State of Facilitation
2024

Welcome to the second edition of SessionLab’s
State of Facilitation report.
Read on for essential information and expert insights on what is changing in the world of facilitation and workshop design. 

How is facilitation changing?

The path to professional facilitation in 2024 requires becoming literate in the use of digital tools while cultivating the heart of the craft: relationships, trust, and human connection.

How are digital tools and AI impacting how facilitators work inside and outside of a session?
How is facilitation helping companies to navigate the new world of work?

Read on to see what facilitation was like in 2023 and what that can teach us about the promises and challenges of 2024.

2nd edition

975 respondants

93 countries

372 hours filling the survey

In this report

Demographics

Who is facilitating and where?​

Education & Experience

What backgrounds do facilitators have?​

Profession & Employment

Who do facilitators work for?​

Facilitation practice

What was it like to facilitate in 2023?​

Challenges

What challenges are facilitators experiencing?​

Frameworks & Tools

What tools do facilitators use?​

Resources

How do facilitators keep learning?

Introduction

Welcome to the second edition of the State of Facilitation report!

This year’s data is based on the generous contributions of 975 facilitators across the world who took the time to fill out our comprehensive survey. 

Their responses are accompanied by commentary from 12 experts sharing their perspectives. 

In 2023, the State of Facilitation survey has undergone some transformation, as we learnt and integrated feedback from participants and readers.

Here are the main changes we’ve made to the State of Facilitation project in 2023:

Aiming for greater inclusion, we added the option of responding to the survey in Spanish. 7.5% of respondents chose to answer in Spanish.

In your own words. You will find direct, anonymous, quotes from survey respondents in both English and Spanish throughout the text.

We added more checkbox questions and reduced the number of open-ended ones. Possible answers were chosen by aggregating responses from 2023. Anything above 1% made the cut.

New questions were often inspired by readers’ requests. We’ve added questions to explore disabilities, environmental practices related to facilitation and more.

Prefer to download the report?

If you prefer to download the report in PDF format, leave your email here to receive it in your inbox! You’ll also receive SessionLab’s facilitation newsletter and get updates about the next survey too!

Before we jump in, a word of caution:

To collect responses we reached out to our networks, colleagues, business partners, and friends.

We did our best, but inevitably that reach is limited. A majority of responses reached the survey through our own channels, such as SessionLab’s facilitation newsletter. This may help explain certain aspects of the data we’ve collected, for example overrepresentation of European and North American responses.

Help us widen our reach in the next edition by joining in and reaching out to your networks. 

Key TAKEAWAYS

Digitally-assisted facilitation

A growing number of digital tools is transforming facilitation practices (remote and in-person). Digital tools can help design sessions, improve interactivity, and more. It is the era of digitally-assisted facilitation.

The year of AI

We will remember 2023 as the year AI came into our lives and workplaces. Facilitators are turning to AI to speed up, refine and enhance certain aspects of their work. Read on to find out how!

Back in person

We will also remember 2023 as the year in-person workshops and events came back roaring. At the same time, remote and hybrid facilitation are definitely here to stay. How are facilitators distributing their work? More on this below.

Team support

A rising trend is to enlist facilitators to support teams to adapt to fully remote work, hybrid work and/or return to the office. Team building and team support were central topics of facilitation sessions this past year.

Facilitation as craft

The core skills of facilitation are mostly picked up on the job, through learning-by-doing (69.9%) and observing experienced practitioners at work (40.8%).

Relationships rule

Work opportunities are mainly sourced by word-of-mouth (55.9%) and referrals from other facilitators. Numerous findings in the report point to the importance of being active in a community of peers to learn, practice and upskill in facilitation.

Demographics

Who is facilitating and where?

We received responses from 93 Countries. 40.1% of responses came from the European continent and 31.4% came from North America.

We are glad to see facilitation represented all over the globe. At the same time, we must acknowledge a lack of representation of the Global South and, in particular, Asia in this data.

We hypothesize that this is to be attributed in part to the limited reach of our survey. But even with that caveat in mind, data shows that work still needs to be done to build bridges among different facilitation communities and improve diversity and inclusion practices across the industry.

