Have you been tasked with finding a venue for a training session, seminar or presentation? Whether it’s an internal training or professional development session within your organisation, a presentation to wow clients or providing training is a source of revenue for your business, there’s much to consider.
The venue you choose can be vital to the learning experience, especially if you need those attending to leave with a good understanding of the subject delivered and inspired to take that information forward. So what do you need to look for in a training room? We talked to Amber Statkeviciute, Event Sales Coordinator at CEME Conference Centre to find out more.
“Knowing how many people are attending is the easy part.” Says Amber, “The bigger question often lies around room layout.”
Most venues will be able to give you an option of seating arrangements such as:
- Theatre style
- Classroom style
Some, like CEME may also have permanent theatre style presentation spaces perfect for larger audiences. Amber continued, “What you want will largely depend on the style of the training or presentation. If it’s a straight lecture style presentation, then theatre style seating will be the obvious choice, but if you need people to sit together in groups and discuss concepts or debate, the U-shape or cabaret style seating may be a more useful option.”
So when you book it’s really handy to know how many people will be attending and what style the presentation, seminar or training will be delivered in.
Audio-Visual (AV) equipment and support
We’ve all been there. The presenter takes to the stage, goes to hit start on their PowerPoint presentation and boom, nothing happens. Cue repetitive hitting of keyboard keys, mumbled apologies and red faces, while someone half technical tries to sort it out. At best, it gives us a little chuckle, at worst it makes either the venue or the presenter look incompetent.
“When choosing a venue, make sure all the basics are in place. If you will be using a PowerPoint presentation, video or any other electronic means of communication, make sure the venue is aware of your requirements and the room you hire is compatible with your needs. Ensuring your room has access to WiFi or a hard wired internet connection is also a must, as is making sure all the tech you need is included in the room hire cost.
“Quality venues will also have AV technicians on hand to ensure there are no technology blunders on the day. This level of technical support is invaluable for peace of mind and making sure your event runs smoothly.”
Room comfort and environment
When we book rooms or presentation space, it can be easy to assume they will be well lit, be heated or cooled to a comfortable temperature and that the furnishings and decor will be pleasant. For seminars, training and presentations, venues should display an environment conducive to education, where people can get the best out of their learning experience.
Dull rooms, plagued with headache inducing artificial light, uncomfortable seating and which are either too hot or too cold, have a massively negative impact on the learning experience. “Don’t set the presentation up to fail by booking inferior event space. It’s always a good idea to take a look around your venue of choice before booking. If this is not possible, always request photos of the room so you can see the space with your own eyes. Discussing features such as individual room temperature control is also advisable.
“Find out more about the general facilities and what extras are included in your hire price too. Know about toilet facilities and if they are close to your learning space (you don’t want to lose delegates or lose time on your big day). Venues like CEME are built for business and go over and above the usual venue offering. Room bookings come with complimentary pads, pens and blotters, with free WiFi for delegates. The CEME building also offers free phone charging points, an on site cafe-restaurant and plenty of parking spaces too.”
The refreshments you require will largely depend on how long your presentation or training event is lasting for. “The best venues will give you a range of refreshment, snack and meal options, from cold platters, to street food and three course meals. Tea and coffee is pretty much vital to kick off any training event and bring a welcome break in-between sessions. Venues such as CEME also offer free water and mints in each training room too.”
So be sure to work out how many guest you expect and how many breaks they will need. Early starts can be kicked off with pastries, while late afternoon session can include alert foods (energy boosting foods which can perk up even the most tired of minds). Remember working minds need fuel so don’t skimp too much on the refreshment breaks.
Finding a venue with great transport links is important. “Not everybody drives, so choosing a venue close to stations and bus routes makes it infinitely more easier for people to attend. For those travelling by car, on-site parking is a must as is easy access to motorways and major A roads.
Amber also warned, “If you are holding events during winter months when the weather can be inclement, choosing a venue on a major transport route can be a godsend. These routes will invariable be kept gritted and clear running, unlike rural locations.”
Being close to an airport can be handy for those international events too. CEME is close to City Airport and the M25, with nearby public transport links to the underground, overground and local bus services. It has the best of all worlds, giving your delegates a wide list of transport options.
To find out what Amber and the CEME Conference Centre events team can do for your next training session, presentation or seminar, get in touch on +44 (0) 20 8596 5151 email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us online.