By Jeffry Farman, past Global President, International Association of Conference Centres.
So your organisation has decided to look for a venue for the new training and development program. And the task has been given to you. Where do you start?
Residential training involves staying on-site at a specified venue for the entire length of a business event or course. This training format is especially suited to very in-depth course material, or programmes that cannot fit in to one single day.
You know the event will run over a few days so conference accommodation for the group will be important. You’ll want a place that offers more than just meeting facilities. A place that offers good food and hospitality and comfortable accommodation.
Here are five things to consider when choosing a residential venue.
The venue location and environment will be important. No doubt the group will appreciate a quiet, peaceful location where they can concentrate on the learning and contribute in a creative way. A location where distractions of a busy city environment are minimized. A distraction free environment, away from the city, in peaceful surrounds is ideal.
Time to focus
Staying on-site for the duration of a course allows you to focus for an uninterrupted period of time and ensures you can focus fully on the topic at hand. Away from your usual working environment, you’re free from the trappings of the office and the pressure of phone calls, emails, colleagues and clients.
Freedom to think
A change of scene can help the group relax and see things more clearly, from a new perspective, outside of the corporate environment.
The chance to get to know others better
Residential training gives the group the time to connect with your colleagues more deeply, away from the hustle and bustle of normal working life.
An opportunity to ‘switch off’
All your basic needs are taken care of, from food, to a comfortable bed, to parking and Wi-Fi, leaving you free to concentrate completely on what needs to be done.
Our advice on what to look for when choosing a Residential Venue
- A pleasant or inspirational location
- A friendly, welcoming and calm atmosphere
- An accessible location for delegates (but a convenient distance from your workplace)
- Suitable facilities and services for your individual needs (eg a great restaurant)
- A ‘tried and tested’ venue with good customer testimonials and, ideally, independent awards