Sandown Park – Surrey

Location

Close to the centre of London. 30 minutes from Waterloo by train to Esher and just ten minutes from Junction 10 of the M25/A3

What's on offer

Three thousand car parking spaces. Over 20 conference & banqueting rooms holding between 10- 500 delegates. Extensive, accessible exhibition space of 4,000m2.  A venue used to hosting trade and consumer shows alike. Don’t forget the Racing Boxes which make great breakout or interview rooms.  A multitude of team building options from skiing to go-carting.  

 

Why they are special

It’s so easy to get there by road, rail and air plus has bags of free car parking. A venue which specialises in holding BIG events – exhibitions, conferences and product launches.  Lots of break out areas for impromptu meetings. Excellent in-house catering attracts numerous award ceremonies, dinners and large wedding parties.  Help from dedicated Event Manager both pre-event and on the dayBacon butties to die for.

STARTER FOR 10:

Sandown Park has always been a head of the game as a venue.  The management were quick to work out that 24 days racing a year would never provide a sustainable business commercial.  Today, Sandown has built on its’ excellent reputation as one of the UK’s major event venues and is not resting on its’ laurels! 

First and foremost, Sandown’s key event market is hosting large scale exhibitions, conferences, product launches and awards dinners.  It’s particularly adept at hosting one day events where high-volume attendees don’t need a bed for the night and whose audience lives in London and the south-east.   

But look beyond the obvious and event bookers will discover that that behind this top racing venue are much smaller rooms available for hire, ideal for small training courses or meetings.  They have a 21-bedroom hotel overlooking the winner’s enclosure and myriad of team building activities that defy gravity and offer a range of outdoor and indoor wet weather options. They’ve even established themselves as a location hotspot for various films and TV series, including big budget Hollywood movies such as Love Actually and hit TV shows including BBC’s Outnumbered. 

Special note must go to the banqueting team, who are well versed in looking after guests attending award and gala dinners, school proms and weddings. The backdrop of the London skyline always proves popular with delegates and guests instantly feeling as if they are in the middle of the countryside rather than a stone’s throw from the City of London.

WHY SO SPECIAL

Mentioned in the “Why Book” summary, it’s worth mentioning again that Sandown is so easy to get to there and there is no costly parking to consider which is pretty special in this part of the World.  Big tick.   

Great accessibility also extends once inside the racecourse itself.  You can park your van right next to the entrance door, off load without getting a ticket and have just a short walk to set up.  This saves so much time and stress when setting up an exhibition stand or conference set.  It’s also good that the staff on security and around the concourse area are very customer friendly, even lending a hand when you need a second pair and it’s raining outside. Little surprise then that Sandown Park was shortlisted in the prestigious Exhibition News Awards for the Best Exhibition Venue in April 2018.  

Over 200 exhibitors can easily be accommodated in Surrey Hall and the flow of visitors is excellent where ever you are.  There’s never a queue at the toilets and the numerous catering outlets, cafes and restaurants are popular with visitors and exhibitors alike.   Take the stairs or large lifts in the main stand and enter a whole new, more sophisticated world.  The Gold Cup Suite and Park View, used as Banqueting Suites on Race Days are ideal for larger conferences, banqueting events and major presentations. High ceilings mean no problem with screen viewing from the back of each hall and you get the added bonus of superb views across Sandown Park, with the Wembley Arches clearly visible in the distance. 

Not quite the end of the story as Sandown is now making a name for itself as a centre for Business Adventures, complete with Away Day and Team Building opportunities. For speed kings and would be Lewis Hamilton’s, Daytona Sandown Park’s 900m circuit offers a lot of thrills and spills. Or you could venture up into the trees on the Skywalk Adventure Course and subject your work colleagues to a series of barrel crawls, rickety bridges, suspended ropes and zip lines.  But if you prefer keeping your feet firmly on the ground then you can always hit the dry ski slope and pretend your skiing on the Grand Motte Glacier in Tignes!

GOOD TO KNOW!

  • Esher is just a short five-minute walk from the venue, ideal to stretch your legs if you fancy a change of scene. 
  • Holding a series of interviews or an assessment centre?  Large numbers of cost-effective rooms can be hard to find but not at Sandown where the Eclipse Boxes provide a great resource. 
  • Don’t forget Sandown Park Lodge a comfortable 21 bedroomed onsite hotel where many of the rooms overlook the course – excellent breakfast served. 
  • Looking for corporate entertainment or customer incentive packages?  Race Days and Race Evenings could be the answer to your prayers.

BEAR IN MIND…

  • There’s a lot of meeting and event space, but with the exception of the small Sandown Lodge Hotel only 21 bedrooms. So, if you are thinking of holding a sales conference for 300 top performers over two days, you’ll need to find rooms in the local area and bus people in – which is entirely possible.   
  • It can get a little warm in the exhibition area and natural light in the lower concourse Surrey Hall is in short supply.  No real problem for an exhibition, particularly if also using for a conference the Park View or Gold Cup Suites which have an abundance of natural light. 
  • The larger conference rooms are good spaces for events, but production equipment needs to be brought in and care taken with “black out” if this is an important pre-requisite for presentations. 
  • South Western Trains at time of writing (December 2018,) have been subject to regular strike action, so check timetables and the latest news before you travel. 

 

ANYTHING ELSE?

  • Sandown holds racing on 24 days a year.  That gives massive availability for you to host your conference or event.  But if Sandown is busy on your chosen date, consider the sister Jockey Club Courses at nearby Epsom and Kempton. 
  • Summer BBQ’s are a speciality! 
  • Go and check the views of the London skyline from the top of the main stand.  Even on a rain day, you’ll be impressed.

IT'S A WRAP - SERVICE IS THE SECRET

Clearly the management at Sandown Park are not resting on their laurels in terms of their continued refurbishment programmes and the growth of their Business Adventures programme.  The finishing line in terms of new ideas seems unabated and it’s also good to see so many staff proactively going that extra mile – or should that be furlong?  Very few hurdles are put in the way of event bookers and if you are looking to hold a largescale exhibition or event in the south-east, close to London, Sandown should be on your shortlist/racing card!