When people think of planning a training session, the last thing usually considered is the layout of the training room.
It’s easy to dismiss the room set up as something unimportant. After all, the actual presentation itself what matters. At least, that’s how most people see it, and it is partly true. However, it is also true that when the layout of the room is not properly planned out, the audience won’t be able to pay as much attention to what is being presented in front of them.
Having said that, we’ve taken the time to compile a handful of tips to help you with the layout of your training room.
The Different Types of Layouts
Generally, there are five different types of room layouts used in training rooms, and these are:
- Theatre – Chairs arranged in rows where everybody is facing either a white board or a projection screen.
- Classroom – Like theatre, but with rows of tables in front of the chairs as the audience looks forward.
- Boardroom – One large table is placed, usually right in the middle, with chairs all the way around.
- Cabaret – Round tables with seats on one side, everybody faces forward.
- U-shape – Tables arranged to form a U-shape with chairs set up and the presenter standing in the middle.
Choosing the Right Layout
Each layout serves its own purpose. For smaller and more intimate meetings, a boardroom type layout fits best. In such cases, a smaller conference room would also be better. Of course, there are other things to consider as well, such as:
- How many people are going?
- Will participants be taking notes?
- What is the goal of the training? Will audiences be encouraged to discuss among themselves and brainstorm? Or is it more of a one-way discussion kind of thing?
- At some point, will the attendees be asked to group themselves into two or more?
- Are computers or laptops necessary?
Once you’ve answered all the said questions, you can start thinking about what layout is best based on their strengths. For example, for a dozen or so people who will be needing to bring out their laptops and collaborate as you go on with your presentation, the U-shape may be better. Because of the layout, they can talk to each other when necessary, but still will be facing towards you throughout most of the presentation.
Here’s a proper breakdown of each layout’s strengths and weaknesses:
- Theatre – This layout is best when the session involves hundreds or people or so, such as when getting a maximum capacity room, and the purpose of the training is educational. Seats are usually arranged side by side, with little gaps between each other to keep the attention focused on the speaker and to encourage attendees to sit down and listen.
- Classroom – Another alternative to sessions involving plenty of people is the classroom type of setup. However, unlike theatre setups, this configuration is more versatile, as it also encourages people to focus their attention towards the speaker, while at the same time making it easier for everyone to break into groups and carry out group-related tasks. The addition of desks also encourages everyone in attendance to take down notes whenever they please.
- Boardroom – For meetings whose purpose is for brainstorming sessions and collaboration, the boardroom setup is best. The way that the room is set up allows everyone around the table to see each other and discuss their thoughts.
- Cabaret – If you’ve ever been to gala dinner or an awards night, they most likely used a cabaret type of setup. Although mostly for formal sessions, this setup can also be used for educational purposes. Just keep in mind that the way this setup uses space is very inefficient.
- U-shape – For training seminars where the audience is often asked to take down notes, or do whatever the trainer is asking, the u-shape configuration is best. The setup makes it easier for the attendees to discuss the given topic, as well as ask for help from their seatmates when necessary.
When looking for a training room rental in Singapore, consider the type of session and visualize what kind of layout suits it best. That way, you make sure that everyone attending learns a lot as soon as they go out of the room.