Geographical location

Top 10All countriesRegionsSub-regionsUS by States
% of responses# of responses
United States 22.9% United Kingdom 8.6% Canada 7.6% Germany 6.0% Spain 4.3% Australia 3.7% France 3.3% Italy 2.6% South Africa 2.5% Kenya 2.5% Netherlands 2.4%
United States 211 United Kingdom 79 Canada 70 Germany 55 Spain 40 Australia 34 France 30 Italy 24 South Africa 23 Kenya 23 Netherlands 22
United States 22.9% United Kingdom 8.6% Canada 7.6% Germany 6.0% Spain 4.3% Australia 3.7% France 3.3% Italy 2.6% South Africa 2.5% Kenya 2.5% Netherlands 2.4% Belgium 2.4% Brazil 2.2% India 2.1% New Zealand 1.5% Romania 1.3% Chile 1.3% Argentina 1.2% Switzerland 1.1% Ireland 1.1% Poland 1.0% Denmark 1.0% Mexico 0.9% Uganda 0.8% Colombia 0.8% Singapore 0.7% Nigeria 0.7% Venezuela 0.5% Sweden 0.5% Portugal 0.5% Malaysia 0.5% Kosovo 0.5% Greece 0.5% Estonia 0.5% Japan 0.4% Hungary 0.4% Czech Republic 0.4% Austria 0.4% Vietnam 0.3% Slovenia 0.3% Philippines 0.3% Norway 0.3% Jamaica 0.3% Iran 0.3% Indonesia 0.3% Uruguay 0.2% United Arab Emirates 0.2% Turkey 0.2% Thailand 0.2% Rwanda 0.2% Russia 0.2% Georgia 0.2% Finland 0.2% Ecuador 0.2% Cote d'Ivoire 0.2% Costa Rica 0.2% China 0.2% Bulgaria 0.2% Bahrain 0.2% Zimbabwe 0.1% Zambia 0.1% Ukraine 0.1% Trinidad and Tobago 0.1% Taiwan 0.1% Suriname 0.1% Sri Lanka 0.1% Sierra Leone 0.1% Saudi Arabia 0.1% Peru 0.1% Nepal 0.1% Mozambique 0.1% Mauritius 0.1% Luxembourg 0.1% Latvia 0.1% Laos 0.1% Iceland 0.1% Ghana 0.1% El Salvador 0.1% Dominican Republic 0.1% Croatia 0.1% Cambodia 0.1% Bolivia 0.1% Barbados 0.1% Armenia 0.1% Anguilla 0.1% American Samoa 0.1%
United States 211 United Kingdom 79 Germany 55 Canada 70 Australia 34 Spain 40 France 30 Italy 24 South Africa 23 Kenya 23 Netherlands 22 Belgium 22 Brazil 20 India 19 New Zealand 14 Romania 12 Argentina 11 Chile 12 Switzerland 10 Ireland 10 Denmark 9 Poland 9 Uganda 7 Mexico 8 Singapore 6 Colombia 7 Venezuela 5 Nigeria 6 Portugal 5 Sweden 5 Malaysia 5 Kosovo 5 Estonia 5 Greece 5 Hungary 4 Japan 4 Czech Republic 4 Austria 4 Slovenia 3 Vietnam 3 Philippines 3 Norway 3 Jamaica 3 Iran 3 Indonesia 3 Uruguay 2 United Arab Emirates 2 Turkey 2 Thailand 2 Rwanda 2 Georgia 2 Russia 2 Ecuador 2 Finland 2 Cote d'Ivoire 2 Costa Rica 2 Bulgaria 2 China 2 Zimbabwe 1 Bahrain 2 Ukraine 1 Zambia 1 Trinidad and Tobago 1 Taiwan 1 Suriname 1 Sri Lanka 1 Sierra Leone 1 Saudi Arabia 1 Peru 1 Mozambique 1 Nepal 1 Luxembourg 1 Mauritius 1 Latvia 1 Laos 1 Iceland 1 Ghana 1 El Salvador 1 Dominican Republic 1 Cambodia 1 Croatia 1 Barbados 1 Bolivia 1 Armenia 1 Anguilla 1 American Samoa 1
Europe 40.2% Americas 39.7% Africa 7.5% Asia 7.2% Oceania 5.5%
Europe 359 Americas 355 Africa 67 Asia 64 Oceania 49
Northern America 31.4% Western Europe 16.1% Northern Europe 11.7% Southern Europe 8.7% Latin America and the Caribbean 8.3% Sub-Saharan Africa 7.5% Australia and New Zealand 5.4% Eastern Europe 3.6% Southern Asia 2.7% South-eastern Asia 2.6% Western Asia 1.1% Eastern Asia 0.8% Polynesia 0.1%
Northern America 281 Western Europe 144 Northern Europe 105 Southern Europe 78 Latin America and the Caribbean 74 Sub-Saharan Africa 67 Australia and New Zealand 48 Eastern Europe 32 Southern Asia 24 South-eastern Asia 23 Western Asia 10 Eastern Asia 7 Polynesia 1
California 14.3% Virginia 8.8% Texas 8.2% Maryland 5.5% North Carolina 4.9% Massachusetts 4.4% Florida 3.8% Colorado 3.8% Washington 3.3% New York 3.3% Minnesota 3.3% Arizona 3.3% Wisconsin 2.7% Oregon 2.7% Nebraska 2.7% Tennessee 2.2% Georgia 2.2% South Carolina 1.6% Pennsylvania 1.6% New Jersey 1.6% South Dakota 1.1% Ohio 1.1% Nevada 1.1% Louisiana 1.1% Kansas 1.1% Iowa 1.1% Alaska 1.1% Vermont 0.5% Rhode Island 0.5% New Mexico 0.5% New Hampshire 0.5% Montana 0.5% Mississippi 0.5% Michigan 0.5% Maine 0.5% Indiana 0.5% Illinois 0.5% Idaho 0.5% Hawaii 0.5% Connecticut 0.5% Arkansas 0.5%
California 26 Virginia 16 Texas 15 Maryland 10 North Carolina 9 Massachusetts 8 Florida 7 Colorado 7 Washington 6 New York 6 Minnesota 6 Arizona 6 Wisconsin 5 Oregon 5 Nebraska 5 Tennessee 4 Georgia 4 South Carolina 3 Pennsylvania 3 New Jersey 3 South Dakota 2 Ohio 2 Nevada 2 Louisiana 2 Kansas 2 Iowa 2 Alaska 2 Vermont 1 Rhode Island 1 New Mexico 1 New Hampshire 1 Montana 1 Mississippi 1 Michigan 1 Maine 1 Indiana 1 Illinois 1 Idaho 1 Hawaii 1 Connecticut 1 Arkansas 1
Where do you currently live?

