Over the last few weeks, I've been researching the available meeting spaces in the Alpharetta/Cumming (GA) area. This is all in preparation for my new, 2-day Facilitation Blueprint live workshop that I will be offering in 2019.
Finding just the right space to hold 20-25 participants has been more challenging than I anticipated.
I recently checked out one option that would be ideal as it is very close to my home, but it presented me with a challenge that I did not see coming...one that, ironically, is in direct conflict with one of the primary principles that I teach about and model in my workshop. More on that in a minute.
As I have stated before, I firmly believe that your classroom layout is the first impression that your students get of your course.
Therefore, if you set up your classroom like every other training classroom, the implicit deduction by your students (consciously and subconsciously) is that YOUR course is going to be just like every other corporate training course.
And what is that exactly, Ken? (I know the answer, I'm just asking for the other readers.)
When a classroom is arranged like in the picture below, there's a good chance the instructor is going to be doing a whole lot of (the) talking.
Nothing shouts This is a Presentation but we're gonna call it Training like rows of tables and chairs.
And that's exactly what I thought (and felt in my soul) when I walked into this room.
"No problem," I though to myself. "I can easily break these tables apart into pods of 4 students."
Oh contraire, said the owner of this space. "Our tables are locked together due to the wiring, so they can't be broken apart."
"This is the normal setup for our training room," my contact reaffirmed.
"Well that's a problem," I said. "In my workshops, I break my participants into small groups and actually have them talk to one another - often. Based on this arrangement, there is no way, in the two-table cluster, that the individuals on the ends can effectively talk to one another."
Crickets. No response.
I walked away from that brief meeting very disappointed.
"This is the normal setup for our training room."
This mentality is a common problem in many corporate training classrooms.
Your classroom IS the first impression of your course.
What impression are you making?
P.S. - I'm still looking for training spaces in the Alpharetta/Cumming (GA) area. Please let me know if you have any recommendations.