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Training event guide

Training Venues: The Ultimate Guide to planning a training event and hiring the BEST Training venue

This is the ultimate guide to planning a successful training event and hiring the BEST training venue.

In the article, we begin by exploring the importance of training within the context of continual growth and improvement. We will look at the types of training that are available and we will explore the advantages of each type.  Then we will look at the role of the training venue and the impact that the training environment has upon learning. We will give our 10 top tips on choosing a truly great training venue. Also, we will provide a series of free editable templates that training organisers and tutors can use. We conclude the article with a series of tips to keep delegates engaged and maximise learning.

What is Effective Training?

Put simply, effective training should bring about positive and lasting improvement. For training to be effective, it should be part of an improvement cycle that accurately identifies learning needs. This in turn should link to the strategic development plan. Karen Kirby’s article Does Training Happen By Osmosis  looks at the this in more detail.

action plan template graphic

 To bring about lasting change, delegates need to use the information provided within a training course to create their action plan. The plan should be easy to implement immediately upon their return to work. We have created a very simple but effective action plan template that enables delegates on any training course to leave with a clear and simple action plan. The template is fully editable and can be downloaded FREE and used by training managers, training companies, course tutors and delegates.

Training is a significant investment

Training courses are a significant investment. So it is importnat to ensure that the training delivers the desired improvements. The cost of training usually includes up to 4 key components.

  1. The course cost: Often a price per person which includes the cost of the training materials and tutoring. This cost is relevant to online and face to face courses.
  2. Courses are often attended during the working day so companies are often obliged to pay their employees their usual salary to attend. This cost applies to both online and face to face courses.
  3. Companies must continue to function whilst staff undertake training. Some companies pay cover staff to ensure that they can meet their clients’ needs even whilst their team attend a training course.
  4. The cost of a venue is often one of the smallest costs when compared to the cost of the tutor and the cost of employees’ wages for the day.

Types of training and learning styles

Broadly speaking, training (or more specifically learning), can be divided into the following types:

  • Self-led learning
  • Instructor-led learning
  • E-learning
  • Blended learning
Infographic about 4 types of training

Self-led learning

Self-led learning is an informal type of learning that we do on a daily basis, sometimes consciously and sometimes unconsciously. We find information that fills gaps

Instructor Led-Learning

Instructor-led courses are those which are provided by a tutor in a classroom or training room. This type of skills-based training is ideal when you want to gain an understanding of a complex subject as it gives delegates the opportunity to discuss the subject, learn from each other, and ask questions. It is often more expensive in the short-term but tends to have a greater impact over the longer-term.

E-Learning and Online Courses

E-Learning, is sometimes called distance learning and it takes place online. This type of training course has improved greatly in the last 10 years and is particularly effective for developing factual knowledge. It is often cost-effective and can be accessed by the learner at a time which is convenient for them.

Blended Learning

Blended learning combines e-learning tasks with face to face tuition and discussion.

Which type of training will give your delegates the best results?

Each type of learning has advantages. Therefore, it is important to decide which type of training will be beneficial to your delegates.

This Info-graphic outlines some of the main advantages of tutor-led courses.

Face to face learning is particularly useful when dealing with highly-complex subjects where delegates need to learn the theory and then apply the knowledge to different situations. 

Unlike e-learning, tutor-led training has a degree of flexibility. The interaction between the tutor and the delegates enables the trainer to assess each delegate’s knowledge, understanding, and skill level and then adapt the course materials to enable delegates to learn incrementally.

The opportunity to ask questions allows delegates to fill gaps in knowledge and clarify complex information.

Crucially, when a delegate doesn’t understand a concept, they can ask the tutor to explain the idea differently.

In this article, we are focusing on tutor-led training which takes place within a classroom or training venue.

