2 Day Training Conference
University of Phoenix Online
Dan S. Bailey
An integral portion of our infrastructure software has been upgraded significantly by our own in-house design staff. The new software increases productivity and communications potential throughout our national infrastructure. There is, however, a learning curve to the new technology. There are approximately 80 stakeholders who will need further training in order to function in the new system. Thankfully the changes are slight enough that almost all of the training may be accomplished in a 2 day training seminar.
Our infrastructure is strewn throughout the mid-south and covers many states. While we do have some outfits on the Western seaboard of the United States, we will primarily be bringing most of our trainees from the Mid-south. Because of this, we have selected our prime location in Nashville, TN to be the location of the training seminar. It provides a centralized location for most of our potential attendees thus allowing us to minimize travel expenses.
Our first task was to select those who would attend in order to see what kind of accommodations and facilities would be necessary. We quickly came to an estimate of 80-90 attendees based on an estimate of which employees actually use the software that is being amended. We needed a facility that could accommodate that number of guests. We also would like to centralize our expenses and keep the lodging and the meeting location in the same place. That narrowed our search quite a bit. In Nashville, the best possible selection to meet these criteria was the downtown Nashville Hyatt. The hotel has 3 on-site restaurants, 300 guest suites, and a 15,000 square foot meeting room facility with both high-speed internet access and point to point networking available. We will be requesting that some attendees share rooms to minimize company expenses.
ID badges have already been designed and printed for all stakeholders. These badges will simultaneously allow them access to the luncheon seminars, and they will also allow the hotel to track meal expenses for the trainees. These ID’s are quite simple containing a simple bar code, a black and white photo of the trainee, and some pertinent information (trainee’s department, location, and facility of origin). Those without their id badges will not be eligible for entry to the seminar and will not receive their expensed meals.
The speakers selected were rather easy. The project manager responsible for the new upgraded systems will be the primary speaker. Her team members will additionally address specific points pertinent to their experience. This will make the scheduling much more fluid, because we will not be held captive to the time-tables of an externally employed speaker. We are able to plan it all very effectively and without complications due to this.
The team will train several hands-on trainers to disseminate this information to the attendees. There will be 5 such hands-on trainers manning the desktop pc systems that the attendees will be using. We have devised mpeg video files that act as video tutorials for the hands-on portion of the training process. These videos can play on modest computers.
We estimate that the speakers’ portion of the training will consist of approximately 4 hours of speech on both days. After the speeches there will be a computer lab set up in the back half of the meeting room where the mpeg video tutorials will allow the trainees to learn from and interactive with a dummy version of the upgraded software. This portion of the training will move in four shifts of one hour periods. We are estimating a total of 20 desktop pc’s. This means we will have roughly four hours worth of total training time after the speeches devoted to hands-on learning. The video tutorial should be able to handle the lion’s share of the hands-on training, but the 5 trained specialists will be on hand to answer any questions that may arise in this portion of the training.
Between the speeches and the hands-on portions of the training, we will hold a catered luncheon on both days. There will be 3 potential collections of menu items. This will allow us to satisfy those of traditional diets and those with special dietary needs (vegetarians and those with certain religious dietary prohibitions). We will contact the caterers no less than one month ahead of the planned date to receive estimates and select the best options. The rest of the meals will be supplied to the trainees at company expense during their 2-day stay at the Nashville Hyatt. As mentioned above, the hotel houses 3 different fully staffed restaurants: The Palm Steakhouse, Eddie George’s Sports Bar & Grill, and Market Street Restaurant. The Palm is prohibitively expensive and meals eaten by trainees there will not be paid for by company funds. In addition to the luncheon, two extra meals daily at either the sports bar or Market Street restaurant will be permitted at company expense. These meals will be tracked by the bar coding on the ID badges.
Beginning around the 1st of September and concluding roughly 3 weeks later, we will be compiling the project documentation into training booklets to be used at the seminar. These booklets will contain an outline of all pertinent data discussed in the speeches. These books will contain detailed instructions on the use of the new system upgrades and should be kept by the attendees after the seminar for future reference. Small scale graphic design will also occur in this time period for the covers of the training books and whatever corporate display art we may need. These will be printed no later than 2 weeks before the seminar.
Thankfully, upper management had the foresight to set up company expense credit cards with banks that offered airline vouchers for purchases. This has allowed us to travel throughout our national infrastructure for a fraction of what this would otherwise cost. As a result of this, our company has acquired numerous vouchers and tickets that can be used to bring in the trainees who will be attending from the California, Oregon, and Washington offices. We will be renting SUV’s and minivans to carry groups traveling from adjoining Mid-south states. We may grant airline vouchers for trainees with schedules that do not permit the driving time required to attend. Any attendees who wish to drive themselves are welcome. Fuel expenses will be reimbursed with the receiving of applicable receipts. We will require that anybody being reimbursed for fuel carry at least one other attendee with them.
Event staff should be fairly easy to take care of. We will bring 2 of our in-house IT staff from Atlanta to troubleshoot the pc’s used in the hands-on training. It would be foolish to bring the entire IT staff down just to set up the hands-on pc desktops, so we are advertising at local colleges for people competent enough to perform minimal set up on these systems. It does not take a genius to unpack a pc and set it up, so bringing a significant portion of our in-house IT staff would be foolish for such simple grunt work tasks. We can pay the local college students 10.00 per hour and have them work under our 2 IT specialists. The caterers will provide their own staff as will the hotel.
As discussed earlier, we will be purchasing 20 desktop computers from TigerDirect.com for the hands-on training. After the seminar we will disperse these systems throughout our company to replace various aging desktops. We estimate that we will need one digital projector for the speeches. We will also disperse the video signal from the projector to two rented plasma displays placed further back in the meeting room to allow those with less-fortunate seating to receive the same data as those up front. A PA system will need to be rented for the two day event. That is easy enough; there is a musical equipment rental location within two blocks of the hotel.
We should speak to a multi-media consultant about recording the entirety of the spoken portions of the seminar for future reference by any incoming employees (or any who are unable to attend). This would be easily accomplished with one additional pc. The video output from the display will be recorded along with the speaker’s audio. We will be able to burn this to a cd, along with the mpeg tutorials, thus allowing for greater training and dispersion throughout the company.