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Fees for virtual workshops???

Like many of us in this group, I'm making the transition from delivering all my training workshops face-to-face.

Safe to say I'm at the 'Conscious Incompetence' stage at the moment! But at least I'm getting some practice by doing a free session for each of my current clients.

Now I'm being asked about fees - and have no idea at all what to charge!

With the F2F work, I sell packages of 90-minute workshops, delivered on-site at clients. With virtual versions, they will obviously be (even) shorter. I'm also taking a leaf out of Jo's book and asking clients to cap numbers to 10. 

I don't expect people to share every detail on here. What would be useful is some thoughts on the range of fees, e.g. £xxx for 1, £xxxx for 6

Or another way might be to share what you've heard out there - the most outrageously high fee and the lowest. That would really help!

Thanks,

Dawn

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Replies

  • Hi Dawn,

    Great question, and a tricky one!

    First thing - why are your 90 minute face to face sessions 'obviously' shorter live online? 90 minutes will work just fine - we run two-hour sessions in our training courses. There might be something in your content or approach that makes this different though. 

    Great that you are capping attendees to just 10 :D

    The advice I've been giving to people about fees is to work out what they would normally charge for their day rate, and then how long those sessions will take to run, and use that. 

    For instance, you might normally charge £800 a day for an eight hour day (to make this easy on maths), and you have a 90 minute session. You need to include time before and after the session to be online early (half an hour) and answer questions after (15 minutes). 

    So that 90 minutes, plus 30, plus 15 equals 2 hours 15 minutes. At £100 an hour that is £225 for the session. You can obviously substitute your own timing and hourly rate for this. 

    You may also want to include time for any other extras, emails, support etc that you offer for that session or for the client/project. 

    Some people have asked me whether they should offer their live online sessions cheaper than face to face. As a rule of thumb, I don't think so. The contents and specialism is still there, just a different modality. Most people I know of charge extra for any travel and hotel costs, so those are being saved. 

    Some people are being fairly open about their live online sessions being new to them and running discounts on pilot sessions to recognise this, so that is an option. 

    I hope this thinking helps you out, do let us know what else you found out and an idea of the way you are heading. 

    Anyone else any other ideas or approaches?

    • Thanks Jo - that's really helpful.

      To answer your question on time length; I've had some client comments that shorter time lengths for virtual vs F2F are what is wanted. So the few pilots I've done for some current clients have been 45-60 minutes and were OK (freebies on the understanding I've got L-plates - or should that be P-plates post-Lightbulb?!).

      However as you rightly say, 90 minutes is hardly a jail term!

      It just might be that's what their people say they want, or that their experience so far hasn't been great, or attention levels are low. Yet I imagine that can be helped with the right design and delivery. 

      I value the thought-provocation Jo - and will suggest a 90-minute session with another client who's taking up my offer of a free pilot virtual workshop to see how that goes. 

      Reassuring to see you don't suggest lower fees for virtual delivery. For my F2F work there's a print cost as well as travel time/cost; for virtual delivery those are replaced by downloads and follow-up resources. 

      Will you let you know how things go. Meanwhile, anyone got experiences to share?

      Dawn

  • Hi Dawn

    I'd echo everything Jo has said. The value you bring shouldn't be eroded because you're using a different delivery medium.

     

    If your sessions are interactive, you will need to make them longer than 10 minutes.

    At the outse of using an online platform, the participants will need some time to familiarise themselves with the tools they can use and then your design will need to factor this in.

    Good luck with what you're doing :)

    Ally

    • Hi Ally, 

      Really appreciate your response - it's good to see that there are people in this group who hold the view that virtual doesn't mean cheaper. The fee's the fee - whatever the means of delivery. 

      The freebie pilots I've done are 45-minutes. The F2F ones I've done for years are 90-minutes and that's the length I'm now working on.

      Right now I'm adapting the content and activities so the objectives can be met whilst using a different medium. As well as standing my ground on fees, I'll apply your advice on allowing time for participants to get the hang of the tools.

