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How long does it take to write a 1 day workshop ?


My client wants me to write some workshops & we have agreed a day rate. I've been left with the "easy" job of scoping it out.

So how long does it take to write a 1 day workshop with slides, trainers notes and delegate handout ?

I'd really appreciate a steer.

John Dell'Armi

[email protected]

8 Responses

  1. How long to design a workshop


    There is only one answer: it depends. It depends on the topic, the style of the design, how much support materials are required, whether you are adapting somethings you have done before or need to research the issues and start from scratch…and how fast you work.

    The second question is how much the client might be willing to pay for. I wouldn’t employ a trainer/facilitator who didn’t know the subject inside out and who didn’t have great design experience. I would rarely think about charging a client more than a day for this type of work; more often less. But, as I say, it depends.


  2. how long does it take……

    Hi Giovanni

    When I have carried out associate work, in the past, for a couple of the larger training organisations (who shall remain nameless) they seemed to work to the formula of half-a-day development  time for ‘standard programmes’ and between one and two days for unusual or specialist topics.  I have also heard suggestions that in terms of a ‘ball park figure’ it takes about a day’s preparation for each hour of training, if the subject is completely new or the programme very complex. 

    I agree with John’s comments too.  It is dependant upon so many factors and variables.


    hope this might be of some help


  3. Design for a 1 day workshop
    Hi John
    Difficult to answer. I have just produced a proposal to design a workshop for a client. I have allowed 1 day for a familiarisation visit to pick up behavioural scenarios for the design and a further 3 days to complete the workshop, even though I have some relevant material already designed that I can slot in and adapt.
    Hope that helps.
    Happy Days!

  4. Design For 1 Day Workshop

    Hi John,

    When you are designing a workshop there are a number of elements which impact on your time:

    1. Thinking time and initial scope

    2. Research time – finding exercises and other material

    3. Putting it all together ie typing up notes and handouts, slides etc

    4. Printing time

    What I have found in practice is that 3 and 4 can actually take longer than 1 and 2 and so I have been outsourcing that part to a VA and either getting the client to print or taking it to a printer and charging the client accordingly.

    As far as 1 and 2 are concerned I usually charge a day for a day eg if 1 day workshop it’s 1 day design, 2 day workshop it’s 2 days.

    Anything else ie going to client to do TNA or research by talking to potential delegates also has to be charged at the agreed daily rate.

    Hope this helps!


    Sharon Gaskin

    The Trainers Training Company

    Helping Trainers Create Successful Businesses

  5. Usual formula


    I design training for a living, and the usual rule of thumb is 3 days per day. With these 3 days I design:

    • Course outline (so the client can approve the programme before I dive into detail)
    • Session plan (usually 12+ pages)
    • Detailed delegate workbook (usually 20-40 pages)
    • Pre-course work (if required)
    • PowerPoint Slides (if required)
    • Additional handouts/activities and supporting materials

    Sometimes, it can take less e.g. Presentation skills where much of the time will be spent observing delegates and providing coaching/feedback, and sometimes it’s more e.g. when detailed case studies or role plays need to be written.

    I usually include ‘desk research’ free of charge, but any specific client research is often charged extra.

    Hope this is helpful,

    Sheridan Webb


  6. Time to Write

    When I was trained in training through the old ITD, the rule of thumb was 6 hours for every hour. The reality when working with clients tends to be a day for a day so I guess the balance must be around a ratio of 3 to 1. I think I’ll go and lie down.


  7. Developing a 1 Day Workshop


    I think you need to consider many factors some of which have already been mentioned, some of the timings you have been given seem a little unrealistic to me unless most of the content is already in a developed format and you are an expert in it.

    The metrics will most certainly be subject dominated and your own level of knowledge, skill and experience will be a factor, the level of the participant attending this event has a huge amount to play in the design and development of the event for instance is it an intrductory, awareness, practitioner, expert or specialist event?

    From my own experience once I know who my audience is and what the outcomes are relative to the complexity of the subject, I will then determine how long it will take to develop the workshop, not forgetting at the very minimum there will be a desktop (pilot) review of the event with the client at the very least, if not a pilot (depending on the size of the target audience).

    As you have asked this question my guess is that you have not had to develop something like this before, and if you’re working for yourself, make sure you don’t get burnt.



  8. Thank you for your replies

    Apologies, i’ve been remiss I should thanked you ages ago for your extremely helpful replies to my posting. So a belated thank you.

    John Dell’Armi

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