This month, we’re turning our attention to the very important subject of training. Being zeitgeists of the meetings and events world, we like to keep a keen eye on training, it’s a good indication of economic event trends and the desire of business to invest in people. With training comes incentive, team building, conferences and larger meetings. It’s no wonder we take such great pleasure in turning our ‘great event cheerleading’ pom-poms to training and trainers.


However, every training schedule needs and auteur, a conductor, someone who puts together the strategy to get a work force productive, developing and energised. One such person is our own Gareth Otton, Learning & Development Manager for Compass Group UK&I, of which Lime Venue Portfolio is part of. So, who better to talk to about training, venues, and driving all important ROI for the company but also individuals.


Before we did though, it’s always good to understand the role behind the person, so what does Gareth’s involve? “My role is Learning & Development Manager, and this involves looking after the team of Learning and Development Trainers, planning Compass Group’s UK training calendar. It also involves facilitating workshops to inspire our great people to build their skills, knowledge and experience.”


So, a pretty massive role, but why is it important that Compass invests in training? “It’s essential that we invest in our people by providing them with the development they require. This is intrinsically a people business and without our great people, our business will not be successful. My team offers world-class training to meet a variety of requirements; from ensuring that colleagues are competent in their role, to upgrade their knowledge so they are expert in role, or even to equip them as they prepare for their next role.”


It’s great to hear, but not all companies think alike, and training is often first to the axe when business hits rocky waters. So, is training a luxury for growing businesses? Gareth thinks not, “I’ve worked as a learning and development practitioner in a variety of organisations for around two decades and sadly, I have seen and experienced this situation all too often. The bottom line is that unless people have the development opportunities they require, they may leave and go to an organisation where they receive the development they’re looking for.


“Similarly, service levels can be affected and this could result in damage to the relationships we have with clients and consumers. This is pretty risky as both have plenty of choices these days when it comes to using a service provider!”


It’s an important point and one Lime Venue Portfolio advocate on behalf of all of our customers. We see training making a difference to people every day across our venues. But, to make it really count, what can our venues offer? We asked Gareth to describe the perfect training environment. “It will vary person-to-person. I always promote a safe and inclusive environment where people are involved and can practice and contribute without worry. I like to keep things light-hearted and will always look for positives in any situation. When a learner tells me that they feel inspired to think about a different approach or do something differently or new, that always makes me feel incredibly proud.”


“Equally, in terms of the venue environment, I’ll often advocate for an external venue, but one that is in keeping with the values of the business, or the training objective. It’s lovely being in an environment where people can learn without constant interruptions, and which is conducive to learning. It makes a huge difference. I guess this is where Lime Venue Portfolio can help! Their venues create a stimulating environment which helps get people thinking, but are also interesting places to break out into during the day.”


Gareth goes on to kindly add, “The Lime Venue Portfolio team are fantastic to do business with for a simple reason – they make everything so easy! The team takes the time to understand my needs, budget and requirements and they provide me with solutions that work. Friendly people that exemplify our Compass values, great venues and great service. I truly regard the LVP team as my business partner.”


Thanks Gareth! While we’re fishing for compliments … how important is food? “Very! I love food and always work better when I’m well fed and watered, but we’re also a food business, and standards have to be high. Equally, we know the right menu provides fuel for the brain as well as the body. It creates a talking point and a chance to break down barriers, which is always good in a training environment.”


Sage advice, and we’re pretty pleased to have Gareth not only brining us all really good training here at Lime Towers, but also advocating the very best for training programmes. It’s great to know venues can make a difference to all aspects of learning and development, so we’re looking forward to seeing Gareth in and amongst our portfolio in the very near future.


Gareth Otton, Learning & Development Manager for Compass Group UK&I


Click here to take a look at the suitable training venues within the portfolio.

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