Getting training events right first time

The UK’s economy is slowly moving back towards growth and many businesses are doing the same. Whether you’re planning to break into new far-flung markets or staying closer to home, you need to make sure your staff have all the right skills and knowledge to realise your plans for expansion. That means running high-quality, valuable training events – and executing them as smoothly as possible so everyone can get the best out of them. Here are a few tips to keep you and your business objectives on track.

All in the planning

There are some things you can’t control when it comes to your event. Trains are cancelled, staff are snowed in at home and there is nothing you can do about it. So make sure that you plan and account for everything that is within your control – venue, facilities, transport, equipment, speakers and activities are just a few.

Make a list right at the beginning of your planning process including everything you need to do and what you want from your event. Do your employees need to learn a new skill? You may need interactive sessions and appropriate space. If, however, you’re educating them about business change before you begin expanding, you know you’ll need an expert in that field to speak and probably comfortable seating to ensure delegates can give their full attention.

Registration

You need to know exactly who is attending and where they are travelling from, as well as contact details and other information such as dietary requirements. You could send out individual emails and depend on delegates to send you their responses, but it’s much more efficient to have good event registration software in place.

There are lots of advantages to getting your participants to register – not only does it help you plan for those who are attending, but you can check who has not booked their place and encourage them to do so if the training is important for them. Beyond that, it allows you to capture a large amount of data using a relatively simple form. You can personalise the registration form and ask any questions you need.

Then, if your booking system integrates with contact management systems and other software such as table booking applications, it becomes easier to send out messages about any necessary preparation or changes to times and places, as well as saving you the headache of manually transferring data from one place to another.

Establish your itinerary early

Speak to potential trainers as early as possible and confirm their attendance quickly. Without them, the event has no value for staff or the business, so it’s important to make sure you get the right speakers and session leaders to deliver high-quality, relevant and useful content. Then make sure you’re aware of their travel arrangements and any expenses you need to cover, so you can factor this into your budgeting and research alternatives in the event of a transport disaster.

Although getting your first choice speakers to the event should be a top priority, life isn’t always quite so simple so it’s important to establish back-up plans. Speak to another member of staff or another delegate who may already be attending and has something to offer. Ask them if they will prepare something they could set up at short notice so that if your speaker’s car breaks down before they get to your event, your efforts still haven’t been wasted.