Training Series #2 – Evaluating Training Venues

What Trainers Should Know About a Training Venue BEFORE Classes Start!

Evaluating Training Venues for Classes and Speeches

(Real or Imagined = Physical or Online)

Figure pondering a question about training venues with a red Question MarkEvaluating training venues in advance can prevent disasters! Have you ever planned to show an online presentation using your favorite URL links only to discover – upon arriving at the site – that the venue in which you’re speaking has poor Internet access or none at all? Can you honestly say you’ve thoroughly addressed all these variables?

  • Did you hold an outdoor, summer evening event without suggesting participants bring bug spray?
  • Do you know what to do if you attract an overflow crowd?
  • What is your plan if the power goes out?
  • Will you need mics for the audience when you’re recording your presentation or they want to ask questions in a large room?
  • Do you need signed releases for recordings and photos?
    • Who is going to obtain them, when, and how?
    • Do you have a file system where they will be kept in case of a future challenge?
  • Who is going to handle refreshments, including setup and cleanup?
  • Are you responsible for cleaning and/or security?
    • Do you have a vendor selection process?
    • Do you have good contract templates for hiring janitorial or security staff?
  • How does the venue relate to marketing?
    • Will the venue help you advertise?
    • How does that change your presentation materials and ads?

laptops and 2 figures shaking hands as they begin online training classesLet’s face it. When you are teaching classes or presenting training modules, online training is a topic unto itself. This is not that. This conversation is about evaluating training venues. Yet, some of the concepts apply to all types of presentations, so you might want to check out my check list below.

The Key Is To Determine


speaker at whiteboard in classes at a training venueWhile several of the items below are applicable to online training, let’s concentrate on training, speeches, and other presentations which are done in physical locations (a training venue) with in-person interactions among the presenter and the attendees.

Nancy Ayanna Wyatt, on evaluating training venuesNote: As a public speaker, I give presentations and teach classes that are not training modules, per se. I’m using “training” as a generic term to cover all these kinds of speeches and teaching.

The Training Venue Will Provide Both Opportunities and Constraints

The word VISION written in colorful sticky notes on a blue background for classes in a training venue

green #1 in Black buttonTo begin, you need to determine what your topic is and who your audience is. If you missed it, here is the link to my page which is the first in this series. It is called, “Training Series ~ #1 How to Construct New Classes and Training Programs.” In it, I talk in detail about things to consider when in the conceptual stage of constructing new classes and training programs.  It will help you focus on what you want to accomplish and how to go about it.

green numeral 2 on black buttonThen,  you can factor those variables into your thinking about the training venue you would like to choose or that you must use.

Conversely, you also will be factoring the advantages and limitations of that training venue into how you will create your presentation and what materials, techniques, and technology you can use. That’s why you should know about the capabilities and restrictions of your venue BEFORE you create – or at least, finalize – your presentation.

Scouting Out How a Training Venue Will or Will Not Meet Your Needs

The word STRATEGY written on sticky notes on a background of purple colored paper. Strategy is for classes in a training venue.I’ve decided to share a checklist I developed some time ago for presenters to use in thinking about their approaches to a speech. It is adaptable. You can use it solo or for team teaching and multiple presenters. In addition, you can use it when you hire contractors to find venues or teach in venues. It’s an easy way to give them guidance.

There are many considerations when you have the luxury of choosing a venue, as opposed to having to present or perform in a venue about which you have no input. In addition, there are several presentation-design modifications you may have to make if you cannot choose. All of this is important in your planning, regardless of whether you do the training or you want me (or someone else) to conduct the sessions.

Nancy Ayanna Wyatt, on evaluating training venues(Interested in vetting me? In case all these details are already overwhelming and you want to outsource your projects to me, here is a link to show you the wide variety of training materials I’ve developed and presented. That will get you started.)

Evaluating Training Venues in Terms of Marketing

figures atop B2B letters indicating Business to Business venue arrangementsOnce you’ve reviewed the variables listed in the chart below, you’ll also want to consider how you will market your classes or notify attendees about the event and whether the venue owner will participate in those efforts in terms of costs, materials, and ad space, if applicable.

Evaluating Training Venues for Items That Will Affect Your Audience and Your Performance in Classes

figure with giant pencil and a venue check listThese are just a few more examples from the checklist for you to contemplate. What about:

  • Tech support?
    • Venue provided?
    • Provide your own?
    • Do you need a contract?
    • Do you have a contract?
  • Parking?
    • available | not available
    • free | fee
    • special arrangements for speakers, VIPs, guests?
    • what about a dock, elevator, or whatever is needed to load and unload equipment and supplies?
  • Introductions?
  • Lighting?
  • Room Temperatures?
  • Transportation and hotel arrangements?

Sample Checklist for Evaluating Training Venues and Who Is Responsible for What


If you prefer, click on the link to view this informal checklist. The chart does not translate well on WordPress. It’s very “clunky” and unusable for editing, so I’ve made it into a link. If you cannot access it, email me with a request, and  I’ll send it to you as a PDF file.

Training Venue Chart

The chart includes these categories, to which you can add, if needed.


Room / Venue



Is there venue parking available to you and/or staff, even if it is not for attendees?

