If you want your training session or meeting to be successful, ensuring the right environment is vital. Everyone in the room needs to be as happy as possible and that includes any presenters, trainers or visiting speakers as well as attendees.
Here are our top tips for making sure that the environment works for you:
1.Size and layout
This is often the first consideration when booking a meeting venue. The room needs to comfortably house the number of people you expect to attend and in your preferred layout with room for any equipment required.
2. Natural daylight
Natural daylight is an important factor in creating a pleasant and healthy setting in which to spend time, particularly for lengthy training sessions where extensive learning needs to take place.
Any venue should have the right number of chairs and tables as required, but those chairs need to be comfortable for sitting in for several hours. Any tables, particularly if required for laptops, should be at a good working height and have accessible power sockets for charging. Ergonomically designed meeting furniture, rather than multi purpose or that designed for banqueting, is always ideal.
Rather like Goldilocks with her porridge, room temperature needs to be just right. Too warm and your delegates will feel sleepy, too cold and they’ll be uncomfortable and not be able to concentrate. Ideally your room will have climate control that can be adjusted throughout the session for the needs of your group.
5. Lack of distractions
Visual distractions such as pictures hanging on walls, TV screens or views from windows and auditory distractions such as noise from other rooms, TVs or outside noise can be a real issue. Identify possible issues beforehand and ensure they are kept at a minimum.
Wifi and up to date AV equipment are pretty much standard in most meeting and training venues these days. If you know you’ll need it then make sure it’s going to be there, that it’s of sufficient quality and that there will be on site support if required.
7. Ease of access
Not only should your attendees be able to access the venue but if you or your trainer are bringing a lot of resources or equipment, ensure you know where the car park is and how far you will have to transport it.
8. Breaks and refreshments
Regular breaks will help your attendees to stay focused. Decide in advance whether these will be scheduled or flexible and find out whether your venue can meet your needs.
Refreshments will be something that attendees will look forward to, especially during a lengthy session. Give thought to what will be provided – a small mid morning or afternoon snack can be much appreciated by delegates who have travelled a distance.
Take attendees away from the room where they spend the rest of the day if possible and into a pleasant, daylight environment for lunch, where they can recharge and network. Offer a choice of food if available and ensure individual dietary requirements are catered for.
10. Add variety
If scheduling a series of meetings or events consider changing venues or formats regularly to keep each occasion fresh and hold the attention of attendees. Unique and quirky venues can add interest for any group.