United Biscuits European HR Conference

The HR Conference at the Westerwood Hotel & Golf Resort near Glasgow was the annual event for the United Biscuits European HR function. For this Conference the Group HR Director Andy Newall and his PA Alison Pedder were looking to build on the team building successes of previous years with something different, innovative, fun and challenging, which could be positioned against the current backdrop of change for the United Biscuits Snacks and Biscuits businesses.

Event details

Location: Glasgow (Cumbernauld)
Venue: The Westerwood Hotel & Golf Resort
Content: Team building
Group Size: 80 participants on each day
Group Profile: HR staff from the United Biscuits UK and European operations


Fun, engaging team-based interventions delivered within the scope of the two day HR Conference programme:

• Providing inclusive shared event experiences that would get individuals and teams to interact and work effectively together.
• Fostering positive cross-team working and creating opportunities for teams to articulate and express key business messages through the events.

The events had to be upbeat and participative and also had to provide a platform for participants to explore workplace issues in an engaging, meaningful and fun way.
The activities also had to play to the varied strengths and interests of all participants.


Day one fun team building

The Maelstrom team building event on Day One was fast-moving, dynamic and combined a sense of celebration with fun and an element of light-hearted cross-team competition. Pre-determined teams were each given the names of Scottish clans on the day. Teams proudly displayed their own clan crest and team members were provided with had their own clan tartan buttonholes – a veritable ‘battle of the clans’.


Day two collaborative team challenge

The Create & Paint event on Day Two was positioned to promote cross-team collaboration, whilst providing a fun, shared experience. It was customised and themed to engage staff to think about the nature of the change that the organisation was undergoing at the time, and to raise awareness of key business messages. Specifically, on the day the teams from the day before had to collaborate to produce two giant composite canvases which would depict the following themes respectively:

  • a celebration of the United Biscuits HR Function’s past
  • a positive, aspirational vision of the future for the HR Function


“The conference last month was a great success. I have had nothing but good feedback and this year the atmosphere seemed to be far more energised than last year and the whole event seemed to go well.

I think the Create and Paint went very well, once everyone understood what to do, and the end result, albeit rather amateur, showed what everyone could do when they pulled altogether. “