The summer holidays may be over, but CEME Conference Centre is making going ‘back to school’ that little bit easier for business looking to hold training and educational events. Whether you are looking to hold training sessions to upskill your staff, are a training provider looking for a new training venue, or you need to hold an away day for your team, 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. Even the most gifted of training providers can be let down by a poor indoor environment. And so, the CEME Conference Centre has put together a list of the top ten things you need to look for in a training environment to ensure training event success…
1) Pick a training venue that is suitable for all of your attendees
Sounds obvious, but before booking any venue, you need to know what type of person will be attending your training event. Will they need a venue with good public transport links? Or will most delegates be driving? If arriving by car, does the venue offer adequate parking? Is parking free or is it in an area with extortionate charges or limited parking times? If your delegates are coming from further afield, is it close to an airport, or a major motorway such as the M25? Is there step-free access from the street / public transport for anyone with mobility needs? Is the venue in an area where people feel safe and secure (especially in the winter months, when the long nights draw in)?
And then there’s the other practicalities such as; does the venue offer a reception service to help guide delegates in the right direction? Does it have clean, well equipped, accessible toilet facilities, and are they close by to your room or do your delegates have to hike to the other side of the building? Is there break-out space? Does the venue offer flexibility in regard to room types and sizes? If training is taking place over a number of days, does the venue have a deal with a partner hotel offering special rates or shuttle bus services?
If you have a wide range of attendees, you will need to find a versatile venue that is suitable for all. If you have a venue in mind, you need to take a step back and ask yourself, ‘Can I foresee any issues for my delegates?’ If the answer is no, then you could be onto a winner.
2) Pick a training venue that offers value for money and a clear pricing policy
Not all training venues are equal and some may feature hidden costs. Choose a venue which is open and fair about its pricing policy and don’t forget to ask if there are any discounts available. CEME Conference Centre offers special rates for public sector clients, charities, Local Authorities and associations, education and NHS and healthcare providers, as well as block booking discounts. Seasonal offers may also be available to bring costs down, so it’s always worth finding out what a venue’s discount policy is.
Remember that location can also effect price, so it can be worth widening your search area if you are not happy with the value for money offered by the venues on your current hit list. For example, a central London location will cost you significantly more than a venue situated in either East, West, North or South London. Choosing a venue a little outside your target area can pay dividends when it comes to the quality of room you can afford.
3) Pick a training venue with a good range of food and refreshments
Learning can be hungry work, so make sure you can keep your delegates refreshed and ready for action with a great selection of food and refreshments. From tea, coffee and biscuits, to full English breakfasts, cold platters, hot buffets and sit down meals, your venue should be able to offer you a wide range of food and drink, to suit any budget or personal tastes.
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).
Make sure your venue can cater for all and has a mix of vegetarian, vegan and even gluten free options. Remember working minds need fuel so don’t skimp too much on the refreshment breaks.
4) Pick a training venue to impress, engage and inspire your attendees
You want your delegates to learn, to be inspired, energised and to go out and apply the wisdom you are imparting. You need a venue that will help take that forward, not one that will work against you.
Don’t set your 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.
Choosing a venue that already has a good reputation for providing an inspirational environment for learning and business growth can make a massive difference to your event.
And if you need more information about choosing a training room, check out our five top tips for choosing a training room blog.
5) Pick a training venue with a good events management team
A quality venue will have a dedicated in-house events management team, ready to take your enquiry and help make your event the best it can be. Having the back-up of a truly professional and helpful events team can help take the stress out of arranging room hire and means you can concentrate on delivering quality training events.
Look out for a venue that can provide a full team of knowledgeable professionals. Check out any industry accolades or awards, for instance CEME Conference Centre is Accredited in Meetings’ at the highest Gold Standard with the Meetings Industry Association – the only venue in Essex or East London to achieve Gold – and is a ‘World Host’ venue for the delivery of exceptional customer service and members of ‘Venues of Excellence’.
6) Pick a training venue you can trust
Read reviews and see what genuine customers have to say. Trustpilot, Google and Facebook can be a great place to start for independent reviews, also check out the venue’s website too.
And when you make your enquiry use it as a test to see if you click with the venue. If you make your enquiry via the phone, try to get a feel for the person on the other end of the line. Do they sound professional? Are they helpful, friendly, cheerful? Do you have confidence that they listened to your enquiry? Do you think they will be easy and efficient to work with?
If enquiring via email or online form, see how quick they are to respond and how professionally they come across.
Communication is key to building trust between venues and clients, so as well as doing your review research, make sure their communication skills are on top form, to ensure they are a venue you can trust.