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Dominic Valentine

Dominic Valentine

Training Manager

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Five most common irritants with training venue arrangements?


Five most common irritants with training venues? Mine include:-
  1. No clock in the room - though my Mary Poppins bag contains a small clock from M and S!
  2. Flipchart rails so close to the wall that it's impossible to turn a sheet over/bring one back.But I came across a wonderful washing line system with coloured pegs in Milton Keynes!
  3. Access telephone numbers or door codes that need a logarithmic  table to understand!
  4. Concrete floors
  5. No equality proofing of the arrangements - before/during and after!
And of course, the reverse of all the foregoing is a plus!

14 Responses

  1. a couple of my own

    1. There is a clock…..behind the trainer where all the delegates can see it!

    2. No natural light

    3. The only place to put a laptop is directly in front of the screen

    4. A 42 inch lcd screen rather than a projector so all your slides are illegible because the type face is too small.

    5. A coffee machine that makes wonderful drinks but a) requires a degree in astrophysics to operate b)take two minutes to make each cup so a 5 minute break is a forlorn hope.

    6. A room that has been reconfigured so the air-con sensors and controls are now in another room



  2. More Irritating Factors

    1. Clock – and the clock time is nothing like the real time!

    2. Wall rails that are too high (I am surely not the only trainer who is not 6ft tall?)

    3. Tea and coffee that is only provided at a precise time and not when you actually need it

    4. Tables that cannot be moved and are set up as a formal boardroom setting with no room to move around the outside of the room

    5. The luxury of additional break out rooms but on 3 different floors and about 10 miles apart 

  3. Chairs and Layout

    Uncomfortable chairs that are designed for a fast food restaurant to ensure that people leave. (Rather than nice comfortable and swiverable office chairs that allow learners to interact).

    Rooms layed out theatre or classroom style that assumes that teaching is about lecturing and that the learners know nothing and therefore should be discouraged from participating and interacting.

    At least the irritants tell you to avoid the venue in the future.


  4. All computer equipment been removed from room arrghhhrrr!!!

    My worst one was training for IBM, I had spent hours setting up the room with portable network hub cabling computers the works the day before, got there nice and early looking forward to coffee and relax, to find someone had obviously used the room at some point in between and unplugged every last piece of equipment, it was all in a heap outside the room…I had loads of time so tried not to panick but as students were arriving they met a view of my behind as I was crawling around on the floor plugging in cables!!!

  5. Training venue preferences

    Some of my pet hates are:

    • No natural light
    • Air conditioning (whatever is wrong with clean air through the windows?)
    • Traffic noise when you open the windows!
    • No space to move around
    • No outdoor space
    • Fixed tables which can’t be moved
    • Boring corporate decor
    • Huge 3 course lunches leaving everyone full and lethargic after lunch

    I’m interested to hear what others have to say as we are in the process of setting up our own training venue – one which is stimulating, friendly, comfortable, and conducive to learning – so its good to know what people like/don’t like. (for example – the clock issue never occurred to me – I always wear a watch, but now I know it’s important to others, we’ll make sure we put a clock on the wall!)





  6. Irritants with Training Venues

    I  think most of my pet hates have been used.  To summarise:

    1.  Training Rooms that are designed for classroom seating.  Particularly if I can’t change them

    2.  Uncomfortable chairs.  We need office chairs that enable the person to turn to face the direction of the speaker.

    3.  Computers that are run on a security system and time out fairly quickly.  We have them in Corrective Services here in Western Australia.  I know the reason but it does interfere with our training delivery..

    4.  Lack of break out facilities for courses of more than one day. 

    Thank you for all those who have submitted their concerns.


    John Clark

    Standards and Compliance Officer

    Corrective Services Academy Western Australia

  7. Five most common irritants

    Hi!  I was the person who asked about dream venues a few weeks ago.  Your question is really helpful and I’m looking forward to reading the replies you get, because I hope to set up a custom-built venue in North Cornwall.  Here’s my contribution.

    Just how big a Mary Poppins bag are we supposed to carry?  Why don’t they just give us a tent in the middle of a field and forget it?  Grrr!

    Room left in a mess by previous users/ venue providers.

    Too hot/too cold.

    No coffee etc.


  8. chairs and tables……

    interesting to hear the comments re furniture….I once worked at Hinchley Wood; a civil service training centre, and there were armchairs/sofas for all the delegates and the trainer and coffee tables….not a desk or board table or upright chair or swivel chair in sight…..there was also bags of room to move around and even low lecterns for the trainer to put their notes on!

    Waddya think!

  9. Tables, Chairs and Flipcharts

    I’m a pretty flexible person, and have trained in some rather strange places. I can usually manage  just fine with whatever I have, BUT…

    1. I cannot manage without a flipchart – I use them like they are going out of fashion, and as such I hate venues that…
    2. Don’t have the space to stick things on the walls (or where this is not allowed)
    3. My other pet hate is tables and chairs set out in boardroom style or in rows – I’m not a presenter, I’m a trainer…we need to move about, chat and have a bit of space to work!
  10. St Ethelberga’s

    Sheridan would love this venue in central London- they have a yurt in the courtyard where I delivered a time management programme……there is no furniture at all….just rugs on the floor….the "room" is circular and you have to take your shoes off!


  11. Irritant

    As I was getting on really well with the attendees on the last day of a week-long course I jokingly suggested that as it was a lovely afternoon we should spend it in the beer garden across the road.  I was absolutely staggered and a bit taken aback when they agreed, so we all piled out with our laptops and continued there.

    My irritant with the training venue arrangements in this case though, coming back to the subject, was that the MD turned up in the pub about an hour later…

  12. Luxury! we used to dream of having chairs…

    Training story for when I did a bit of contract public sector work a few years ago. Entered the office to find I wasn’t expected (par for the course so wasn’t really bothered). Shown to the room that had nothing in it. No chairs, no desks, no flipchart, nuffink. Staff were nice though and managed to cobble together enough chairs for the delegates and me. Did the whole course as a sort of sit-in-a-circle discussion group.



  13. a little challenging

    early on in my training career, I turned up at a local village community centre at 6.30pm to run a course for foster carers at 7.15pm – 20 delegates expected.  Room was slightly larger than my kitchen at home (and that’s not big!), 7 chairs in it that half filled the room, no flip or stand.  Out in the community centre I met a Jobsworth who told me that I could not move chairs from the main hall as they ‘may’ be needed by other groups later in the evening…. eventually managed to beg borrow and not quite steal 16 chairs from various locations knowing that the uptake on the group was likely to be less than 20.  In the end I had nearly enough and a mother and daughter fortunately saw the funny side of sharing a large chair with no arms together….. It was a cosy evening ūüôā   

    Oh and a further pet hate to add to the list, one electric socket at the farthest point of the room from the laptop you want to hook up!  And no wall without pictures or screen to project onto.  Training in a council chamber I was told emphatically I couldn’t remove any of the wall decorations and boy there were a lot of portraits !    

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Dominic Valentine

Training Manager

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