Last updated March 15, 2024

As a trainer, there are of course numerous considerations to take into account including. For example, you need to market the course, develop the training materials, ensure that all participants know the venue location and correct starting time, and so on.

Best training room setup

One other key issue on top of this is the preparation for the training room. The training room needs to provide a comfortable and safe environment for participants, as well as an atmosphere that is conducive to learning.

There are many factors that to be planned for when it comes to the classroom and below we discuss some of the key things to take care of.

Video Lesson on Classroom Layout

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1. Consider the Seating Arrangements

The image you will see above at the top of this post shows a traditional classroom layout with all of the chairs facing the front of the class, towards where the trainer or teacher will normally be.

In training sessions and workshops though, there is a range of possible seating options and this is worth giving serious consideration to.

If you, for example, intentionally want to keep the training as a very formal and non-interactive session, then a traditional lecture theatre or classroom layout is the best choice.

If, on the other hand, you plan to make the sessions interactive and want to make a less formal space, then forming the chairs into a semi-circle can be an option.

There are a number of seating arrangement options and this will be covered in the next article.

Do consider though that you will also need to include consideration here for when the participants will be able to view the PowerPoint presentation if you are including one.

2. Classroom Heating and Temperature Control

If the room is too hot, do not be surprised if participants begin to look sleepy, distracted, and even irritated halfway through the training.

Have a room that is too cold and you will also find the participants struggling to focus their attention on the training and more concerned with keeping warm and wanting the training to end.

Try to make sure beforehand, if possible, that you know how to manage the heating settings for the room.

3. Window Distractions

Distractions outside of windows such as because people are walking by or something else that occurs within vision, can take participants’ attention easily away from the training at hand.

One option is to set the seating arrangements (provided the seats are movable of course) such that students are facing with their backs to the window.

Alternatively, you might want to see if there is a blind or curtain that you can use to block the specific window in question (provided there will still be enough light in the room).

4. Accessibility

Accessibility considerations are essential in classroom layout planning to ensure that all students, regardless of their physical abilities, can fully participate in the learning process.

By removing physical barriers and implementing inclusive design principles, you can create an environment where every student feels valued and included.

Moreover, accessible classrooms:

  • promote equal opportunities for learning
  • comply with legal regulations
  • and foster independence among students with disabilities
Classroom lesson plans

5. Sunshine in the Classroom

Sunshine is something most of us crave and yet sometimes it can be a problem for trainers when the sun directs itself onto the presentation screen.

This issue of too much sunshine is luckily not such a problem from my experience when giving training in the UK, but it nonetheless needs to be considered.

Knowing how to pull down the blinds beforehand, will usually suffice.

6. Classroom Power Supply and Points

Make sure beforehand also to get acquainted with all of the power points in the training room.

You will no doubt be asked by some participants where these power points are.

You may also find that you need them, particularly if you want to play soft music in the background when doing group activities and games (music can add to the atmosphere to relax participants during many activities).

7. Clean and Tidy Training Room

It may seem obvious, but it is important to provide a clean and tidy environment to put participants at ease.

Before the start of the session, or even the day before if possible, check that the room is reasonably clean and that there are no food wrappers or used paper cups left from a previous session, for example.

Likewise, at the end of your training session, make sure that you leave the room tidy and put back any chairs and desks to their original position if you moved them.

8. Breaks and Refreshment

It is important to make sure that participants can have regular breaks, so they can rest and not feel too strained. If participants are allowed breaks, they will concentrate better during the session.

Also, make sure that there is easily accessible refreshments during breaks.

If it takes too long to reach the closest place that sells snacks and drinks, participants will get too distracted and may be late in returning to the training room.

If there is no refreshment place nearby, consider ordering tea, coffee, and biscuits delivered to the classroom. This way, participants will always be close and will be able to network with each other during breaks.

9. Chairs in the Classroom

At the expense of stating the obvious, ensuring that there are enough chairs to match the number of participants, is a surprisingly overlooked problem.

I have been on a number of training sessions myself and this does happen whereby the start of the training session involves the trainer having to go to other rooms to try and find more chairs.

Do not be the trainer who starts the training off with such an issue of lack of chairs!

10. Signage to the Training Room

One of the most frustrating problems that many participants face when attending training is finding the training room!

Make sure that you provide clear instructions for the participants i.e. by sending them an email 1 to 2 days before the training.

Also, ensure that there is clear signage at the decision points leading to the classroom.

>> See example downloadable course materials
Dr Valeria Lo Iacono