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5 Reasons Why Hotels Don't Make Great Training Venues

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Putting on regular staff training and conference events allow businesses to grow, innovate and become more productive. In fact, a study by Association for Talent Development demonstrates that companies who offer regular training have a 218% higher income per employee than companies who don’t (2)!

However, organising a company training event isn’t a simple task and one of the most difficult decisions you will make is deciding which venue to use. Nowadays many businesses opt for a hotel conference facility or function room because they offer stay over facilities, are often low cost or because hotel venues are the only venues that have ever been used in the past. 

But what if this low cost and routine come at a price? 

Here are 5 reasons why choosing a hotel to host your training event could mean your business isn’t able to reap the full rewards of its staff training investment.

1. The Facilities Are Limited

Not all hotel function rooms were built for holding training events and as a result of this often don’t give your business the best value for money when it comes to the quality and variety of facilities available. 

While hotel function rooms are often pleasant, well decorated and in a good location, they are also multi-purpose rooms which can be used for business meetings, corporate dinners or even weddings. Purpose-built training venues on the other hand, offer dedicated single purpose training facilities, fully equipped with state of the art equipment such as ceiling-mounted projectors, pin up boards and grab rails for flipchart paper – something that would not always be feasible in a wood-panelled hotel function space.

The importance of facilities like this may often be overlooked, but experience in holding training events tells us that they make the difference when it comes to more productive and engaging events. For more information, take a look at our Conference Event Engagement infographic here.

2. Distractions

Hotels are often busy places which can mean there are lots of distractions for your trainees including other conferences within close proximity, the general public staying over and people using other facilities like the pool or restaurant, all meaning hotels are rarely as focused as you need them to be. 

Having a setting with like this means your delegates aren’t able to focus on the information being presented to them, making the training or conference event much less effective. If your business is spending a significant amount of its annual budget on staff training it should be as effective as possible, so removing all other distractions is advised.

Purpose built conference and training facilities are often situated in quieter areas offering more privacy, greater breathing space and generally less distractions. Hotels meanwhile, have multiple purposes ranging from a place to stay and eat to a wedding venue or a corporate meeting venue, meaning they aren’t as well positioned as a facility that has been built solely for providing a training environment.

3. Lack Of Equipment

Creating an engaging and proactive environment often relies heavily on up-to-date technology which may include high grade WiFi, ceiling mounted projectors, computers, microphones and presentation aids. Most purpose built venues will have these technologies already installed and integrated into the meeting space, giving you a complete solution. However, hotels will not always have access to this kind of technology requiring them, or you to hire equipment from third party suppliers, adding yet another item to your to-do list. This is also covered in our Get The Most From Your Venue page.

4. Limited Breakout Space

Although you need your delegates to be as focused as possible, allowing break out time is crucial, whether it’s to discuss what they have learned, complete a group activity, or even just go for a coffee break. However, doing this all in one room or hall is difficult and rarely provides the relief needed from a break out space, causing an event to turn stale. Providing a separate breakout space can keep things fresh and allow delegates to have some thinking time. In fact, a recent study demonstrates that one of the most key requirements of a training venue is flexible space (1)!

Unfortunately, dedicated breakout space within close proximity to the main conference room is rarely something you get when booking a hotel facility and in many cases you may be limited to one function room or have to negotiate long corridors to reach any additional meeting space. 

Purpose built venues can offer you much more in the way of breakout space and will usually offer a number of dedicated syndicate rooms directly adjacent to the main room. Any good training venue will also have a designated space for refreshment breaks, allowing your trainees to network, check their phones and consume some brain food before coming back fully focused to your training event.

5. One Size FitS aLL aPPROACH

Your event’s objectives should be taken into consideration when you plan the agenda, layout and configuration of a training space. An experienced, purpose built venue should be able to tailor the space to meet your objectives specifically as opposed to a hotel venue which may take a ‘one size fits all’ approach. 

You might need a different set of rooms, different types of refreshments or even varying technology facilities and a purpose built venue will have extensive experience in holding a variety of training events offering you the best resources, advice and a tailored approach to meet your objectives. 

Hotels on the other hand often offer a standardised service or package which may include the function room, teas and coffees and access to the WiFi and projector. For some, this may be all that is needed, however for businesses looking to encourage group work or practical activities, it perhaps isn’t enough.
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