You are currently viewing A Room with a View: How to get the best from your training environment

I have been offered some very odd spaces over the years that have been quite sincerely described as ‘training rooms’. These include a glass-sided think tank with theatre-style tiered seating, a windowless store cupboard complete with spare cleaning materials “Well you have only got four delegates haven’t you? … and a viewing box at a football club. Needless to say, at this last venue, when a team of strapping young footballers jogged out on the pitch to practice, any interest in my Assertiveness workshop dwindled to nothing!

Ideally, a training room should have plenty of space to move around. If delegates are banging into the walls when pushing their chair back from the table, the room is not big enough.  For group work,  delegates need to be able to either use syndicate rooms or have enough space in the main room to enable them to concentrate on what their own group is doing rather than being distracted by (or being tempted to copy) nearby delegates.

Do ask in advance for what you need. If the person who books your venue is not aware of your training content, they cannot be expected to second guess what room space will work for you.

Consider sending an Equipment Checklist to the client so they have prior notice of what would work best for your particular workshop. This lets them tick off the things they can provide and give you advance warning of the things they can’t. Then you can either decide how you can work around the limitations – or arrange to have the missing items brought in/hired/borrowed.

Aim for:

  • Windows – preferably ones that open onto natural daylight and fresh air
  • Spare tables, chairs and space for group work
  • Ability to control the temperature in the room yourself (not central or off-site)
  • Somewhere separate for lunch to give the delegates a physical break
  • A ceiling-mounted, rather than desk-top projector
  • A projector that can take an HDMI cable so you have access to sound if needed
  • Variable lighting rather than the inevitable fluorescent strip which bleeds the colour from your slide show
  • A free-standing, rather than wall mounted flip chart

That being ideal, the venue is often a put-up-and-shut-up part of training, with many clients having limited facilities yet still doing their utmost to accommodate your needs.

If the offered setting is dreadfully unsuitable, or something that can’t be altered (such as the room size), consider a nearby hotel or conference centre. It might be a little more expensive for the client but the rewards reaped from delegates who can properly concentrate on the training, rather than their physical discomfort will be worth it. Being off-site also prevents the “Can I borrow so-and-so for five minutes” from managers who are unable or unwilling to function without interrupting their delegates’ learning.

Your Reaction: If you would like to make your in-house training space more conducive to learning, contact us for example Equipment Checklists, additional information or to arrange a chat with one of the Stratus team.