race / ethnicity

% of responses# of responses
White / European descent 69.5% Hispanic / Latinx 9.4% Black / African descent 7.5% South Asian 3.1% East Asian 2.5% Southeast Asian 2.3% Middle Eastern 2.0% Indigenous / Native / First Nations 0.7% Pacific Islander 0.3% North African 0.2% Mixed ethnicity / Biracial / Multiracial 2.7% Prefer not to say 4.3% Other 1.4%
White / European descent 663 Hispanic / Latinx 90 Black / African descent 72 South Asian 30 East Asian 24 Southeast Asian 22 Middle Eastern 19 Indigenous / Native / First Nations 7 Pacific Islander 3 North African 2 Mixed ethnicity / Biracial / Multiracial 26 Prefer not to say 41 Other 13
Which of the following describes you, if any?

69.5% of participants responded that “white/European descent” best describes them. If we aggregate all the other responses, which also includes people who self-describe as of mixed, multiracial, biracial ethnicity, only 26.2% of respondents remain. With this data, we can see a clear underrepresentation of non-white, non-European folks in facilitation. 

Despite the obvious limitations of such breakdowns, we think it’s important to keep asking the facilitation community this question in order to capture some idea of the level of diversity and representation (or lack thereof!) in the profession. 

Languages

% of responses# of responses
English 85.8% Spanish 10.9% French 7.5% German 6.3% Italian 3.2% Portuguese (Brazil) 2.8% Dutch 2.5% Romanian 1.3% Polish 0.8% Danish 0.8% Catalan 0.8% Greek 0.7% Swahili 0.6% Russian 0.6% Japanese 0.6% Hindi 0.6% Albanian 0.6% Persian 0.5% Indonesian 0.5% Estonian 0.5% Thai 0.3% Slovenian 0.3% Serbian 0.3% Portuguese (Portugal) 0.3% Norwegian 0.3% Bulgarian 0.3% Basque 0.3% Arabic 0.3% Vietnamese 0.2% Tamil 0.2% Swedish 0.2% Georgian 0.2% Croatian 0.2% Chinese (Traditional) 0.2% Chinese (Simplified) 0.2% Bosnian 0.2% Armenian 0.2% Ukranian 0.1% Turkish 0.1% Telugu 0.1% Tagalog 0.1% Malayalam 0.1% Malay 0.1% Latvian 0.1% Korean 0.1% Hungarian 0.1% Czech 0.1%
English 748 Spanish 95 French 65 German 55 Italian 28 Portuguese (Brazil) 24 Dutch 22 Romanian 11 Polish 7 Danish 7 Catalan 7 Greek 6 Swahili 5 Russian 5 Japanese 5 Hindi 5 Albanian 5 Persian 4 Indonesian 4 Estonian 4 Thai 3 Slovenian 3 Serbian 3 Portuguese (Portugal) 3 Norwegian 3 Bulgarian 3 Basque 3 Arabic 3 Vietnamese 2 Tamil 2 Swedish 2 Georgian 2 Croatian 2 Chinese (Traditional) 2 Chinese (Simplified) 2 Bosnian 2 Armenian 2 Ukranian 1 Turkish 1 Telugu 1 Tagalog 1 Malayalam 1 Malay 1 Latvian 1 Korean 1 Hungarian 1 Czech 1
What language(s) did you use to facilitate in the past 12 months?

Respondents to the survey are overwhelmingly working in English, which appears to be the language of most, if not all, international events and work. Facilitation does happen in other languages, with 10.9% of respondents working in Spanish, 7.5% in French, and so on.

25.8% of entries noted that they work in more than one language (in most cases two, of which one was commonly English). 

