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Finding Facilitators That Fit!
The aim of this guide is to prepare you for discussions with a bureau, and to get you thinking about all the factors that affect your Facilitator choice.
You knew it, right?
Facilitator agencies / bureaus do more than just send out glossy catalogs or sport fancy websites. A good one will learn as much as possible about your company, your meeting, your audience, and your budget in order to help you find a professional Facilitator who fits your needs. The aim of this guide is to prepare you for discussions with a bureau, and to get you thinking about all the factors that affect your Facilitator choice.
Your meeting time and place. As with everything else, the earlier you contact the Facilitators bureau, the better. And certainly mention if either the time or the dates are flexible. A star Facilitator might not be available to kick off your meeting, but perhaps he/she could provide a smashing close to the program. The bureau also needs to know your budget parameters.
Details to share with the bureau: your audience\'s expectations, the positions attendees hold in the company and what divisions they represent, their average educational background, age range, and the male/female ratio.
The Meeting Objective
Which department is hosting the meeting?
What is the overall purpose of the meeting?
What is the strategic message you\'re trying to get across in this meeting?
How will the meeting be structured to communicate this message?
The Facilitator?s Role
Do you envision outside Facilitators to be part of your agenda?
If so, for what purpose (e.g., to lighten the mood, act as an emcee controlling session flow, pump up a sales force, conduct off-the shelf training or tailored consultancy or some other objective or combination of objectives)?
How important do you feel the outside Facilitator is to the success of the meeting?
Is there a particular type of Facilitator you believe will help you meet your objective (celebrity, sports figure, industry expert, etc.)?
Where on the agenda do you think the Facilitator would be most effective?
What would be the ideal \"takeaway\" for attendees from the Facilitator?s presentation?
Use Your Experience
Who stands out as the best Facilitator you ever had? Why?
Who stands out as the worst Facilitator you\'ve had? Why?
How would it affect your meeting if your Facilitator of choice was not available?
Don\'t Stop Now!
Shortly after the meeting, take the time to sit down with other executives and review the impact on the meeting of the Facilitator you chose. Answer these questions:
Did the Facilitator meet all of your expectations?
Did the Facilitator add value to the meeting?
Did the Facilitator further the meeting theme?
How did attendees respond to the presentation?
Write down additional thoughts about the Facilitator and share them with your Facilitators agency / bureau representative. This will help the bureau next time you speak together.
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