January is an ideal time to start thinking about what training events your business might be running this year. However, training workshops can have significant costs and having a set budget from the outset will help to ensure you get the most for your money.
But how much does it actually cost to run a training event for your staff?
Not to answer a question with a question, but ‘how long is a piece of string’? The budget you will need for a training event will largely depend on your training objectives. What are you are looking to achieve? The facilities you require and whether you need outdoor/indoor space, whether or not you need a specialist trainer, the duration of the event, and how many delegates you will be training. Asking the right questions and setting objectives is the right place to start. However, it can be more than a little overwhelming when you are new to planning and budgeting for training events.
Here are some key elements to consider when you’re starting to plan a training event for your staff:
You may have someone internally who is able to provide training or facilitation for your event, in which case you can save yourself some time and money. However, if you are looking for a speaker with experience, knowledge and authority around the specific training subject, we would absolutely recommend booking a professional.
Selecting a facilitator with experience in the specific area of training ensures delegates can gain something from them as a person as well as the information they will provide. It is also recommended to speak with your facilitator in person or over the phone to discuss your objectives and gain an understanding of their presentation techniques and experience, and whether these are a good fit for your business’ training need.
Costs for a facilitator really depend on their profile and experience, where they are based and how they charge for events. Some may charge per day or per event, they may also charge additionally for hand-out materials and travel. Some trainers may have special rates for charities and non-profit organisations, so it is always worth asking the question. Start by defining your objectives and allow this to assist you in selecting a trainer that is within your budget.
If you want to hold a well organised event that runs smoothly, the venue and associated meeting costs are something you will need to consider. The type of training and number of delegates will also have a bearing on the type of venue you choose. For example, do you need specialist team-building facilities and dedicated break-out spaces with wall-mounted plasma screens, or do you simply need a large open space without any bells and whistles? It is important to ask the right questions to ensure the style of venue supports the training objectives.
Standard features at most specialist training venues should include presentation equipment, free Wi-Fi, tea/coffee and lunch as a minimum, usually starting at around £50 + VAT per day.
Meeting costs can be avoided if you were to use a meeting room at your business premises; however you really should ask yourself if this will benefit the quality of training. Purpose built training centres allow you to remove your delegates from distractions and have all of the facilities present to make the event as productive as possible.
Our own conference facilities include ceiling-mounted projectors, plasma screens, grade A+ WiFi, photocopiers, dining facilities and a number of break-out rooms for group work if required.
If you’re holding a particularly large training event, transport and logistics can be especially challenging and costly. Transport takes budget away from the event itself and can often be a black hole in which your event budget disappears before you’ve even got started.
Try to minimise transport as much as possible by choosing a venue with good transport links. Conference and accommodation facilities within close proximity of each other, or even on the same site, avoid the need to transport delegates back and forth between locations. Good access to motorways and being in close proximity to airports or train stations is also something to look out for, especially if you are transporting people from all over, or even outside of, the country.
Lane End for example, has both training and accommodation facilities onsite, and is ideally situated within an hour of London with good access to Heathrow Airport and motorways M4 and M40.
ACCOMMODATION AND DINNER
Often training events run for longer than just one day, in which case you will need to think about finding accommodation for your delegates and making sure they are catered for. Not all conference venues have accommodation facilities and so you may need to find a local hotel or B&B and ensure your delegates have suitable transport between the conference centre itself and these additional locations
We would recommend looking for a conference venue with suitable on-site accommodation and dining facilities, as this recover a huge amount of cost and admin time in booking transport and hotels.
Specialist training venues can usually offer accommodation and dinner starting from £100 + VAT per delegate. Depending on location, this can often be more cost effective than paying hotel accommodation and restaurant dinners. It also means everything is taken care of in one place, freeing up more of everyone’s time and taking the stress out of organising separate accommodation - allowing the event to run smoothly. This is also covered in our Get The Most From Your Venue page.
TEAM BUILDING AND ENTERTAINMENT
Staff training days can also be a great opportunity for team building. Your delegates can gain new knowledge and learn more about their colleagues and peers in an environment other than the office. Residential training facilities are particularly great for this as it extends the time your staff will spend together and allows them to network in a more relaxed and informal setting after the day is over.
Some training venues also have dedicated teambuilding facilities like virtual golf, table tennis, beach volleyball or cooking activities to top off a long couple of days of training.
Training engagement is a big problem in workplace learning and this is often as a result of employees’ negative emotions attached to training, which ultimately has an effect on how much they are willing to learn. Entertainment may not be a necessity, but if you want your employees to learn more, make your training event enjoyable by investing in a little entertainment.
Your budget will usually be stretched thin when organising a team training day, but if you think smart and book event packages you will find you are able to push your budget further and provide your delegates with a training event they won’t forget.
At Lane End, we have the facilities to give you the complete solution when it comes to booking a training event or conference- we really do think of everything!