Age

AllBy practice type
% of responses# of responses
Under 30 years old 3.8% 30-39 years old 18.8% 40-49 years old 32.3% 50-59 years old 28.1% 60 years or older 15.9% Prefer not to say 1.0%
Under 30 years old 37 30-39 years old 181 40-49 years old 311 50-59 years old 271 60 years or older 153 Prefer not to say 10
Beginner Intermediate Experienced Under 30 years old 3.8% 30-39 years old 18.8% 40-49 years old 32.3% 50-59 years old 28.1% 60 years or older 15.9% Prefer not to say 1.0%
Beginner Intermediate Experienced Under 30 years old 37 30-39 years old 181 40-49 years old 311 50-59 years old 271 60 years or older 153 Prefer not to say 10
What is your age?

Similar to last year’s edition, the data indicates a scarcity of facilitators under the age of 30 (3.8%) and of people who identify as beginners.

In response to last year’s findings, various organizations have been making extra efforts to include, involve, and train Gen-Z facilitators. 

Is it that people tend to come to facilitation later in their careers or that younger people are missing opportunities to join the profession? In any case, let’s continue to find ways to nurture and support the next generation of facilitators!

gender

% of responses# of responses
Woman 61.3% Man 36.2% Non-binary, genderqueer, 
or gender non-conforming 1.2% Prefer not to say 1.2%
Woman 589 Man 348 Non-binary, genderqueer, 
or gender non-conforming 12 Prefer not to say 12
Which of the following describe you, if any?

Last year’s finding about the prevalence of women in the facilitation world led to many lively discussions in the global community. Is facilitation socially understood as a caring profession and, therefore, gendered? What is “feminist facilitation”? 

Has the emergence of facilitation enabled more women to move into conventionally male-dominated spaces? How can we keep the space welcoming to all? While the data has not changed much from last year, we are sure such questions keep resonating. 

Expert InsIGhT

Are two thirds of Facilitators really of White/European descent? It seems unlikely and, in our experience, not at all the case. However, any survey represents those who responded to it. Participation in certain communities, such as SessionLab or the IAF, may influence the survey responses.

On a positive note, compared to the previous year’s report, there is an increase in the representation of countries from Africa, South East Asia, and the Middle East, indicating a broader geographical inclusion in the survey findings.

It is crucial to recognize the need to make efforts to include colleagues from more diverse backgrounds and regions, and for communities to connect with one another more. Sharing across diverse backgrounds can be extremely enriching for all those involved and we urge everyone in the facilitation community to keep working in this direction. 

Regarding gender representation, the report suggests that there may be a higher number of women facilitators.  It highlights the ongoing discussions within the global community about the perception of facilitation as a “caring” profession and explores concepts like “feminist facilitation” and the potential for facilitation to create opportunities for women in traditionally male-dominated spaces.

Continued exploration of gender diversity within the field is also necessary. At the same time, it is important to approach this finding with caution, as the difference in numbers could be influenced by factors such as survey participation rates among male facilitators.

While the report mentions that English remains the dominant language of facilitation, it also recognizes the presence of multilingual facilitators. Approximately 11% of respondents worked in Spanish, and 7.5% worked in French, indicating the utilization of different languages in facilitation. 

In our experience, we’ve also seen facilitators using two or more languages at a time. For example, in East Africa, you frequently find facilitators using a mix of local languages, Kiswahili and English in their workshops.

Similar to the previous year’s findings, there is a scarcity of young and beginner facilitators. This might reflect a lower response rate from younger facilitators or a perception that their facilitation work is not considered as such or taken seriously at a younger age. 

This underscores the importance of making efforts to involve and train younger facilitators, recognizing their potential and nurturing the next generation of facilitators.

In conclusion, the document acknowledges the significance of inclusion, diversity, and representation within the facilitation community. It emphasizes the fact that as a global community, we need to expand outreach efforts, include colleagues from various backgrounds worldwide, and create an inclusive and supportive environment for facilitators.

John Kingsley Cornwell

Member of IAF Social Inclusion Special Interest Group and Freelance Facilitator, based in Mombasa, Kenya

Irene Maweu

Irene Maweu, Facilitator, IAF Member and founder of the "The Heart of African Facilitation", based in Malindi, Kenya

We need to create an inclusive and supportive environment for facilitators.

John Kingsley Cornwell and Irene Maweu

disabilities

% of responses# of responses
None 78.3% Neurodiversity 9.0% Chronic health condition(s) 6.5% Prefer not to say 4.4% Sensory impairment 2.0% Physical disability 1.8% Other 1.5% Learning or developmental disability 1.4%
None 715 Neurodiversity 82 Chronic health condition(s) 59 Prefer not to say 40 Sensory impairment 18 Physical disability 16 Other 14 Learning or developmental disability 13
Do you identify as having any of the following disabilities or chronic conditions?

