The National Experience
Today, creating an effective learning and development program is all about the experience. You learn better when you’re comfortable, engaged, and having fun.
Whereas once we seemed to care only about how much material we could get through in a training event, now we emphasize the quality of the program and measure its effectiveness: How much was actually learned? Did the attendees grow as individuals? As a group?
We’ve learned that relying on power points and one-way communication is not as effective as developing engaging programs that are built around networking opportunities.
And we’ve learned that the venue plays a crucial role in delivering the best possible experience. To keep everyone talking in a small seminar, you want the desks arranged to face one another in a semicircle. To switch things up at a weeklong training, you might want to hold an outdoor session. Whatever your goals, your venue sets the stage for you to achieve them.
The expert team of planners at The National Conference Center has been developing innovative meeting and learning experiences for more than 40 years. With more than 265,000 square feet of meeting space at their disposal, they use current trends and best practices to craft programs that are not only effective, but also enjoyable. And they have determined three unique ways to deliver an unforgettable meeting or training experience.
- Create a Hyper-Local Food Experience
Choose a facility that has a dynamic food and beverage program. Locally sourced meals mean fresher food for your guests and a more sustainable program overall. The seasonality of local foods also enables creativity in the menus and encourages your guests to try something new. The National focuses on farm-to-table cuisine, incorporating over 60 local products into the dishes that are prepared daily for guests in The Dining Room. The newest partnership is with CEA Farms, a 200-year-old family-run farm that provides local produce.
- Include an Engaging Teambuilding Experience
Experiential learning is a successful method of education and development that creates memorable learning experiences with high recall. Blending indoor classroom learning with a team-building activity, such as a high ropes course, delivers an exciting, hands-on opportunity that keeps everyone engaged and is an instant memory-maker. The Challenge Course at The National includes action-based learning components, such as the high ropes course and other elements designed for problem solving and leadership development.
- Develop an Exclusive Experience
Select a venue that offers flexible meeting space that you can customize to fit your needs. Whether it’s an upscale welcome reception or a casual s’mores night, create an “event within your event” that will allow guests to mingle and unwind. Recently, The National created intimate meeting spaces that can be themed or designed to establish an ambience of exclusivity. The outdoor fire pits are used almost daily, along with an inviting Living Room space and the unexpected “speakeasy” room aptly named The National Secret.