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Perfect Training or Meeting for Your Company [5 Planning Tips]

No one wants a training event or meeting to go better than you—the person who is planning it. But if you’re a leader of a member organization such as an association or a nonprofit, chances are that you’re an expert in your particular field—but not necessarily in the specific area of training event planning and management.

Whether this description fits you, or you’re just looking to improve your organization’s training program implementation, here are five tips that you execute a successful event or meeting:

1. Keep the Training Class Size Small

While it may be cost-effective to pack hundreds of people into a room at one time, studies show that an optimal learning environment breaks up students into smaller groups for more personalized sessions. Smaller class sizes are more conducive to learning, with learning experts recommending between 15 and 20 people for the ideal learning experience.

Of course, it’s not always practical to limit training events to small groups, especially with a high demand speaker or if you’re working on a short planning timeline, but it is important to find ways to make the training feel more intimate in some way. Some instructors encourage people to text in questions mid-presentation for the trainer to address or employ gaming to keep the class engaged. Small group interaction has also become common for testing material in a closed environment. But if your training must be a large event, it’s best to find a way to make at least a portion of it small.

2. Emphasize Interactivity for Better Knowledge Retention

A training event should be interactive. According to the Association for Talent Development, people remember only 20% of what they hear, but they will retain 90% of what they do, which means that learners will respond better to less lecture and more application and hands-on learning.

Four Learners Laptops Diverse

Plan time for participants to practice the material or knowledge on their own or with the group. This can come in the form of role-playing, discussion questions, or tactile exercises—depending on the subject of the training. Get creative with participation and the learners will remember the material better, remember you for the unique exercise, and recall the training as a positive experience.

3. Select the Ideal Training Center

A venue can make or break a training event. An ideal training venue will support the needs of the event, spatially, technologically and logistically. When choosing a training space, make sure there is technical support or special accommodations if needed. Work with a training delivery firm that will help you contain costs while providing the best service.

What does your choice of training venue tell your learners? Read our post, “Why a Training Venue Matters”

4. Schedule Break Times

Time spent resting is just as important as time spent learning. After hours of training, the students—and trainer—will be ready for a break. Scheduling frequent breaks helps refresh learners, give them time to catch up on texts or e-mails and provides necessary personal time to learners.

Breaks can also be a good way to organize information. Place them between learning modules and participants will receive the information better and retain it.

Providing snacks during training can also be useful in reducing distractions from an empty stomach.

5. Hire a Qualified Instructor

An interactive and exciting instructor will naturally lead to an interactive and exciting training. Choosing the right trainer is key to successful knowledge transfer and a positive learning experience. The instructor should be a subject matter expert. Their perspective should be new, innovative and relevant to the learners’ perspective.

Expertise must also be matched with communication skills. A good trainer is able to express dynamic ideas and complex information in an accessible way. Experience in the subject matter should be matched by experience in teaching, both in a public forum and one-on-one. The trainer is the person that the participants are coming to see, so he or she should be knowledgeable and charismatic enough to justify the event.

You have put in a lot of time in planning this event and nobody wants it to go better than you do. Keep these 5 tips in mind in order to create a positive learning experience.

Coworking Spaces Inspire Innovation and Collaboration | WorkSocial

Source: Entrepreneur Magazine

Shared Office Space, Office Space for Rent, CoWorking

Editor’s Note: In the new podcast Masters of Scale, LinkedIn co-founder and Greylock partner Reid Hoffman explores his philosophy on how to scale a business — and at Entrepreneur.com, entrepreneurs are responding with their own ideas and experiences on our hub. This week, we’re discussing Hoffman’s theory: the smartest companies don’t tell their employees how to innovate, they manage the chaos. Listen to this week’s episode here

When your business is very small and getting started, it is easy to find yourself “breathing your own exhaust.” As Lisa Gansky, the creator of Ofoto Photo Sharing wrote, “When you create something, you can fall in love with it and aren’t able to see or hear anything contrary. Whatever comes out of your mouth is all you’re inhaling . . .” If you work alone, or with only a select group, you may be limiting yourself and your company. More interaction, ideas, concepts and thinking often lead to more innovation, creativity and a more profitable business. Environments that convey this kind of positive energy are a key reason that coworking is growing at a dizzying pace.

Coworking isn’t a new notion. In 15th-century Florence, painters, sculptors, architects, engineers and scientists worked together in the Renaissance “bottega.” Bottega workshops brought together different types of talent to compete, collaborate, learn and improve, most often under a master teacher. These bottegas created environments that increased the level of discussion among diverse groups and helped these individuals to turn their ideas into actions. The interactions led to higher levels of innovation for all.

