Super value Day Delegate packages now being offered by PJ taste at their meeting, conference and dining venue in Attercliffe, Sheffield.Read More
Our blog is a diary of our adventures in local food. We enjoy preserving harvests of seasonal food so you will find brewing, fermenting as well as jam and preserve making recipes well represented. In addition we discuss visits to our valued Sheffield suppliers and trips wider afield to see artisan producers in action in Derbyshire and the Peak District. A new feature will focus on individual members of our team to share their skills and aspirations.
What makes the ideal Meeting Room? From our years of experience of catering for a huge range of meetings in Sheffield at many diverse locations here are our top 10 ten factors to consider.
Our special 11th factor just for January and February this year is FREE ROOM HIRE at our own meeting, dining and event space in Attercliffe, Sheffield. See here for details.
- Is it necessary? Before selecting a venue a key question is what is the purpose of the meeting. Could everybody save time by not actually holding it or could a "Virtual Meeting" be held or even the good old fashioned telephone put to use?
- Location. Having decided it is beneficial to get together face to face the geographical location becomes an important consideration. However, its not always a case of making it the most convenient venue for the majority. I remember when working in Scotland for Bass Taverns the meetings I attended were all in Birmingham necessitating a long jouney for the smaller Scottish contingent. An enlighted Director once decided to turn the tables and organised an Edinburgh meeting. Not only were the Scottish managers grateful but they enjoyed showing off their city and the other delegates appreciated the change of scenery.
- Size of the venue. A trick of PR agencies is to cram a small space with lots of people to ensure all the pictures show how well attended the event was! Not a great idea for productive meetings where people need plenty of space to feel comfortable. This extends to allow areas for networking and break out spaces for refreshments leaving the tables for formal meetings and business sessions separate.
- Flexibility of the venue. Having the ability to set up the room in a variety of layouts is useful along with the flexibility of the venue owners to change this rapidly and possibily mid conference is also useful. The audio visual support should also be adaptable to work equally well in each format. As caterers we also appreciate the need for adaquate space to set up refreshments and lunches preferably in a way which does not disturb the meeting in progress.
- Food and Drink. Often the most keenly anticipated part of any meeting, conference or training session! Good food delivered in a timely fashion combined with warm personal service skills can make or break the success of an event. Look for a proven track record of quality from the caterers, what their food hygiene status is (local authority inspection results for over 1/2 million restaurants and caterers can be found here) and if they have experience of delivering the type, quality and scale for your event. Ideally the caterer should be making food from scratch, using seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. Having some unique products as well as good sustainability credentials is also a bonus, as is there ability to cater seamlessly for any special dietary requirements.
- Wall Space. Perhaps a lesser consideration but any good training event should generate plenty of flip chart sheets for display. Flat and avaialble wall space on which to display is useful along with the blessing of the venue owner for plentiful use of blu tack!
- People. We all like to deal with people who get the job done efficiently but the really excellent providers are those who make it a pleasure. Its worth seeking out venues where the team in charge not only fit your needs but are able to anticipate, tailor their product espcially for you and delight. At PJ taste we have been lucky enough to work with Andy Hanselman and strive to embody his 7 characteristics of a 3D business in everything we do.
- Licensing and additional services. In order to serve alcohol, play live music or show film a venue must have the appropriate license from the local authority. These can be useful adjuncts for a venue as can their flexibility to provide for one off requests. As an example at a recent event for Tesco held in our venue Upstairs@PJtaste we sent out for more helium when the organisers supply for her gold ballons failed!
- Transport Links. Rather than relying on cars as the only feasible means of access having good public transport links is sensible. Being on a tram, train and bus route gives delegates the opportunity to leave the car at home and perhaps enjoy that complementary drink inbtoi the bargain.
- Quiet with no disturbances. For most meetings where the business outcomes are important, large picture windows onto interesting scenes are not necessarily going to be the most productive. Likewise noise pollution from ajoining rooms, external building works and noisy caterers are also to be avoided.
We were proud that on the 3rd November Sheffield's Lord Mayor, Councillor Anne Murphy, took the time to help us officially mark the opening of our refurbished meeting, dining and event space.
With an audience of invited local Sheffield people representing the people who had worked on the project, past staff and customers we enjoyed a PJ taste afternoon tea and a sparkling toast made with local foraged cherry vodka.
Guests included Chris Wade from Architects Burnell Biercliffe, Stephen Thompson from Moss Valley Fine Foods, Jill White from Andy Hanselman Consulting and Ollie Allen the talented young carpenter who designed and installed the ash stair rail. Paul and Rob Rogers the main builders were also present and without their dedication many of the clever design features would not have been included. Indeed the Lord Major commented on how impressed she was that the refurbishment had embraced all things Sheffield which extended to the Daniels Bros who made the tables from reused pallets at the Portland Works and even the sound system which was made by Cloud Electronics based 200 yards from the premises on Staniforth Road!
Peter Moulam who along with John Fitzpatrick formed the company in 2006 said “After many years providing creative locally sourced food at venues throughout the city its great to be planning events in our own space. Having full control of the food, service and venue we can really push the boundaries to showcase our trademark locally sourced and increasingly own grown produce. We are looking forward to hosting a range of local business meetings, training events and presentations as well as private dining, weddings and parties. Our full liquour and entertainment license along with our flexible and individual approach will give our guests the great choice.
The final detail of the whole project was the bespoke ash handrail made to complete the new staircase. Sourcing most of the wood from PJ taste's own plot and from a forest garden in Doncaster and Ollie Allen a talented local tradesman designed and installed this impressive feature. Using this project as part of his portfolio it was great to see him winning the Carpenter of the Year 2017.