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An insider’s guide to organising training events

An insider’s guide to organising training events

Heath House Training and Conference Centre, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire

The training facilities here at Heath House Conference Centre have grown out of our wealth of experience delivering literally thousands of training courses to schools and colleges up and down the country.

The schools and colleges that we worked with arranged the training venue and as a result we have had the JOY and the MISFORTUNE of delivering courses in every sort of training venue imaginable.

We found that the training room provision varied enormously, and whilst there were lots of ideal training venues that had been very carefully selected, we also found ourselves delivering training in venues that were totally unsuitable. Over time we started to see a series of very common mistakes that clients made when they booked an external training venue.

…So when we set up Heath House Training and Conference Centre, we used our wealth of experience to ensure that our customers don’t have to face the same challenges that we experienced.

Mistake Number 1#

The most common problem that we encountered was when the person booking the training venue did not understand the importance of the training environment and the significant impact it has upon learning opportunities. This is an understandable mistake particularly if you are new to the role. Our check list for new training administrators is free to down load here

Mistake Number 2# acoustics

It ‘sounds’ obvious; if participants are going to learn, they need to be able to hear the tutor and the tutor needs to be able to hear delegates questions, so good acoustics are important. Administrators who have not organised a training event before are unlikely to give consideration to the acoustics within the room.

Some of the biggest challenges we encountered in other training venues came from echoey training rooms or rooms with high ceilings. Tutors had to work hard to enable delegates to hear them clearly. Equally challenging were conference rooms that were inappropriately large for the size of the group.  In large rooms, delegates naturally gravitate towards the back of the room which makes it difficult for them to hear the tutor and leaves tutors with a sore throat from all of the extra effort projecting their voice.

Mistake Number 3# Disturbance

The third most common mistake is holding training events on your own premises. It is tempting to think that this is a good way to save money. In our experience it is fraught with a range of issues. The most significant being continual disruptions where key members of staff were called away to deal with ‘urgent’ telephone calls or unexpected events. This disrupts learning and often means that the most important people within the room miss crucial information. It is a costly mistake. To illustrate this, take the scenario of a training event for a group of 20 teachers and headteachers.

The investment for a full day of training consists of

  • wages for all staff attending the training,
  • cover Staff  
  • plus the cost of the trainer
  • plus the cost of training materials
  • plus the room hire and refreshments.

In reality, the cost of the training room hire is insignificant when compared to the other overheads. So, for the sake of saving a comparatively small amount of money on hiring a suitable venue away from interruptions and disturbances, it is possible to jeopardise the entire investment by holding the event on site.

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