Monday, September 10, 2007

EATD: Day 0 - Preparation

A few months ago John and I decided to organize some Oracle Application Express trainings.

First you've an idea and slowly it grows till the moment you announce it, but even then the preparation is not yet over. We wanted to do something special, give an "AE-experience" to our participants.

Second, we had to rent a place to do the trainings and chose for the exclusive Plaza hotel in Brussels.
As we call it the "European APEX Training Days", we thought Brussels would be a good place to start, as it's the capital of Europe.

Depending the number of people you need to find a room. Not to big, not to small. Although we had no idea how many would be interested to attend, we planned to have around 25 people and limit the numbers to that.

The size of the (training) room depends on the format of your sessions. Are you only "teaching" or also discussing with each other? We finally chose for the most interactive form, a U-format, in the nice "Versaille" room.

It's amazing to see how the sign ups went. You get some in the beginning, then it's quiet for a while, it starts again and at the end you get some more. Even the last week we got some new sign ups. The other side of the medal is also true, we also had some late sign offs, which was really difficult for us, as we had to pay a lot in advance.
So, if you want to organize something, unless they paid, it's not sure they will come after all.

The place to give the training is one of the things you need to prepare. Another one is where to stay, as we would have people flying in from other countries. Because we booked an hotel for the training, having the nights there was most appropriate. Nevertheless you need to pre-book some rooms. As it was an exclusive hotel, the prices weren't that cheap (although we negotiated a special price), so we also offered an alternative list of hotels.

The logistics like place, hotel, flight, beamer, handouts, food, special evening, invoicing etc. are only one side of the preparation, I didn't talk about another important part yet ;-)

The preparation of the training material! As we already talked at OOW, IOUG and ODTUG we knew it takes some time to prepare a presentation. Doing a 3-day course isn't different!
We like to do a lot of live (!) demos and have some interactivity between both of us and the participants, but all that asks for a good (and long) preparation...

This post was just to give you an idea about the preparation of such an event. You only know what it means until you really do it yourself ;-)

Tomorrow I'll blog about the first day...

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