Overcome the 5 Pitfalls of the Virtual Office

Related: Google’s 20 Percent Rule Actually Helps Employees Fight Back Against Unreasonable Managers

The philosophy of personal interaction leading to higher levels of output and innovation is illustrated by W. L. Gore and Associates, the makers of Gore-Tex and other products. The company’s unique business model includes keeping its manufacturing facilities to between 100 and 250 employees. Gore believes that “the cost savings from large plants is canceled out by the loss of efficiency and productivity that comes from employees not knowing each other well.”

People haven’t changed. We still gain new ideas from interacting, collaborating and competing with others. A setting that brings different groups together and encourages interaction is exactly the type of environment that spurs entrepreneurial growth. Just over three years ago, we opened Gather, the premier coworking space in our hometown of Richmond, Va. With our second location, opened in 2016, we currently create a community for more than 250 entrepreneurs, freelancers and small business owners. Like the Renaissance model, Gather offers expert guidance through our business partners in the areas of law, business, finance, accounting, real estate and others. Like Gore, we restrict Gather offices to no more than 250 coworkers to allow people to get to know each other well. These connections are also encouraged through the open common spaces and social and educational events.

There are dozens of examples of coworkers collaborating, innovating and working together. However, we find that most of them fall into one of these four categories:

Shared Office Space, Office Space for Rent, CoWorking

Learning and advice

TJ Rinoski, a young graphic designer, talked to us about learning from others with more experience. He said that he often asks the more seasoned designers who work in Gather, technical questions when he gets stuck or needs some guidance. Likewise, Stinson Munday, of Linden Legal Strategies and Gather’s legal business partner, spoke about the ease of both giving and getting advice from others who are “next door.” She offers office hours each week, where coworkers can pop in to receive some quick legal advice. Stinson explained that she also relies on other professionals at Gather to answer questions outside of her expertise. She said, “It is like having an office without all the office politics.”

Related: 6 Benefits of Coworking With Strangers

Recruiting and employment

When PJ Wallin needed to hire an employee for his growing financial planning company, WorkSocial, he looked no further than his fellow coworker, Darla Keefer. Because of their many interactions, PJ felt he knew Darla’s character, skills and work ethic. It was an easy hire. Similarly, Kate Ayers with ReEstablish Richmond, a non-profit that connects refugees to services and aids in their transition, has referred several of her clients to Andrew Crotts with Volatia, a company that supplies interpreters in more than 280 languages. As Kate said, “Our clients need jobs. This is a win for our clients and both organizations.”

Networking and clients

Members of Gather often look to each other when buying services and products. As Brian Cannon, executive director of OneVA2021, explained, “We are a small nonprofit, and coworking has enabled us to cross-pollinate with smart, creative people regularly on a ton of projects. One of the biggest was our work with Charles Merritt, whose social media targeting and analytics, plus a natural knack for strategy, enabled us to execute a crowdfunding campaign with $50,000 from 1,000 donors all over the country. We cowork because informal access to such talent can’t be found in a regular office environment.”

The networking that occurs naturally in a coworking environment can also lead to referrals. Jessica Zullo with Hickok Cole, an architecture firm, referred Barbara Bliley and Nick Toce of Helm & Hue, a branding and marketing company with a knack for printing, to create decals for Jackson & James, one of her client’s new stores. Nick said, “The opportunities we have received have been integral to our growth and expansion. Our access to new clients, collaborative resources and referral partners have opened doors that would otherwise have been unreachable at this stage in our development.”

Innovating and collaboration

Jeff Kelley is a commercial journalist whose company Kelley provides content, media and digital communication services. To do this, he uses a select group of freelancers and small companies to add to his skill set. When several of Jeff’s clients started asking for graphic design, Jeff called on Caitlin Hathaway, a freelance graphic designer and web developer. Jeff said, “For six months, we met maybe once and did most of our work via email. But, when we each moved into our own space in a coworking community, we were able to work like a true agency — but without the overhead. Today we remain individual but can shout across the hall and get face-to-face time that we could not before. Work is done more efficiently, and we’ve been able to get more work because of the proximity.”

Related: 5 Ways Business Leaders Unintentionally Kill Collaboration and Creativity

When Caio Bailoni overheard AJ Mojaddidi talking at the next table about cybersecurity, a partnership was born. AJ, of Key Cyber Solutions, a successful cybersecurity consultant, teamed up with Caio, an analyst with Cloud Automation Solutions, to extend the services of both. Together, the companies have been able to bid on several large projects that they would not have been able to approach before the collaboration. Caio said, “This is just the beginning of our work together.” He sees this partnership growing in the future as they find more ways to create together.

Most cities and even smaller localities offer coworking. If you have a business that could benefit from discussion, collaboration, networking and learning opportunities, we encourage you to look at the options located in your area. The benefits are many, and like the bottegas of Florence, the environment they create inspires innovation and more.

Thinking About Holding a Training at a Hotel? WorkSocial will help you with this world changing option.

