Have you ever walked into one of your customer’s training rooms one morning and felt like you were walking into a Freddy Krueger movie? I sure have. Talk about a nightmare from Hades! There are several things you need to find out, and take into consideration, before showing up for class—especially when it’s someone else’s training room.

So tell me about your training room
It is vitally important that you find out how your customer’s training room is currently set up and what changes can and can’t be made to fit your needs. You must think about the materials, space, and equipment you will need—and how your requirements will work with the training room design. It’s possible that the training room isn’t conducive to teaching the class you expect to teach on-site.

You may want to ask:

  • What is the shape of the room?
  • How many computers are available?
  • Where and how are the computers currently set up in the room?
  • Can I move the computers, or is it mandatory that they remain where they are?
  • Where is the projector screen located? Is it moveable? If not, can you rent one if needed?
  • Do you have an overhead projector?
  • Do you have a data show projector I can connect to a lead trainer’s computer?
  • Do you have tables available, and if so, how many students will they accommodate? If no tables are available, can you rent some to meet my needs?
  • Who has control of the training room’s temperature setting?
  • What type of lighting does the room have?
  • Who is the main contact concerning room setup? Will he or she make sure the necessary equipment works properly?
  • What is the name and phone number of the technical support team leader?
  • What is the backup plan in the event that any of the equipment fails?

These are just a few questions to get you started on the right track. Of course, not all of them will apply in every case. Remember that the questions you ask will depend on the type of training you’ll do and the activities you’ve planned.

“My expectations are…”
Let your customer know your expectations and the type of training room design you prefer for training a particular subject. If the client doesn’t have what you need, explain, “In order to provide your employees with the most ideal learning experience for this subject, I will need the following items,” then list what you need. You’ll be surprised at what can be worked out, whether items are rented or borrowed from a neighboring company. If the customer can’t provide what you need, figure out if you can work around it or inquire as to what alternative facilities your client can find.

Why is this so important? It’s those critical elements of computer training classroom design that facilitate adult learning and help get you started on time. If you don’t plan ahead, then you have to be ready to revise the setup of the training room on the fly, and this can set your class back.

Trainers, always show up early on the first day. There may be a disaster in the making awaiting your arrival. Be prepared to make adjustments to the training room setup. What the customer thought he or she understood may not have been clearly communicated.

Have you ever thought about those unforeseen emergencies? Make sure you know what to do in the event that the lights go out during class. You will also want to find out what the evacuation procedures are for the building—be it a tornado, severe storm, or fire. Believe it or not, on my first day as a trainer, we had a fire drill. Guess what? I didn’t know the evacuation plan, and neither did the new hires I was training. Talk about a double whammy!

Don’t forget to cover the customer’s policy on what to do in the event that a prolonged emergency does happen. How long will you hang around before canceling the class? What will the cost be in the event of this type of situation?

Addressing all of these questions and more can help you and your company maintain credibility and ensure that your class gets off to a good clean start—ON TIME. You do have control over what happens in your classroom. Don’t let Freddy Krueger catch you unexpectedly!
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