We all know how much work goes into creating the content and instruction for a classroom training event. But do you spend an equal amount of time on the logistics required to make your training event happen? Or do you not consider that part of learning...and not your job?
Classroom training events are often characterized as the worst form of training. Learners often experience them as a waste of time, constrained by time and space, and at the mercy of audio/visual equipment failures, and other uncontrollable environmental issues. With so much of the content we consume becoming time-shift-able, the idea of a predetermined time and place for learning does seem a little archaic. However, many designers are finding that there is still life in the old work horse of learning... the instructor-led classroom event.
As designers of instructional content we often leave event logistics to chance, and in the hands of administrative assistants, IT technicians, or other staff members. But when we do that we risk bad logistical experiences impacting the effectiveness of our instructional content by degrading the overall experience.
Take a cue from event organizers and think of your training event... no matter how small... as a major social gathering.
- Invitations, notifications, and reminders are always appreciated.
- When travel is involved offer to provide a car from the airport.
- If not, be sure to provide adequate directions.
- Provide contact info for onsite event staff.
- Respond immediately to inquiries from registered attendees.
- Prepare your room setup to encourage closeness.
- Does the room have an odor? Fix that.
- Provide food, snacks, and drinks.
- Double and triple check your A/V equipment.
- Have your own backup A/V equipment.
- Greet your attendees with a warm smile and get to know them.
- If you have the budget provide a small gift like a company mug, or other item.
- Provide a pen and pad of paper
- Despite the world's desire to "go green" people still appreciate printed materials. Be creative.
- If you have guests from other countries arrange for someone in the office to be their liaison.
The main point is to treat them like royalty. If this is customer training, then this goes without saying. But you should even treat internal employees the same way. This training may be "part of the job", but it's still a break in the routine and taking them away from being productive. So, make it well worth their time and they'll thank you by reporting the same to management.
Want to hear a little more? Join me for a webinar on Wednesday March 25th as I discuss how to make your classroom trainings attractive again. I will discuss these tips in depth and take some questions to help you create a great classroom experience.