In the past year we have noticed a growing interest around the topic of disability and facilitation. We’ve seen many conversations on social media or in communities about how to best include people with a disability in facilitated sessions. This may be a reflection of a wider societal discussion around inclusion, though it might also be attributed to the pandemic years of almost exclusively remote facilitation. 

Working remotely can have a positive effect on inclusion. More accessible online events, updated job designs and closed caption technology to help participants with hearing loss follow an online conversation are some examples of this. 

As far as we know, nobody had previously asked how many facilitators identify as having a disability themselves. About 20% of respondents identified as having a disability. Are our gatherings, communities and events designed to include them? 

We hope this increased visibility encourages the community to continue opening conversations about the experiences of facilitators and participants with disabilities. If we can better surface the needs of disabled folks and ask for their advice as a community, we can create a more inclusive and accessible space for all.

Expert InsIGhT

With approximately one in five people in the world having a disability, it is not surprising that about 20% of survey respondents identified as having one as well, mainly neurodiversity (9%) and chronic health conditions (7%). Neurodivergent people, for example, bring their creative, out-of-the-box thinking to their work, as well as a keen eye for detail and recognising patterns in group dynamics. Those are all very useful skills in facilitation. 

Facilitators have a unique opportunity to create truly inclusive spaces and benefit from the diversity of the group. They can do so by building empathy with the access challenges that their participants might face, planning for accessibility in the earliest development stages, and removing obstacles to participation whenever possible.

Marie Dubost

Facilitator, trainer and accessibility geek. She builds solutions that give team leaders the confidence and the tools to design inclusive and accessible collaboration processes.

Facilitators have a unique opportunity to create truly inclusive spaces and benefit from the diversity of the group.

Marie Dubost

Looking at the Spanish-speaking world

In this second edition of the State of Facilitation survey, we added the possibility of responding directly in Spanish, which 7.5% of respondents chose to do.

This coincides with Spanish being the fourth most spoken language in the world with around 7-9 % of the world population speaking it. 

The Spanish-speaking countries represented by the respondents in the survey are: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Peru, Spain, Uruguay and Venezuela. 

While responses provided in Spanish did not greatly differ from the rest of the world, we did notice numerous references to IIFACE, a professional organization that provides training and accreditation in Spanish, and the popularity of the Latin American Association of Facilitators ALFA (Asociación Latinoamericana de Facilitadores).

Expert InsIGhT

More than 6000 languages are spoken around the world, most of them are in quite a difficult state to endure into the future. Around 43% of the world population speaks more than one language to a certain degree (English is the most common second language). All of this demonstrates that there is a dire need to make facilitation available to a larger part of the world where these skills are not yet widespread. There is still a lot to be done.

Facilitating in your native tongue is quite a different experience from facilitating in a second language. It changes your perception of others, the way you communicate, the way you understand, it can change even the way you provide instructions to simple exercises. If you are up to the challenge, get a colleague that can support you in this endeavor of facilitating in a language other than your own, you may experience an expansion of your own borders.

Héctor Villarreal Lozoya

Facilitator and trainer working throughout Latin America. Co-author of The Power of Facilitation, founder of Proyectum and FacilitacionVirtual.com

There is a dire need to make facilitation available to a larger part of the world where these skills are not yet widespread.

Héctor Villarreal Lozoya

Education and experience

What backgrounds do facilitators have?

How does one become a facilitator? 

Data shows that facilitation is learned on the job, picked up informally, and strikingly often is not a certified or accredited skill for those who work with it.

Read on to find out more about what this means for individuals wanting to learn facilitation, for potential clients, and for the profession as a whole.

Pathways to learning

% of responses# of responses
Learning by doing 69.9% Attending other facilitators’ workshops and events 40.8% In-person courses 38.8% Shadowing an expert 24.6% Books and other resources 23.4% Coaching or mentoring 21.7% Active membership in a community of practice 21.5% Events and conferences 14.3% Online courses 12.0% From the process of getting accreditation 11.7% Other 2.7%
Learning by doing 679 Attending other facilitators’ workshops and events 397 In-person courses 377 Shadowing an expert 239 Books and other resources 227 Coaching or mentoring 211 Active membership in a community of practice 209 Events and conferences 139 Online courses 117 From the process of getting accreditation 114 Other 26
How did you learn to facilitate? Pick up to three pathways that had the most impact on your facilitation development.

According to respondents to this survey, learning-by-doing is the main path for picking up facilitation skills. 

Courses and training (in-person) are the main source of learning for only 14% of respondents. Less than those who reported being participants in other facilitators’ events and workshops as the best place to learn facilitation skills. 

24.6% of facilitators learnt by shadowing a more experienced colleague, which is interesting to note as this is how a craft is traditionally picked up. 

For some people, facilitation is a profession. For others, it’s seen as an art or a skillset. Based on the above, perhaps the word craft is in fact more accurate to describe it. 

