No one wants a training event to go over better than you—the person who is planning it. You’ve probably written out a plan, cross-compared venues and options for price and value, and spent hours on the internet researching the best methods. Here are five tips that you should be sure to consider when planning a training event.
Keep the Training Class Size Small
While it may be cost-effective to pack hundreds of people into a room at one time, it’s better service for learners to break it up into smaller groups for more personalized sessions. Smaller class sizes are more conducive to learning. The rule of thumb is between 15 and 20 people for the best learning experience.
Of course, it’s not always practical to limit training events to small groups, especially with a high demand speaker or short timeline, but it is vitally important to find ways to make the training personal in some way. Some events encourage people to text in questions mid-presentation for the trainer to address. Small group interaction has also become common for testing material in a closed environment. If your training must be a large event, find a way to make a portion of it small.
Emphasize Interactivity for Better Knowledge Retention
A training event should be interactive. According to the Association for Talent Development, people remember only 20% of what they hear, but 90% of what they do, which means that learners will respond better to less lecture and more application.
Plan time for participants to practice the material hands-on. This can come in the form of roleplaying, discussion questions, or tactile exercises—depending on the subject of the training. Get creative with participation and the learners will remember the material better, remember you for the unique exercise, and remember the whole training as a positive experience.
Pick the Perfect Training Space
A venue can make or break a training event. An ideal training venue will support the needs of the event, spatially, technologically and logistically. When choosing a training space, make sure there is technical support or special accommodations if needed. Work with a training delivery firm that will help you contain costs while providing the best service.
This subject is so important that our Global Meeting Services Director, Beth Becker, wrote an article about it—5 Mistakes NOT to Make When Choosing a Training Venue. Check it out for more on picking the right venue.
Plan for Breaks
Time spent resting is just as important as time spent learning. After hours of training, the students—and trainer—will be ready for a break. Scheduling frequent breaks helps refresh learners, give them time to catch up on texts or e-mails and provides necessary personal time to learners.
Breaks can also be a good way to organize information. Place them between learning modules and participants will receive the information better and retain it.
Providing snacks during training can also be useful in reducing distractions from an empty stomach.
Get the Right Instructor
An interactive and exciting instructor will naturally lead to an interactive and exciting training. Choosing the right trainer is key to successful knowledge transfer and a positive learning experience. The instructor should be a subject matter expert. Their perspective should be new, innovative and relevant to the learners’ perspective.
Expertise must also be matched with communication skills. A good trainer is able to express dynamic ideas and complex information in an accessible way. Experience in the subject matter should be matched by experience in teaching, both in a public forum and one-on-one. The trainer is the person that the participants are coming to see, so he or she should be knowledgeable and charismatic enough to justify the event.
You have put in a lot of time in planning this event and nobody wants it to go better than you do. Keep these 5 tips in mind in order to create a positive learning experience. Also, if you have any tips of your own, leave them as a comment below.