When I was in my corporate roles, at this time of year I would be putting the finishing touches to my training calendar for the following year. From September onwards I would start the process of reviewing the previous year’s calendar, the take-up numbers, the satisfaction scores. I would review any other information for example from the performance management process, or my interviews with business leaders. From all this information, I could pull together what we should be offering for the next year, and then start the process of booking up dates with suppliers.

Booked dates, however, are no good without bookings! So for me it was all about doing a big launch, with lots of communication, to promote the training calendar.

The new year, and January in particular, is a great time to launch your training calendar, and here’s why:

  • People have had some time off to reflect, so they are more attuned to what their general learning needs may be on return.
  • People will still have space in the diaries to book some training dates in advance.
  • As it’s the time of New Year Resolutions, people will be up for finally getting round to booking that much needed training.

For me, promoting the training calendar was something I would GO LARGE on, promoting it at every opportunity possible. However, HOW to promote is something to consider. Encouraging employees to log in to your LMS and search for what they might need may not be the best method in terms of ‘user experience’. The harder it is for people to find what they need, the less likely they are to book. And we all know how important it is to get bookings. With no bookings, that means… cancellations. This can be problematic for good supplier relationships – and for me there is nothing worse than cancelling events because not enough people have booked, when you KNOW there are colleagues out there that have a training need! And none of us like the panicked feeling when we’re scrabbling around trying to fill places! That’s not an efficient way to work when this could be prevented by doing lots of promotion up front.

My tips for successfully launching your training calendar:

Allow enough ‘lead’ time

I don’t advise having courses on your calendar for the beginning of January, unless you’ve already advertised them already. There’s a ‘lead time’ that’s required – most people have things in their diaries so can’t book training up with short notice. I would say AT LEAST six weeks’ notice is best for in person/live trainings, unless you are sure there is demand and capacity for people to attend.

Make it as easy as possible for people to see WHAT is coming up.

My tip here is to make the key information as accessible as possible. I found that putting the key information of the training coming up got the best results in terms of immediate bookings. Key information being course title, date, summary couple of sentences, intended audience.  If you’re able to email this out, having this in the body of the email will result in more clicks and bookings than people having to open an attachment, as it is right there in front of your intended audience.

Use well-written summaries

 Over the years I have become a whizz at summarizing a course into a couple of sentences. Lots of courses have lengthy descriptions. If these have been written by external suppliers, you may have a mixture of writing styles, and repetition in the information they have provided you with. Of course, on your LMS you can have detailed in-depth course information. To promote multiple offerings from one communication however, you may want to re-write these long descriptions into a snappy couple of sentences.

Use links to make it easy to book

Adding custom links to your course summaries into your booking platform are a great way to make it quick and easy for people to book up, rather than giving them a list of instructions.

Use your LMS to promote and sign-post

LMS platforms are great for holding all your training events. However, they’re not always great at making it obvious what’s new. If you have the option to have a calendar feature on the homepage, showing what’s coming up, then I suggest you use it! Also, a news widget on your home-page is a great way to post details of any course offerings you want to promote. If you can customize this to show what’s relevant for specific audiences – even better!


Nothing has more impact though, than personal targeting. Running through your records of training needs and pinging an email or message to those that have requested something, or are on a waitlist, has more impact than a global email. If this can be automated via your LMS, great. If not, just set aside some time, and start firing off emails or messages. This can be to individuals, or to managers where you know there may be an interest.

Promoting your Training Calendar for the new year is time well spent! Early sign-ups means you can spot if you’re likely to reach the minimum viable numbers that you need, that way helping your colleagues get the training they need, and reducing the risk of cancelling with suppliers.


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