter loaded with chargrilled chicken, onions, mixed peppers and creamy melted cheese. For mains the double-glazed Jack Daniels burger finished with candied bacon had a succulent sweet taste, while the 12oz rib eye steak was flavourful, tender and cooked medium-rare as we asked.

A full menu of sharing or singular desserts and sundaes gave us lots to choose from, while their hand-prepared range of cocktails gave us plenty of reason to stay and chat while sipping favourites from the classic Mojito to fruity Paradise Punch.

What? A tried, tested and highly recommended location of a well-known chain.

Why choose TGI Friday’s, Westfield Stratford? The decor is clean and contemporary. The relaxed feel and no-frills food and drink make it the perfect location for staff drinks on an evening.

303 The Loft, Mezzanine, The Gallery, Westfield Stratford City, London, E20 1ET

0344 692 8901

Review: The Latchmere, Battersea


Out Of Office Magazine reviews The Latchmere – a spectacular public house and garden lying close to the river in the heart of Battersea. 

The Latchmere was only renovated four months ago and it shows. Not only are the staff smiling and attentive, their food is first class and reasonably priced.

The menu is where the Latchmere excels itself as it showcases its dedication to all things meat – from their own home-cured British charcuterie, to their wide range of steaks, all aged in-house, as well as their succulent chicken and pork.

The chorizo scotch egg starter, which comes with a delicious truffle mayonnaise, was a particular highlight. We chose a full-bodied Rioja to accompany the seven hour pressed pork belly main, which was incredibly delicious but only left a little room for the Irish coffee cheesecake. The dessert, which is served with a shot of amaretto, certainly has the wow factor and creates a fantastic finish. For those with any room left, the British cheese board is delicious and big enough for two.

What? A hidden gem of a restaurant in the heart of Battersea.

Why choose The Latchmere? Thanks to its laid back vibe but decent, classy food it’s ideal for a meeting place for staff or client drinks or just catching up with friends.

503 Battersea Park Rd, Battersea, London SW11 3BW

020 7223 3549

Top tips on training Generation Y and Z


By Graham David, managing director, Blue Beetle

In a digital age, for Generation Y and Z, training must be brought to life, interactively, bit by bit. Generation Y has been shaped by the technological revolution that occurred throughout their youth with smart phones and tablets now the norm and being online and connected 24/7 seen as essential to the vast majority. Five years from now the intake of Generation Z employees will consist of people who have only ever known a wireless, hyper-linked world.

The challenge for businesses and organisations looking to further the learning and development of their Generation Y and Z employees lies in ensuring they are focused and engaged in order for the training being delivered to have real and lasting impact.

Here are some top tips to remember when developing training for this group:

1. They like a collaborative approach to learning, want on demand delivery of information and knowledge at their fingertips as they are tech-savvy. Yet they can have a short attention span, become bored easily and lose concentration.

2. Traditional ‘talk and chalk’ training is unlikely to be the most effective method of delivering essential skills training as it can be dry and too ‘static’ in format.

3. Training needs to be interactive, high-impact and entertaining in order to grab and maintain their attention and ensure the knowledge is retained and put into practise outside of the training room.

4. Using high quality theatre techniques in a business context can deliver results as it is engaging and captures interest right from the start of a training session.

5. Role-play is almost universally disliked and guaranteed to have delegates sinking into their seats. Instead why not use ‘live action case studies’ using actors to present situations specific to both the topic in hand and to the organisation in question. This brings ideas and training concepts to life and ensures that delegates leave having seen, understood and retained the messages and can go away and act upon them.

6. Another method of training that is effective with this group is the training video. Provided that they are not too long and dull, they are an excellent way of incorporating a case study element, without the need to bring in actors.

7. Encourage delegates to make their own training videos using their own devices. This encourages a collaborative approach that harnesses their technological skills and allows them to be creative. Asking delegates to curate their own content via their devices and then find ways to use it, for example by creating their own Flipboard on the subject, or their own training video, is a powerful and effective way to achieve good results. This can then be beamed on to a large screen and shared with all attendees.

8. Further enhance the collaborative learning element that is so important in creating an effective learning environment for Generation Y and Z by incorporating Twitter, discussion forums, instant messaging and the like into the design of a training course. In their own personal time these employees are choosing to spend a lot of time on their devices and expect to be able to connect to each other and send relevant information or updates as and when they please, so encouraging these activities as part of the learning process can be highly effective in getting the message across.

9. Keep training bite-sized in order to maintain interest and concentration. Break it up with other activities.

10. Training that blends energy, humour and strong content will be effective in delivering the required results.

What can Alton Towers Resort offer corporate clients?

Alton Towers

All too often unique and unusual venues are suggested as an ‘alternative’ option to a more traditional hotel or conference centre. In reality, they have an advantage over ‘normal’ venues offering corporate clients a space that can stimulate the imagination and engage delegates through alternative activities and surroundings. With increased interest in corporate bookings that offer something a little different, Alton Towers Resort offers an element of the unexpected with tailored packages that can be customised with add-ons – perfect for ‘Business with a Twist’.

Alton Towers Resort focuses its event planning expertise on offering companies a chance to experience ‘Business with a Twist’, allowing guests and delegates to let their creativity shine whilst enjoying a taste of childhood nostalgia.

