If you've been to an annual Sales Kick Off, you know just how much money is spent on these lavish productions - and that's before I calculate the indirect costs of having your top revenue generating team take a few days "off".
Don't get me wrong - I'm all for it.
After all, this is when you have a chance to
engage, inspire and re-energize the revenue
generating engines in your company.
Sadly, in spite of the massive amounts of resources invested in multi-day company conferences (not just SKOs), with budgets sometimes reaching millions, these events are often highly inefficient and much - too much - value is left on the table.
One of the key reasons for this phenomena is not brining in a professional facilitator or moderator to lead the program from starts to finish. This is often the result of a "penny saving" mentality or of an under appreciation of professional facilitation. Both justify a brief review of just how valuable bringing in a great facilitator can be. A great facilitator makes sure all possible value is created and harvested.
This is done in multiple ways:
- Taking an active role in the structuring and design of the event. This includes key elements such as “Theme”, “Preliminary Teaser Campaign”, “Agenda Structure”, “Total Immersion” and more.
- Adapting and optimizing the program in real time. A great facilitator knows how to create group dynamics - but group dynamics tend to have a life of their own and so a great facilitator also knows how adapt the conference’s agenda to evolving group dynamics.
Doing so can make the difference between the
program slipping into a downward spiral and
maintaining constant upward momentum.
3. Ensuring the whole is worth more than the sum of its pieces. This is done by being the glue between the various agenda components, linking back to elements that were reviewed earlier in the program and constantly reinforcing the conference’s key messages and objectives.
Still, a top notch facilitator does not come in cheap and can cost well around $10,000 a day (and that's not including the preliminary involvement in the preparation stages). Nevertheless, given the direct and indirect costs involved in these lavish - and strategically important - productions, the marginal additional cost of bringing in a professional facilitator is returned tenfold given the added value extracted from the thanks to the facilitator.