Advantages of tutor-led training
Best training venues - Heath House Conference Centre Uttoxeter

How to select the Best Training Venue

Tutor-led training requires physical space, so the next step is to consider where you want to hold the training. There are several options:

  • The Client’s venue
  • Within your office building
  • A conference venue, training centre or meeting venue

 

If you have decided to provide tutor-led training, the first choice of training venue is often the clients office as this is the cheapest option.  Taken at face value this often seems the most cost-effective option, but in truth, it can be the most expensive mistake that you can make. Very few workplaces have a suitable space to hold a training event. Delegates need space to work, comfortable seating, good projection facilities, and no interruptions. Spaces in workplaces are often cramped, they lack projection facilities and leave delegates vulnerable to constant interruptions from colleagues. Ask yourself how many times you have seen people called out of a training event because of an urgent call from a client. So before you choose the location for your training event, carefully consider how effective training will be if you remain within the office environment.

The training environment plays a significant role in the success of any training course. As training courses are a significant investment, it is important to choose the right venue…one that will help you to maximise learning opportunities.

What does your choice of training venue say about you?

Heath House Business Centre, Meeting Rooms

From the moment delegates arrive at the training venue, they start to make qualitative judgments about the training based purely upon their perception of the venue.

Take a look at the two venues described below.

What opinions do you form about the two courses below? Which one would you book?

  • Course one is being held in a local village hall. There is plenty of parking, a large hall which is slightly dated, and there is a kitchen where delegates can help themselves to tea and coffee. The room is a little bit on the cold side when you arrive but the venue is clean enough and is very cheap. There is a projector, but the tutor cannot get it to work with his laptop and there is no one available to help.
  • Course two is held at a training and conference centre within an elegant Georgian Building. There is ample car parking. The delegates are greeted on arrival by the conference team and shown to the coffee lounge. Tea and coffee are ready for them on arrival. The training room is fully equipped with HD presentation screens and wi-fi. Members of staff from the event’s team are available to help delegates with anything that they need. The room is warm and the seating is comfortable.

From this illustration, it is easy to see how the venue sets the tone of the day, so it is important to select the right one. Yet this is not always as simple as it sounds as there are a series of common mistakes that people make when selecting a training venue. By understanding the pitfalls, it makes it easier to avoid them. Our “Insiders guide to organising training events” is designed to help you

infographic - 10 top tips to choose the best training room

TOP TEN TIPS TO CHOOSING THE BEST TRAINING VENUE

We have created a training room hire checklist which is designed to help you select a training venue that will give your delegates a great experience. You can download it and start using it straight away.

FREE PRINTABLE TRAINING ROOM HIRE CHECKLIST

graphic - training venue checklist

1: Choose a training venue that is easily accessible from major roads.

If your delegates have an easy journey, they will arrive in a positive, relaxed frame of mind, ready to learn.

2: Look for training facilities with free on-site parking.

Onsite parking takes all of the stress out of finding space to leave your car for the day.  Multi-story carparks tend to be located a long way from the venue, they are expensive and it can be difficult to find a space. All of which creates a stressful start to the day…one that is easy to avoid.

3: Make sure that the training room has blinds to control daylight.

Glares and reflections can make it difficult for delegates to see presentation screens. Blinds can help to control this.

4: Look for a training room where you can control the room temperature.

If your delegates are too hot or too cold, they will be distracted. Instead of concentrating on the course content, they will focus on how uncomfortable they feel and not on the training.

5: Check that the acoustics in the training room are suitable

In order to learn, your delegates need to be able to hear the tutor. Avoid excessively large rooms with vaulted ceilings and also those that are echoey. If you are using film clips, check that the venue has sound amplification facilities that are sufficient. If in doubt, test it out. 

6: Find out what is included in the room hire charge. Make sure you know the cost of any additional equipment hire.

Some venues charge extra to use presentation equipment, flip charts, conference paper, and even wi-fi. This can cause costs to spiral out of control. Some venues include all of these things for free within the room hire rate. This makes a big difference to the overall cost and it also makes budgeting simple.

7: Check that the room layout is suitable for your delegates and make sure that they can all see the screen.