Formal education

% of responses# of responses
Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s
 or Professional degree 81.5% Some college/university study
without earning a degree 8.4% Doctoral degree (Ph.D., Ed.D., etc.) 7.5% Secondary school 1.9% Primary/elementary school 0.4% Other 0.3%
Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s
or Professional degree 791 Some college/university study
without earning a degree 82 Doctoral degree (Ph.D., Ed.D., etc.) 73 Secondary school 18 Primary/elementary school 4 Other 3
Which of the following best describes the highest level of formal education that you have completed?

It is not surprising to see that as a service profession with a complex set of skills, facilitation is mostly practiced by people who have completed advanced education degrees.

It is worthy to note that there are few opportunities to study facilitation at a degree level. The data appears to show that highly skilled, educated people become facilitators after first working in another capacity or profession. 

Training and accreditation

In the last 12 monthsMore than 12 months ago
% of responses# of responses
None 84.6% Liberating Structures Training 6.0% Workshopper by AJ&Smart Certification 3.3% LEGO Serious Play Certification 2.6% ICA ToP Facilitator Certification 2.6% IAF Endorsed Facilitator Accreditation 1.8% Art of Hosting Certification 1.8% Voltage Control Certified Facilitator or Master Facilitator 1.6% IAF Certified Professional Facilitator 1.4% INIFAC Certified Facilitator Accreditation 0.7%
None 483 Liberating Structures Training 34 Workshopper by AJ&Smart Certification 19 LEGO Serious Play Certification 15 ICA ToP Facilitator Certification 15 IAF Endorsed Facilitator Accreditation 10 Art of Hosting Certification 10 Voltage Control Certified Facilitator or Master Facilitator 9 IAF Certified Professional Facilitator 8 INIFAC Certified Facilitator Accreditation 4
None 60.6% Liberating Structures Training 14.3% IAF Certified Professional Facilitator 9.0% ICA ToP Facilitator Certification 8.4% LEGO Serious Play Certification 7.3% Art of Hosting Certification 7.0% IAF Endorsed Facilitator Accreditation 3.9% Workshopper by AJ&Smart Certification 3.8% INIFAC Certified Facilitator Accreditation 1.7% Voltage Control Certified Facilitator or Master Facilitator 0.7%
None 433 Liberating Structures Training 102 IAF Certified Professional Facilitator (in... 64 ICA ToP Facilitator Certification 60 LEGO Serious Play Certification 52 Art of Hosting Certification 50 IAF Endorsed Facilitator Accreditation 28 Workshopper by AJ&Smart Certification 27 INIFAC Certified Facilitator Accreditation 12 Voltage Control Certified Facilitator or Master Facilitator 5
What accreditation or training certificates did you acquire related to facilitation?

It is sobering to see such high percentages of people who do not have any accreditation or training certificates related to facilitation in their background. “None” is the most common answer by far. 

There is also little awareness among facilitators of the difference between accreditation and certification. Accreditation is a process (think tests and interviews) attesting that the holder has achieved a certain level of proficiency. A certification is usually intended as proof that the holder has taken a course or training program, which may or may not include an element of practice.

Besides learning on the job, facilitators take many short training courses in specific tools or methodologies, but far less frequently do they invest in accreditation programs such as the IAF’s Certified Professional Facilitator, or take courses that cover facilitation skills as a whole.

Are these programs not well-known enough? Do people not see the value in them? If we look at the state of things from a client’s point of view, it’s quite confusing to have a professional milieu with no clear way of telling who is qualified to do the job and who is not. As one participant in the survey commented, certification as a requirement is a possible road for facilitation to grow as a profession. Could the lack of a clear learning pathway also account for the low number of young people in the profession?

We hope these considerations will spark a lively debate in the facilitation community about the value of training, certification, and accreditation, both in terms of professional development and of recognition of the profession. 

Meeting facilitation is a required part of many roles in my agency. Training is often on the logistics, and technology. It is rarely on the human element of facilitating.

In order for the field of facilitation to grow and move out of the lower paying arena - it must be recognized as a bonafide profession - certification as a requirement is a key way to do that.

Facilitation experience

% of responses# of responses
Experienced Facilitated a wide range of scenarios, experienced in handling complex group dynamics, large group workshops, etc. 63.8% Intermediate Confident in facilitating in determined formats, knowledgeable in basics of process design, group dynamics, etc. 30.2% Beginner I've facilitated or co-facilitated a few workshops, events, and/or meetings 6.0%
Experienced Facilitated a wide range of scenarios, experienced in handling complex group dynamics, large group workshops, etc. 616 Intermediate Confident in facilitating in determined formats, knowledgeable in basics of process design, group dynamics, etc. 291 Beginner I've facilitated or co-facilitated a few workshops, events, and/or meetings 58
Which of the following best describes your facilitation experience?

years of experience with facilitation

% of responses# of responses
0 to 5 12.6% 5 to 10 24.9% 10 to 15 18.4% 15 to 20 14.4% 20 to 25 11.2% 25 to 30 8.0% 30 to 35 6.7% 35 to 40 1.7% 40 to 45 1.7% 45 to 50 50 to 55 0.1% 55 to 60 60 to 65 0.1%
0 to 5 118 5 to 10 233 10 to 15 172 15 to 20 135 20 to 25 105 25 to 30 75 30 to 35 63 35 to 40 16 40 to 45 16 45 to 50 50 to 55 1 55 to 60 60 to 65 1
For how many years have you been facilitating?

