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Merry-go-rounds, muppets and men in orange suits…..a day at Training Solutions!


Just some of the weird and wonderful gimmicks to draw your attention at this year's Training Solutions and the IT Training Show at the NEC this week.

The lively show, which takes place from 4-6 July and is free to attend, is expecting over 5,300 visitors in the next few days, and there's no shortage of noisy and visually distracting competition for their attention!

Having declined an offer to ride on training provider TADS Ltd's merry-go-round and dodged the muppet driving a toy car around the hall, TrainingZONE was drawn to the men in orange manning the ERIN Management Consultants stand.

At first glance, the ERIN stand looked as though it had been taken over by a primary school class, as it was plastered with crayon drawings. Closer questioning revealed that this was graphic facilitation, a technique used by ERIN to help clients to express themselves using pictures as metaphors. The idea is based around NLP and visualisation, and the format of sessions is very much dependent on the needs of the individual client. Work with Western Union, for example, helped to overcome a multitude of European language barriers in Vienna by helping those without a common language to express themselves visually.

For more information on ERIN, e-mail [email protected] or visit in the next few weeks, as the site is not yet fully functional.

An intriguing idea which seems to buck the trend of e-learning are the smart blue coaches of PC Coaching. These particular coaches are of the movable variety, and have been travelling throughout Europe over the last 2 years delivering IT training direct to the workplace on board specially-adapted vehicles. Founder Partner Bill Evans says that the coaches address two issues; firstly, that most organisations either can't afford or don't have the space for a dedicated training area, and secondly, that they can provide a consistent quality of training for anyone from MacDonalds to the Derbyshire police force. PC Coaching reckon that getting 200 Tesco staff through a training session in a day is a bit of a record (and no, they didn't all fit on the coach at once!). You can find out more about the travels of the PC Coaching coaches at

When TrainingZONE spoke to Frazer Chesterman, director of the show last week, he raised the issue of learning decay in organisations. The Training Solutions event is canvassing opinion from its visitors on this important issue by asking them to post comments to the question 'do training managers do enough to reduce learning decay?' onto a blank wall. So far, views appear to be split 50:50...

Slightly less popular, it seems, is the Soft Skills Theatre, perhaps because it's lacking any obvious gimmicks...when TrainingZONE looked this afternoon, there were only 4 people there...

TrainingZONE promises to report back from the event tomorrow, but meanwhile just has to go and find out which stand the jazz band sounds are coming from........


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