The standard room layout options are boardroom style, lecture style, cabaret style, classroom style, and u-shape. 

8 Find a training venue that provides great quality catering and refreshments. This will ensure that your delegates feel valued.

9: Check that the training venue has good connectivity. Look for fast reliable wi-fi and sufficient power sockets.

Some courses require delegates to bring their laptops with them to complete online training tasks. These courses need fast reliable wi-fi connections and plenty of power sockets.

10 Find a venue that has a knowledgeable and supportive team who can help with everything from connecting to the presentation screen to looking after unexpected additional delegates.

A truly supportive venue will act as an extension of your team. They will help you to connect to the presentation equipment and while you are getting prepared for the course, the venue will be welcoming your delegates, showing them where they can get a coffee, and giving them any information that they need before the start of the course. A good venue will also help you to overcome any unexpected challenges that arise, for example printing out an extra handout when an additional delegate arrives.

Planning your training event to maximise learning

The next step in planning the ultimate training event is to ensure that you take every opportunity to maximise learning. This section is about ensuring your delegates are comfortable and can focus fully on the content of the training.

When booking your training room, think about your delegates’ physical needs. Make sure the training room is comfortable. Your delegates may well be sitting for most of the day, so make sure that the chairs are suitable.

Choose a training room that has lots of natural daylight with windows that open. This allows fresh air to circulate if the room starts to get too warm. A brief blast of fresh air can work wonders when it comes to keeping delegates alert.

Make sure your training venue has a coffee lounge or break-out rooms. This enables delegates to stretch their legs and refresh their minds ready for the next part of the course.

Feed the body as well as the mind
Providing food for your delegates can make a huge difference. Not only does it address their physical needs (a hungry delegate is a distracted delegate), but a meal can make participants feel valued.

Mealtimes are sociable and allow delegates to discuss the course. These conversations can deepen learning or encourage delegates to clarify specific points with the tutor.

Consider wowing your delegates with an amazing meal. It is surprising how much difference this can make to their perception of the training.

Tea “on tap”
Check to make sure the conference centre has tea and coffee “on tap” and that there are also healthier caffeine-free choices available such as herbal or fruit infused teas and plenty of water.

Keeping delegates engaged

Effective training engages delegates and promotes learning.

With the average person’s attention span being between 7 to 10 minutes this can be challenging, but with detailed planning it is possible.

When you plan your training event, consider breaking up the learning into small segments. At the end of each segment using one of the following techniques to engage learners:

  • Ask a question
  • Give delegates a scenario and then give them three possible answers and ask them to tell you which one is correct and why. If you want to make your delegates work hard, give one correct answer and two answers that whilst plausible, are only subtly incorrect.
  • Ask delegates to discuss a scenario and come up with a solution based upon the content that you have just covered.
  • Building engaging tasks into the course structure can be a useful way of embedding learning. A task will invite and encourage participation and helps to keep your audience feeling alert. Consider building in the use of break-out rooms so that delegates can work on a task in small groups.

Evaluating and improving training courses

evaluation form template - button graphic

If you want to continually improve training provision, ask delegates to evaluate the day. To enable you to measure the evaluation, ask delegates to grade their responses from 1 to 5. (1 can represent “strongly disagree” or “poor”, and 5 can represent “strongly agree” or “outstanding”)  Include a question about the booking process, the course content, the knowledge and skills of the trainer and also the venue. Within the evaluation include three open questions that allow delegates to give their opinion. Ask delegates to identify the most valuable sections of the training but also ask them to suggest improvements.

Thank You For Reading This Article

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. If you have enjoyed it, please take a few minutes to visit our website and find out about the training facilities at Heath House Conference Centre

The venue has been developed to meet our own needs as a training provider so you will find everything that you need for a successful event. If you would like to know more, or if you would like to arrange to have a look at the training facilities, please contact us on 01889 567 014.

Conference Venue - Heath House CUttoxeter, Staffordshirence
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