Expert INSIGHTS

I have always found it fascinating that the world of facilitation and training does not require a level of demonstrated learning, certification, or supervision, unlike coaching.

Could it be because clients do not seek a certificate when they assess who they work with? In my experience clients are wanting demonstrated experience and knowledge. 

There are many of us supplying training for facilitators and trainers. It’s not all certified, and I question if the certification is 100% required as we all know a certificate does not make a good trainer! 

But how to get started or know if you are developing the right skills?

In my opinion a great facilitator and trainer has a blend of the following:

  • curious and flexible mindset, 
  • an ability to dance with uncertainty, 
  • listening to what is and isn’t said,
  • open questions that are meaningful to the situation at hand,
  • awareness of where to find relevant exercises and activities,
  • the ability to adapt said exercises to meet the need of the group.
  • practise, practise, more practise and purposeful feedback!

If you are considering facilitation and training as a line of work and in the corporate world here are four steps you could take

  1. Collect facilitation and training experiences in your place of work and ask for feedback.
  2. Join a community of facilitators outside your workspace (find a great list at the bottom of this report!)
  3. Find someone in your organisation who facilitates/trains well.  Shadow their workshops, watch what they do, the language they use, the tools and exercises they deploy.
  4. Put yourself into stretching situations as a co-facilitator.

Kirsty Lewis

Founder of School of facilitation Facilitator, Trainer of Trainers, Coach to freelance Facilitators and Trainers, Host of A Facilitator’s Journey podcast

A great facilitator has an ability to dance with uncertainty.

Kirsty Lewis

Expert INSIGHTS

It’s true that nowadays certification can be recognised by some companies as proof of skills, but is it really? Is certification enough to be a good facilitator?

It clearly depends on what is needed to obtain it. Because to me, practice is key!

There are many great facilitators out there who can’t afford to obtain a certification, but who have learned so much on their own journey, that they use in their facilitation work and make them unique.

What is your background? This is always the first question I ask the facilitators I meet or my guests on the podcast: they all have such rich and different backgrounds and I can name on the fingers of one hand those who have put forward a certification.

Wouldn’t it be better, rather than a certificate, to teach facilitation methods from an early age, at school or university or even during holiday camps, so that this soft skill becomes a strong skill and enables them to lead discussions, make decisions and, in the future, help teams work better together. 

These young people are naturally and implicitly trained in communication technologies, and will learn to use AI as it always existed. 

Shouldn’t they be learning how to work together? How to include everyone in a discussion, how to accelerate collective intelligence, how to be in synergy using individual superpowers.

This is what facilitation is about. And this would create a better world!

I sincerely believe that these techniques and methods should be part of their curriculum, whatever direction they take later on.

Nathy Ravez

Founder of La Workshoppeuse, Workshop facilitator, Mentor for Freelance Facilitators and Host of the Podcast There’s a Workshop for That!

Wouldn't it be better, rather than a certificate, to teach facilitation methods from an early age?

Nathy Ravez

Profession and employment

Who do facilitators work for?

What do facilitators’ careers look like? In this section we’ve asked practitioners to tell us more about their work. 

Based on responses from last year, we’ve asked practitioners to specify whether they work mainly as freelancers, as part of an agency selling facilitation services, or in-house within a company with a different mission. 

Any such breakdown is bound to be imperfect (and, as we will see below, facilitators switch roles frequently in their careers) but it enables us to look more deeply at topics that are specific to each cohort. 

practice type

AllBy experience
% of responses# of responses
I facilitate as an individual (e.g. freelancer, sole proprietor) 42.1% I facilitate for clients as part of an agency/consultancy offering services related to facilitation 28.4% I facilitate in-house, within a larger company/organization 27.1% Other 2.5%
I facilitate as an individual (e.g. freelancer, sole proprietor) 410 I facilitate for clients as part of an agency/consultancy offering services related to facilitation 277 I facilitate in-house, within a larger company/organization 264 Other 24
Beginner Intermediate Experienced I facilitate as an individual (e.g. freelancer, sole proprietor) 41.6% I facilitate for clients as part of an agency/consultancy offering services related to facilitation 28.2% I facilitate in-house, within a larger company/organization 26.9% Other 2.3%
Beginner Intermediate Experienced I facilitate as an individual (e.g. freelancer, sole proprietor) 406 I facilitate for clients as part of an agency/consultancy offering services related to facilitation 275 I facilitate in-house, within a larger company/organization 262 Other 22
Which of these statements best describes your practice?