Are you responsible for Registration too?

Tech Support staff


Do you need a registration table or greeters outside the main venue?





Online? In-person?



Is there a cost? Who pays?

Miz So & So +

contact info

Same person?




Registration staff contact info

Tech support names and contact info

Setup staff

contact info

Who will staff the registration table or greet attendees? What materials or handouts do they need?



Do you have to supply them or does the host/or venue? Do they need Internet access at the registration table for sign-ins, payments, etc.? Where will personal belongings be kept while staffers and you are working?

Is there a coat room for attendees?
Where are the restrooms?
Where will staff go for breaks or meals?
How many seats?
Stage or space in front of seats?
Is there a loading dock at the venue if you need one?
Indoor/Outdoor Outdoor

In flyers, mention things participants will wish they knew in advance.

Should people bring bug spray, ponchos, seating, or water for outdoor venues?

Give directions

Contact person and info What are the acoustics?

Will you have tech support?

Mics and speakers? Internet? Where are restrooms? Weather forecasts

So MANY DETAILS! Here Are More!

Overflow Crowd arrangements Yes Miz So & So / venue administrator + contact info Need big screen and sound set up in a separate room Tech staff?
Speech: interactive or lecture style? Do you need breakout rooms?  Lecture, breakouts, and Q&A at mic  A/V coordinator or space booker + contact info Is there room for breakout sessions or small stretch breaks? Are mics available for questions from the audience?
Temperature Hotels keep it freezing

(think of your audience, not just you)

Too hot, and your listeners will get sleepy – especially after a meal

Dress in a couple of layers, so you can add or remove clothing to be comfortable.
Lighting Can lights be dimmed or off for videos/Ppts?

Spotlight speaker?

 A/v coordinator + contact info  Does audience need to see to write notes?

Who will turn lights off/on?

Podium Yes/stand-alone or desktop

Will you have water? Where will you keep it during the presentation?

If presentation includes a temporary panel of speakers, who is going to bring in and remove table and chairs before and after panel presentation?

If no, what are you going to do with your materials while you present?


Microphone Yes – Lavalier, tabletop, or mic stand  A/V

Coordinator + contact info

Do you like to walk while presenting? Need lavalier or hand mic
What is setup time? ½ hour 7:30 a.m. start
What is strike time? ½ hour noon start
And, More….!
Can someone help you carry in and/or set up Yes and no

If no loading dock, can you get permission to park close to entrance to load/unload?

Staff will help unload an reload vehicle, but not set up
Is clean up provided? No   Bring trash bags/cloth and allow time for cleanup after the presentation, remembering that attendees may approach you with questions before you can start cleaning the space.
Is security provided? Yes  Security Supervisor + contact info If not provided, what do you need? Keys?

Codes? Lighting?



Think about security as you contemplate taking payments by cash or card. Use PayPal or Zelle, etc. instead?

Product Displays 1 small table; no drape Bring banner, business cards, flyers.
Usable Electrical outlet Yes, but…. Bring an extension cord
Love Offerings Use above table? Bring your own? Where will you set up and how?
Payments Use above table? Bring your own? Can you have someone else staff the table and take payments? Where will you set up and how? Bring payment paraphernalia*
*credit cards – receipts or email their receipts Cashbox and receipts (1 copy them; 1 for you) Laptop or phone, if you want them to pay via web.  Remember to meet audit standards in your payment practices
Sign-up sheet Where does that go/? Provide a pen also. Might use a smart device for them to register. Get permission to use that Info for mail list

More Resources

As always, one starting place to learn more about all-things-training is the Association for Talent Development, previously known as the American Society for Training and Development. It is a non-profit association for workplace learning and performance, and it is a well-known hub for trainers.

Meanwhile, I hope you found the chart of interest. Feel free to follow this training series for more information and ideas. They will be published in May and June of 2021, and an edited version will become an eBook in 2021, available as a PDF. In the interim, I’m happy to answer any questions and to provide a free, initial consultation to you. To book me or ask questions, please email me at Put “Evaluating Venues” into the subject line. Thank you and best wishes for success in your event!

Want to Talk More About Venues or Other Aspects of Giving Presentations? Free Consult!

green feedback button on keyboard asking for comments on classes and venue training chartI hope this thought-provoking table is helpful to you. I’d love to have your feedback about what you found most important and about any items that you think should be added when I teach this as a class.

Thanks for joining me and stay tuned for the next in the series about how to create and conduct effective training sessions. I’ll be posting more on training topics during the rest of May, 20201 at a minimum.

Free Initial Consultation

Nancy Ayanna Wyatt, on evaluating training venuesContact me for a FREE initial consultation. 540-646-4311 or email me at Please put “Training Inquiry” in the subject line or state if you have to leave a voicemail message. Thank you.

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When you book me, I will provide you with an address to which you can transfer money to my bank (Zelle) or PayPal account. Zelle omits the fees that PayPal charges. I don’t take credit cards. However, if you need to pay me by check, I’ll start work after your check clears.

Again, to book me or ask questions, please email me at Put “Evaluating Venues” into the subject line. Thank you and best wishes for success in your event!

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