Many seminars, training sessions, and conferences in New York City and surrounding areas are often held in hotels, simply because large hotels are some of the only buildings with the capabilities of seating both small and large groups of people. So, of course, they seem like the perfect place for any training event, especially when there is an apparent shortage of adequate training rooms. And in a city as diverse and opportunistic as Manhattan, it also seems that the chances of filling the room and garnering a strong ROI are very good.

Unfortunately, if you’ve ever tried to book a hotel room or conference room in another building, you’ve probably found they aren’t as ideal as you previously thought.

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Drawbacks of Hotels and Conference Rooms for Training Purposes

For starters, hotels can be extremely expensive, especially in NYC. Don’t be surprised to be paying fees of about $5,000 just for booking the space, which must be paid even you don’t fill every seat. And any and all amenities are extra expenses on top of that.
But even if the money isn’t an issue, hotel rooms simply aren’t set up for training classes. Renting AV equipment and other necessary items for proper training and instruction can cost you thousands more, and then there is the issue of getting it all to work when hotel staff is often not sufficiently trained to handle your needs in an efficient manner.

The other option, conference rooms, are of course less expensive, but also typically very small, with an average seating size of only about 20 people. These small rooms are also not very conducive to learning because they are set up for conferences, not training, and are just not practical if you’ve got larger groups of people to train.

So Where Is One to Go for a Training Room That Actually Works?

In New York and New Jersey, many businesses have found salvation in the form of specialized training rooms offered by WorkSocial, a coworking community that not only provides training rooms that can seat anywhere from 8-38 but experienced trainers as well. Many businesses choose WorkSocial’s training rooms because they are low-cost and low-maintenance–they can be booked by the day or by the week, and you don’t have to worry about all the logistics involved in using hotels or conference rooms in other establishments.

Additionally, the training rooms are all close to public transport, making it easy for attendees to come from all across New Jersey and New York City with ease.

Training Rooms and Trainers for Different Learning Styles

Another advantage of using WorkSocial for training purposes is the availability of experienced trainers that can teach according to the different learning styles: visual, auditory, or kinesthetic.
Knowing how best to train different groups of people who may be more conducive to one type of learning style over another makes your training ever more effective, ensuring that students learn and retain the information presented to them.

WorkSocial will provide end-to-end solutions for different training requirements for both the presenter and the attendees. To learn more about these high-end training rooms solutions help to establish an optimal learning environment, contact WorkSocial today. It is an optimal choice for training companies, training coaches and private companies in a variety of industries to use for their training purposes.

 

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Jersey City Training Room Rental | WorkSocial

The University Training Room: May Be

There are literally thousands of different venues competing to host your training, so how do you know which one is the best match. While this is not a comprehensive list, here are some of the strengths and weaknesses of different types of training venues, that can help you decide which is best for your training event.

The Strengths: Because universities are created for education, they are intended to be used for learning. Meeting rooms, classrooms, and, on occasion, computer labs can be found for rent.

Generally speaking, they also tend to be rather cost-efficient. In the eyes of the university, they have the space, so if it’s not being used, why not bring in extra revenue?

The Weaknesses: Universities are designed for education, but specifically for the education of on-campus tuition-paying students. The cross-over to professional training misses the mark in a few key areas.

  • Universities can be complicated campuses. Finding the building named after a famous alumni is often easier for students than for professional trainees, and the bigger the campus, the bigger the maze.
  • Unless you strike a deal with the school cafeteria, catering can be difficult to arrange. Lecture halls don’t exactly lend themselves to snack bars and catering set-ups. This will obviously differ depending on the university, but the buildings are generally not built with that in mind.
  • Universities also don’t offer much in the way of support, especially technical. A university campus comes with a long list of technical support needs, and the training session outside of University control doesn’t land on the top of that list. It is rare to find any technical support whatsoever from this venue.
  • The biggest weakness with universities comes in the form of class offering difficulties. For many universities, a professional training hosted on campus cannot compete with any class that currently exists on-campus. That means your training can’t resemble any class from any major in the school’s curriculum. You might have to cut class before even starting.

The Bottom Line: Universities can be good for no-tech, casual meetings, especially for only a portion of the day. For more complex trainings, work with a provider who can ensure that you have everything you need for a successful training event.


The Hotel Training Venue: NEVER

Hotels are often popular venues for business meetings or company events, so many corporate trainers will seek out hotels on habit. But is that knee-jerk reaction justified?

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The Strengths: Hotels tend to be great for those traveling for training events. Beginning the day with a session in a conference room, spending the evening at the attached restaurant, and ending with everyone simply going upstairs to their own rooms can make hotels the convenient location for training. Hotels are also more likely to have larger spaces to host bigger training events and meetings.