The Venue

Ranging from conferences, team building and family fun days on the Theme Park for between 16 and 1,284 people to open air events in The Backlot Concert Area for up to 12,500 people and marquee gala dinners for 1,000 guests on the front lawns, Alton Towers Resort goes far beyond the stuffy syndicate rooms and dull conference suites. For those looking for meeting facilities, the Resort comprises of eight syndicate rooms, seating 16 to 60 delegates, and five event spaces available for larger conferences from 200 people right up to over 1,000 when two of the spaces are combined into one.

Catering for such a varied number of people, different options are available depending on the event organiser’s requirements including exclusive Theme Park hire, themed drink receptions in the Alton Towers Waterpark and evening drinks and dining in the one million litre, pirate-themed aquarium, Sharkbait Reef by SEALIFE, where guests are surrounded by over 300 spectacular species of fish, including sharks, rays and seahorses.

The Add-Ons

Customising an event to fit with a specific purpose or a theme is easy. Sometimes guests opt for different or themed catering options or visit the full equipped spa to unwind, whereas others choose the more unusual. With an all singing ice cream van offering refreshments, exclusive hire of the Resort’s latest thrill rides or a high tech GPS treasure hunt teambuilding day that concludes with a hilarious video dance challenge – there is an add-on for every occasion, from the weird to the wonderful.

The Special Offer

Alton Towers Resort is offering dare devil delegates complimentary exclusive hire of one of its exhilarating rollercoasters this May. Organisers can choose between three of The Resort’s biggest and best-loved rides – Oblivion, Air and Nemesis – for residential bookings in May of 150 bedrooms or more.

Ride hire includes exclusive use of one of the rollercoasters for an hour after the Theme Park has closed to the public. From the scary plummet of Oblivion and the windswept exhilaration of Air, to the twists and turns of Nemesis, this fantastic add-on to a day doing ‘Business with a Twist’ at Alton Towers Resort will ensure that employees experience the ultimate in corporate hospitality.

The Accommodation

Two themed hotels, boasting a total of 391 bedrooms and 20 themed rooms, provide the perfect place for delegates to recuperate, whether that’s with a relaxing evening in a Beachcomber room offering an authentic beach hut style with driftwood furniture, window shutters and exotic fabrics, or an adventure to space in one of the 41 newly refurbished Moon Voyager bedrooms, entirely themed around the cosmos.

Why it will lead a lasting impression 

The challenge we spend most time discussing with clients is how to bring stimulating, interactive experiences to the meeting room. Teambuilding is by far the most requested scenario and it’s because events planners have caught onto the fact that play stimulates the brain. To quote the science, apparently during ‘play’, you take in more oxygen and there’s more sensory input, which sees both brain hemispheres communicating with each other. It’s the optimum scenario for facilitating learning and mind stimulation. That’s why experiential events are now so in demand.

Instead of straightforward presentations, we’re seeing a growth in workshops, which involve role play and creative group tasks. We’re also in a unique position at Alton Towers Resort to have a ready-made solution for group play that is the perfect antidote to stress – a Theme Park, just minutes away from our conferencing facilities. Combining meetings with a visit to the Theme Park is very popular and with our newest ride The Smiler, a world first because it features the most inversions ever on a rollercoaster – 14 in total, it is certain to exhilarate with plunging 30m drops.

Featuring plunging drops of 30 metres, a ride time of 165 seconds and a track length 3x the length of Oblivion, The Smiler is an intense addition to the Alton Towers Resort’s line up of adrenalin pumping rides. The ride marmalises your body and mind, and combines a series of twisted psychological effects including optical illusions, blinding lights and jabbing needles.

We find some of the best feedback from delegates comes from these types of events, where you’re disrupting the accepted norm and injecting the unexpected, or entirely changing the surroundings. Take an annual conference for 200 people for example. Pepper the conference’s educational content schedule with spontaneous performances by entertainers like magicians, dance troupes or singers and talk to your venue about how to pull the theme through into the catering. It’s a great ice breaker that encourages conversation and chops through the formality to help large groups bond.

There’s cost savings in doing this too. It’s not easy to coordinate having all staff or delegates together on one day, so maximise the time saved by combining an annual conference with an away day and your venue should be happy to package up a deal that works with your budget.

We’re in a constant state of stimulation in daily life, what with smartphone technology, the internet, social networking, TV advertising, new retail experiences, online shopping, clever brand advertising, food and dining experiences, product sampling and more. We’re so spoilt with incredible examples of creativity that it is getting harder to impress and entertain, so go back to basics and think about activities that would appeal to your delegates’ lifestyles and hobbies. Team building games develop communication, coordination, cooperation and team spirit amongst people, pushing them to take risks and be spontaneous. Try it and you could well find it’s your most successful conference yet!

What customers are saying 

Matt Pierce, Retail Planning Manager for Homebase Ltd. commented on their annual awards event held at Alton Towers Resort saying, “It was fantastic to have such a variety of elements to the event with the awards ceremony taking place during the day, presentations and dinner in the evening, an overnight stay in the amazing hotel at The Resort and a fun-filled day enjoying the rides following a lovely breakfast.

“The event was thoroughly enjoyed by all attendees and we have had some really brilliant feedback – I’m sure it will be talked about for some time! We enjoyed the event so much that we’ve already booked to run it at Alton Towers Resort again.”

To enquire about holding a corporate event at Alton Towers Resort please email or call 0871 2221611.