When do I need a professional?

Most meetings don’t require a professional facilitator. Short routine staff meetings, project briefings, and one-way communications to a group are examples of meetings that usually work just fine without one.

Unfortunately, people don't know they need a facilitator until after it's too late. Fortunately, there are four easy to read indicators that help is needed:

1. High stakes. When the pressure is on, either through competitive threats, short time lines, high visibility, fleeting opportunities, or it simply must be done right the first time, a facilitator keeps the team focused on results.

2. High costs. As meeting costs (i.e. facility rental, wage costs, travel expenses, and large groups) escalate, so does the cost of wasted time.

3. High involvement. Meetings are all about involvement, yet it comes at a price. When participants bring opposing viewpoints, strong opinions, diverse perspectives, and competing priorities, groups easily get stuck.

4. High dysfunction. Some groups simply have a history of unproductive meetings. Dysfunction like dominant personalities, baggage and politics, other work, sidebars, and unprepared people can derail a group’s progress.

How much does a facilitator cost?

There are “facilitators” who will lead meetings for as little as $500 per day. According to a national facilitator database, the market value for qualified professional facilitators is between $1,500 and $3,000 per day plus expenses. Of course fees vary depending on the nature of the group and complexity of the issues. If you need a miracle, there are a few grand masters that command up to $4,600 per day.

The real question is, “What can you afford to waste on a poorly run meeting that doesn’t get results?” In a typical day-long off-site event, a good facilitator can save you 2 times their fee. For multi-day events expect to save 3 times the fee or better. 

How much time and money are wasted when you meet?  Learn more ...