      Thanks for your advice and I'll let you know how it goes :)

      Dawn

  • Hi to all:

    Some great points.

    I have some particulars that maybe some of you can comment on.

    I already have a contract with a client for in person 5 hour workshops (max of 14).

    The contract calls for $150 per participant with a minimum of $1200 and a maximum of $1500. Average attendance over the 10 year span has been 8. I have had minimal development time and prep time as I have been delivering the same workshop for 10 years with minor updates.

    They want me to offer the workshop via Zoom. 

    I was thinking of two 90 minute workshops?

    Any suggestions on price and length.

    I would be re-designing my homeoffice with web cams, sound system, multiple PC screens. Investments and fixed costs that wont  be needed once we are vaccinated. 

     

    • Hi Rob,

      A great yet tricky question you ask!

      I have some comments for you to ponder before I go into more of my thoughts on your question:

      • Your 5-hour workshop is going to be cut down to 3 hours live online. I'm guessing this is due to logistics such as removing an hour lunch break rather cutting a lot of content? Keep in mind some things live online might take longer than they would face to face, especially if delivering multiple sessions, you are multiplying the welcome, intro, how to use the tools, agenda, contracting, ice breaker etc each time

      • You say you have minimal development time due to delivering the same workshop for 10 years. Depending on your workshop it might not be as easy as running the same session live online. Group work, flip charts, brainstorming and even just facilitated social discussion require additional planning and design for live online learning delivery

      With the above being said my thoughts are:

      Price

      I think if that is what you have been charging and you are happy with that price and the client is, then stick to it, especially if you feel confident in delivering live online with Zoom.

      If you don't feel confident about delivering live online or have limited time to upskill in this modality. Perhaps you could offer a discount for the next few of these courses you deliver. Explain to the client this is all new, there might be teething issues, have a 15% discount as I get experience in doing this also. This way any issues have a soft landing with expectations set and a comfy discount to land on also.

      You can also look it another way. The client is potentially saving costs on travel for the attendees and time as they might not need to spend time travelling and instead get back to their work quicker, plus potentially your expenses being reduced.

      Time

      I do challenge the 5 hours into two 90-minute sessions. Live online can eat time out of your delivery, especially if this is new to you as the facilitator and for the attendees. You may need to consider doubling the normal time it takes for each question you asked. Attendees to type their answer, you to read them, then for them to add more or someone to speak on the microphone. You may also need to introduce and teach tools as you go, this can eat into your time.

      At Lightbulb Moment we primarily run two-hour sessions with a 8-10 minute break in the middle. We find this works well for us and for our clients. Two hours you can still get a fair amount of training and depth into a topic or multiple topics. The client feels like two hours is a good chunk of learning (which it is), yet can book off a morning, or afternoon for the attendee and still get them working the rest of the day.

      I would consider two sessions that are each two-hours in length to give you some extra time to get through your content. An ice breaker/technology check as an additional 20-minute session a day or two before these sessions start might also be prudent to get everyone ready for the actual session and keeping those sessions on time.

      Hardware

      There are quite a few hardware posts in this Community that will help you.

      I think investing in these items will pay dividends in the long run as even in a post Covid-19 world you may well find yourself training live online due to travel or location conveniences.

      • Michael

        Cant imagine a better response in terms of providing the circumstances of my question.So grateful, I think you nudged me to the 2 hour session.

        I have begun doing research on the hardware and am going to get quality stuff.

        I really like th icebreaker idea prior to the curtain falling.

        Thanks so much for the ideas and your professional expertise. Am so glad that I found this site. 

        Have a Healthy and Happy Holiday

        Rob

        • Hi Rob, Mike has popped out of the office and wanted to say on his behalf that you are more than welcome! 

        • Very welcome Rob!

          Over the holidays it could be handy to listen to some of our podcasts. If you go to the top of this page and click 'Free resources' --> then click 'Lightbulb Podcasts'.

          37, 29, 18 and 14 might all help you before going live with the delivery.

          I wish you all the best over the holiday season and for the course!

          Mike

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