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cost spent on external venues


I am currently writing up my first assesment for my CTP and needed some help on how much training departments spend on external training venues per year or the cost of implementing your own.

many thanks from a stressed student!
Lisa Jones

5 Responses

  1. external venues
    External venues are not as expensive as people realise; however the cost must be included in the full cost of training. External venues range from approximately £35 per head for a day delegate rate upwards to £175 for a 24 hr delegate rate for 2 day plus programmes. This includes tea, coffee, lunch and the like.

    External venues promote networking – delegates really don’t have much choice. Networking is part of the 70% in learning informally so don’t dismiss this. The venues are often located in stunning areas promoting a more holistic approach to learning.

    Internal training rooms can also be called meeting rooms or board rooms. They are great if you can get them, get enough of them (potentially three rooms for a one day course to have break out rooms) and you don’t get kicked out for more important thins like senior management meetings. (Interesting when you ask senior managers about the importance of training – they think it is – and then they go and kick you out of your room!). Board rooms, meetings etc often can not be changed around to suit the course so you end up in rows or lines and not syndicate tables.

    You also need to think about their ‘e-mail’ factor. If people are attending training sessions in the building they work in they will be more than tempted to go back during breaks, lunch etc to catch up on e-mails – and may not return!

    For a truly dedicated training room you are looking at several thousands of pounds to set up, plus ongoing costs of utilities etc. Also factor in tea, coffee, lunches and those really nice biscuits! However once you have your room it needs to be at least 85% capacity or more for you to fully justify the expense.

    I suppose all this comes down to costs and the attitude of management to learning. To be effective training courses are going to cost some money; where you invest the money is the question.

    Personally I would always prefer off site venues as this demonstrates to the delegates the importance of the training, the financial investment the company is making in them, the networking experience and the opportunity to have more contact with delegates.


  2. any statistics
    Many thanks Andrew for your response

    I am suprised at the cost of implementing an inhouse training function!

    i agree that off site training promotes a better atmosphere when learning especially for senior managers.

    are there any reports that are available which i could quote from for my assessment?

    many thanks

  3. depends what you are training
    Hi Lisa, I agree that an off-site venue is the best option, however, in my team almost 100% of what we deliver is systems and process training, all centred around working at a PC. This type of training could not be delivered at an off-site venue even if they had a computer suite, (issues with licences, data etc).

    Last year, the costs for kitting out two rooms, each accomodating 9 PC,s was around £35,000. This was for the pc’s, chairs, tables, (including assembly) and some electrical work. They are both no-frills type rooms so they have nothing else in them other than the items mentioned.

    I think that whatever budget that you had to play with, you could use it up by buying more gadgets and state of the art equipment.

    hope that helps.

  4. Venues
    Firstly, let me say I entirely agree with Andrew.
    The benefits have to be weighed against the costs – going to a good, dedicated conference and training venue (rather than a hotel that does it as a side line) can be cost effective. Some development is better done at the workplace. My rule of thumb is: the closer the training is to practical, functional operations, the closer you need to be to the work place to deliver it. The more you want people to break out of their day-to-day thinking, to address strategic, emotional or creative issues, then the better you are to find an environment that takes them away mentally (though that need not be far away in geographic terms).
    As to what L&D functions spend on this – it varies enormously. Some spend a lot as they provide training throughout the country or because they don’t want the fixed overhead of their own facilities. Others aim to maximise the use of their own training rooms (and, sadly, other less suitable rooms) and keep the cash cost down.
    If you have your own facilities, then maximise their use to get best value. 85% is not a bad target. If you use external venues then you may pay more per day but you only pay when you use them. This can even work out cheaper in some cases. It is a matter of doing your sums.
    Personally I prefer a mixed economy – some internal facilities (and I’d go for a few facilities of a high standard rather than lots of poor quality rooms) and a good relationship with a high value venue organisation (I think the best overall value is around the 4 star mark; we use DeVere and they are very good) with locations accessible to your staff.
    And remember, if you use venues a lot, negotaite a deal.

  5. Cost spent on external venues

    Cotswold Conference Centre is a dedicated training venue and like any business we have a “mixed bag”of clients,some train here a least once a month, some two and three times a month, sometimes the same company will have two different departments running two different sessions here at the same time. At the other end of the spectrum we have organisations that visit us only once or twice a year.Then there is a whole raft of business in between the two extremes. It’s difficult to give a very simple answer but I hope the figures below will give you something to work on.

    In 2007
    A government agency spent £86,000 with us,
    which represents 95% of their external venue budget

    An employment agency spent £81,000 with us,
    which represents 95% of their external venue budget

    A materials handling company spent £44,000 with us,
    which represents 95%of their external venue budget

    A building society spent £36,000 with us

    A logistics company spent £50,000 with us

    Interesting to note that in spite of such annual spends none of the above clients built their own training centre,but chose to go offsite instead.Company training centres exist of course, but as Andrew and Graham point out,it’s just inevitable that training in the workplace with all its unavoidable distractions, has to be a poor alternative to using a dedicated venue. By its very nature a built for purpose outside venue must be a better learning environment than a training centre attached to the workplace.


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