When running a training session, there is a lot to consider, from what content to include and where to host it. But have you thought about how to arrange the furniture?
This may sound like only a minor consideration, but the layout of the room can affect how people learn, as well as their concentration levels.
If you host your training at a dedicated training venue, they will be able to make suggestions on the best layout for your particular training. They will also make sure it is all set up, ready for you to start as soon as you arrive. However, if you’re hosting your training in your office, or would just like to know more, we’ve compiled some useful information, giving you tips and advice on the best layouts to use.
Training Room Furniture Layouts
There are a number of different training room layouts. Here are some of the key shapes that you will see being used across meeting and training rooms:
- Theatre – Chairs in rows facing a white board or projection
- Classroom – Rows of tables with chairs on one side looking forward
- Boardroom – One large table with chairs all the way around
- Cabaret – Circular tables with seats on one half, facing forward
- U-shape – Tables in a u-shape with chairs around the outside circumference
What Furniture Layout to Use?
If you’re hosting the training at your own offices, bear in mind the size of your room and the furniture available. If you’re hosting the training at specialist training facilities, they should be able to provide a list of rooms they have available with sizes and the capacity of them in each of the possible room layouts (listed above).
To help you decide which layout will suit your training the best, first start off by asking yourself some simple questions:
- How many people will need to fit into the training room?
- Will participants be encouraged to take notes?
- Will there be an opportunity for discussion?
- Will there be time to break out for group activities?
- Will participants need to use a computer?
With the answers to these questions in mind, take another look at some of the possible layouts to see what would fit your criteria best:
- Theatre – If you have a large group of people for your training, to get maximum capacity in the room, theatre style would be the best option. This layout suits a presentation style training session, where attendees can sit and listen to what is being said.
- Classroom – This is a popular configuration for conferences, but also training sessions, as it allows people to listen to the trainer at the front of the room, as well as allowing note taking due to the desks. However, it is also a good layout to allow for students to break into groups and carry out interactive tasks.
- Boardroom – This is ideal for board meetings, but also brainstorms as everyone around the table can see each other and discuss ideas.
- Cabaret – This is ideal for special events with circular tables, however, it also suits training sessions, as everyone can face forward to watch presentations, but can then easily carry out group tasks and workshops too with the other people on their table.
- U-shape – A u-shape configuration is ideal for training as the trainer can be in the middle of all the participants. If there is a presentation, it is easy for everyone to face forward, whilst taking notes. Plus, as everyone can see each other, it is easy to have a discussion around topics mentioned during the training.
Don’t forget, there is not right or wrong answer. If it doesn’t work out, you can always change the room configuration around and try something new. Also, everyone learns in different ways, so what might not work for one person, may work for someone else.