What makes a great training event?
January has been a busy month here at CMP. We kicked off the new year with a whole range of training workshops, seminars, skills-share sessions and a conference. As a team we’ve tried to capture some of the things we have learned about what works and what doesn’t. We found it was easy to forget some of the basics once events were in full swing so we’ve produced this checklist for ourselves. We hope you might find it useful too.
Before the event
- What does the marketing say? Does the name of the event accurately reflect the type of activity you are running? Is it a conference or will it be a more informal event? Make sure your marketing accurately captures the kind of event you are going to run. Ensure a joined up approach when branding the event, so that everyone (speakers, trainers, organisers and delegates) is familiar with the exact same event title/brand.
- Send a clear brief to the speakers explaining the objectives for the day, the programme and the intended audience. If they are delivering a presentation with slides, ask them to use slides which are clearly visible – black text on a yellow background is the most legible.
- Make sure you’ve dealt with general practicalities – do your speakers have any practical requirements, such as room layout, specific equipment, etc? If yes, make sure you have prepared everything beforehand.
- Check you have you asked people for their dietary and access requirements.
- Are you asking for payment for refreshments? If so, check that payment for lunch is accurately advertised – i.e. £5 for all refreshments (not just lunch) to ensure that you communicate value for money.
- Have the delegates received a reminder email, with directions and lunch/parking arrangements, during the run up to the event?
On the day
- Is the registration desk set up – badges, delegate lists, programme and workshop sign-up sheets if necessary.
- Give name badges and delegate lists out to people as they arrive. Ask them if there is anyone they want to meet and introduce them.
- Sound check – do the speakers work? Can people hear at the back?
- Screen test – is the light level right, can you see the slides from the back?
- Have you organised water for the presenters?
- Meet and greet the presenters – do they have what they need, have they been briefed on the day?
- Does the roving mike work? Check that everyone can hear the questions and ask people to say their names and where they are from when they ask a question
- Is there someone to blog about the day?
- Is the wifi password and hashtag clearly visible?
- Is there someone allocated to meet and greet and help people connect with one another?
- Before the start of the presentation/event, make sure you provide a brief introduction to the audience – who is the organiser, what is everyone here for, who is funding the event, and any specific references/thanks to individuals/organisations.
- Share housekeeping information at the beginning of the day– toilet location, fire alarms and exits, reminders of coffee and lunch breaks.
- Keep an eye on your watch! Being time-conscious throughout the whole duration of the event will facilitate its smooth and timely development.
- Are there evaluation forms for all delegates?
- If the event is part of a wider series of events, make sure to market any other relevant events at the end or throughout the day, so as to make people aware of them. Don’t forget to provide information on how to secure a place in future/relevant events!
After the event
- Follow up – send out notes and actions within 24 hours of the event if possible.
- Organise an event debrief within 24 hours if possible.
- Send a thank you email to your speakers/presenters or delegates, if required.
To book a place at one of our training events (and see if we practice what we preach!) please click here.