The Weaknesses: The majority of weaknesses with hotels as training venues stem from the cost. While the initial quote may not be frightening, it’s important to remember that this is merely the starting point. That number can quickly rise. For example:

  • Service fees. It’s not uncommon for hotels to require you to use their technicians to plug in speakers; their employees to move boxes; or their chef to serve dinner. Each and every service is adding another line to the bill, which may not resemble that initial quote.
  • Audio-Visual is often listed as “available”, but in actuality it’s being outsourced to another company. Any time an additional company is brought in, you’re adding another profit margin to your bill.
  • Technical support is often hit or miss as well. Almost every event planner has a horror story of their technical elements not working like they did somewhere else—or even dropping out in the middle of an event with no nearby technical support to assist them. Hotels can have technical support staff, but they tend to be more order-fillers than active assistance. They might plug it in, but it doesn’t start, there’s no guarantee they’ll know how to fix it.

The Bottom Line: If the hotel is the venue that you need, don’t go it alone. Work with someone else who has already negotiated rates for amenities and support. This venue can be a convenient one, especially when you have a partner to guide your way through the booking process.


Temporary Office Space: Okay

Temporary office space is designed for companies to rent out as needed. It is often used as transitional space or overflow for companies, but can it also be used for corporate training programs?

The Strengths: Rented office space is largely cost efficient. Because it’s designed with a “however-much-you-need-for-however-long-you-need-it” mentality, you will likely find a decent hourly rate for a suitable size that will fulfill your requirements to complete the training. Weekends, evenings, or regular work hours—these facilities will tend to price exactly what you need and not a minute more, allowing you to maintain a reasonable budget.

The Weaknesses: You are likely getting the bare basics of renting space—a certain square footage of space for a particular length of time, nothing more.

  • These rented office spaces give you empty space, which leaves a lot for you to fill. As a result, any AV requirements, snacks or catering, technical support, or printed materials are squarely on your shoulders to manage.
  • Your room will have to be laid out appropriately for a “classroom” or “pods” layout, dependent on your needs, and most of these companies won’t do that for you.
  • These temporary rental spaces are not designed for learning. Your break area will be the same as your learning, allowing the two to blend together.

The Bottom Line: To rent office space is to purchase a blank space for a little while. This can work very well for temporary office spaces, but it’s really not conducive to professional training. If this is absolutely the place you need, bring in an extra pair of hands to ensure that everything needed for a successful training is present on-site. 


Dedicated Training Facility: Yes!!

These facilities are not repurposed learning spaces or add-ons to another service, but facilities whose primary service is offering training space.

WorkSocial Training Room Jersey CIty

The Strengths: By and large, training facilities do everything you need them to do. They have space for training, built-in audio-visual, experienced onsite technical support, and designated break areas.

They have computer labs that they manage, snack bars that they stock, and training space that they upkeep. It’s difficult to find spaces that are more prepared for you than this. The whole facility is structured around the idea that all you have to do is show up and teach. There might be a extra charges for dedicated bandwidth or catering, but these facilities have excellent reputations for offering straightforward rates without hidden service fees.

The Weaknesses: These facilities may be simple and easy, but they’re not quite perfect.

  • You’re often locked into their contracts, especially when it comes to catering. They may have a wide selection from their catering vendor, but their contracts will likely mean you can’t bring in your own catering platters to serve your students.
  • These facilities may not be as large as hotel spaces or the lecture halls of universities. For the most part, these facilities cap off potential attendance at around 30 learners.
  • These facilities can also come with limitations on the evenings or weekends. They tend to operate for full weekdays at a time.

The Bottom Line: Training facilities are designed to be easy and accessible—the ultimate show-up-and-teach venues. They have a proven model of training, which may limit class sizes or focus your catering options, but they provide a simplified option that works well for many training events.


When searching for a place to host your training, the sheer number of options and the weight of the different features can be a little overwhelming.

Fortunately, you don’t have to decide alone. As a training solution provider, MicroTek has access to all the above venues—and those that don’t fit into this list. Give us a call and let us talk you through which training venue would be best for your training event.

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WorkSocial Implementing Principles of the Energy Project

From the Energy Project

journaling

Employees are often expected to leave their emotions at the door. In reality, we bring our whole selves to work. Our emotions have a profound impact on the way we work and live. They are a unique form of human energy that can increase our capacity and resilience. For better or worse, emotions are contagious to those around us.

High positive emotions, like happiness and confidence, bring us out of the Survival Zone, where we respond reactively instead of rationally, into the Performance Zone, where we can think more clearly and perform at our best. For example, feeling satisfied with your job is associated with 125% greater engagement and 54% better focus.* However, many of us don’t realize how much valuable energy is drained when we’re ruminating on negative emotions.

For more tips and ideas for increasing the quality of your energy, check out our Facebook album where you can like, share, and comment on your favorites.

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