Workshop Design - What Does It Cost?

Workshop Design – What Does It Cost?

September 18, 2014

At some point in time you are likely going to want to plan a “program”. The various names of workshops that you might know – training class, workshop, seminar, educational session, etc. Whatever you call it, the question that arises most frequently in my line of work is:

What does it cost?

  • What does it cost to design a program?
  • What does it cost have a facilitator present your company materials?
  • What does it cost to have customize already available materials?

Answer: It varies greatly based on a variety of factorsTraining

Prep Time: How much time do you have to plan for the event/program?
Design: Do you want to co-design the materials and do you have subject matter experts to contribute to the research?
Intricacy: How technical or company/industry specific do you want the materials?
Audience: How many people will you be planning to put through the program? Is there a need for multiple languages and program materials to be in multiple languages
Format: Will your program be virtual, live, or mixed?
Format: What type of program do you plan to deliver (is it a simulation vs. facilitator lead content)
Facilitator(s): How many facilitators will you need to have certified or trained on the materials? Will you need facilitators that speak multiple languages?
Duration: How long of a program do you need? (a few hours, 1 day, multiple day, multiple week)

Ultimately to answer your question it can be between $10,000 – $1,500,000. Yes, you are reading that correctly.

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” – Benjamin Franklin

Why is there such a big difference in cost?

The short answer is that the biggest expenses in the entire equation are Prep Time & Intracacy. The cost to design your program goes exponentially higher no matter the complexity or duration of the program if you have very short lead times. Additionally if you choose an “off the shelf” program that just need to be customized or modified for your industry or company it can significantly reduce your costs.

There are a finite amount of hours in a day and with less lead time it means that the number of resources has to increase to accomplish the goal in the specified time frame. Instead of for instance 1 designer, you may have to incorporate many designers to accomplish the deadline for launch.

The second biggest determination of the cost is going to be the duration of your program. The shorter the program the lower the costs. Let’s get into a few numbers:

1 hour of workshop time = 1 – 2.5 days of design work
1 day of design work = $1,500 – $5,000

Additional costs that are not calculated into the base costs to either design or facilitate a program: registration processes, location, travel, train-the-trainer certifications, pre & post program communication or follow up, participant surveys, food & beverage, & audio visual support/coverage

globeVirtual or e-learning significantly changes the entire equation. Everything triples at a minimum.

How can I get started?

There are a multitude of learning organizations for you to choose from. It depends on what kind of program you are looking to design. If you would like to learn more about a workshop design calculator or learning organizations that might be able to move you forward than please contact me at

If you are interested in designing your own program and you simply need a coach/consultant to help you through the process, then please contact us at