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....and many other thoughts about facilitation, coaching ( teams & individuals) and learning


  • David

RAC - Venue

Updated: Mar 8, 2022

An unforgettable experience I just had in Beijing. I arrived in Beijing the day before the 2 days training. I went straight to the training venue – a new training room. The room did surprise me a lot, not because it is new, but because of something else.

  • Course: A presentation skills course

  • Date: 15-16 April 2008

  • Location: Beijing, China

  • # of Learners: 10

  • I am feeling: Really bad in the beginning

Whilst the room is supposed to be for training purpose, there are so many defects:

  • No flipchart stand - ironically the administration colleague did send me flipchart paper!

  • Wrong socket design - most plugs (e.g. control panel charger and extension cord) cannot be plugged into the sockets!! The control panel can run out of power anytime and I will have no control over the equipments in the room

  • Visiting trainers do not have own access in and out of the premises

  • Poor sound isolation - well, the good thing is that you can attend 2 courses at the same time....

  • No remote control for the projector - i.e. I cannot work on my computer without showing my desktop on the projector.... Not professional

  • Wrong socket location - the only one in the front of the room is right underneath the white screen i.e. you cannot set up the trainer table without an extension cord

  • Insufficient sockets

  • Broken sockets

  • No eraser for the glass-board

I hate the above since it compromises the class effectiveness. And I particularly hate this experience because I was not told of such defect in advance. That leaves me no time to find alternative. You prepare a lot in order to run a good class. The last thing you want is to have effort ruined by a stupid training room. It is a pity to the learners, trainer and the company.

Anyway, after accepting the reality, I spent almost 2 hours to make changes as much as I can e.g. alter the seat setting. A long night before the class...

My learning points:

An extremely specific requirement - Prepare a formal set-up requirement for all the classes you run. This is especially important when you use new training room. The document should be written in a way which allows no ambiguity. It should contain a set up diagram and a equipment lists (items and quantity). It makes the job easier for your support and the hotel.

Check, check and check - Whenever possible, always check out the new venue as early as possible - which hotel, who used it before. Ask the support team whether the room is complied to your requirements. In my Beijing experience, my support THOUGHT that I know such defect...

Visit the venue - For new venue, you should visit it after the set up is made. Whilst most hotel can only set up the room the night before, you should check out the room latest by that time. Do not check it only on the morning of the training day. Murphy's Law will kick in.

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