Most (42.1%) respondents stated they mainly facilitate as individuals, e.g. as freelancers or consultants. 28.4% work as part of an agency, while 27.1% work in-house, facilitating within a company whose core business is something other than facilitation. 

This might be the case, for example, of managers or team leaders who apply facilitation skills to their work, or it might be someone hired specifically to run workshops inside a certain company. 

Practitioners of facilitation who work in-house are the group more likely to identify as beginners, presumably because they are adding facilitation tools and skills to other job descriptions.

Employment

% of responses# of responses
Employed, full-time 41.6% Independent contractor, freelancer, or sel... 40.2% Other 11.4% Employed, part-time 3.8% Retired 0.8% Not employed, but looking for work 0.8% Volunteer, part-time 0.3% Volunteer, full-time 0.3% Student, full-time 0.2% Not employed, and not looking for work 0.2% Student, part-time 0.1% I prefer not to say 0.1%
Employed, full-time 404 Independent contractor, freelancer, or sel... 390 Other 111 Employed, part-time 37 Retired 8 Not employed, but looking for work 8 Volunteer, part-time 3 Volunteer, full-time 3 Student, full-time 2 Not employed, and not looking for work 2 Student, part-time 1 I prefer not to say 1
Which of the following best describes your current employment status?

Role

AllBy practice type
% of responses# of responses
Facilitator 51.3% Consultant 42.0% CEO/founder/business owner 26.0% Trainer 25.5% Coach 22.7% Learning & Development professional 19.9% Teacher/Educator/Lecturer 11.7% Designer 9.1% Manager 8.9% Agile practitioner 8.9% Community worker 5.4% Mediator/Conflict Resolution specialist 3.6% HR professional 3.6% Engineer 2.1% Marketer 1.4% Health care specialist 1.3% Other 7.2%
Facilitator 485 Consultant 397 CEO/founder/business owner 246 Trainer 241 Coach 215 Learning & Development professional 188 Teacher/Educator/Lecturer 111 Designer 86 Manager 84 Agile practitioner 84 Community worker 51 Mediator/Conflict Resolution specialist 34 HR professional 34 Engineer 20 Marketer 13 Health care specialist 12 Other 68
I facilitate as an individual (e.g. freelancer, sole proprietor) I facilitate for clients as part of an agency/consultancy offering services related to facilitation I facilitate in-house, within a larger company/organization Facilitator 51.3% Consultant 42.0% CEO/founder/business owner 26.0% Trainer 25.5% Coach 22.7% Learning & Development professional 19.9% Teacher/Educator/Lecturer 11.7% Designer 9.1% Manager 8.9% Agile practitioner 8.9% Community worker 5.4% HR professional 3.6% Mediator/Conflict Resolution specialist 3.6% Engineer 2.1% Marketer 1.4% Health care specialist 1.3% Other 7.2%
I facilitate as an individual (e.g. freelancer, sole proprietor) I facilitate for clients as part of an agency/consultancy offering services related to facilitation I facilitate in-house, within a larger company/organization Facilitator 485 Consultant 397 CEO/founder/business owner 246 Trainer 241 Coach 215 Learning & Development professional 188 Teacher/Educator/Lecturer 111 Designer 86 Manager 84 Agile practitioner 84 Community worker 51 HR professional 34 Mediator/Conflict Resolution specialist 34 Engineer 20 Marketer 13 Health care specialist 12 Other 68
Which of the following describes your current role?

The question is multiple-answer as this reflects the fact that facilitators will often use different role titles depending on what kind of task they are taking on.

We added entries this year based on aggregating the “Other” responses from last year. One title that emerged from that analysis is that of CEO/founder/business owner (26%). Checking the breakdown by experience points to the fact that these are in many cases of experienced facilitators who have founded their own consultancy business/agency. 

The most frequently mentioned titles for in-house roles that include facilitation skill sets are Learning and Development professional (19.9%), Agile Practitioner (8.8%), and HR professional (3.6%). 

Seeing these stats points to facilitation being an important skillset for any organization seeking to build a culture of learning, create innovation and develop their people. 

8.9% of facilitators are also managers. We expect this already significant number to keep growing as facilitation becomes increasingly recognized as a necessary skill to manage teams in the new world of work. 

company size

% of responses# of responses
Just me 8.8% 2 to 9 employees 24.1% 10 to 49 employees 17.2% 50 to 249 employees 9.2% 250 to 999 employees 9.4% 1,000 to 4,999 employees 11.7% 5,000 or more employees 18.7% I don’t know 1.0%
Just me 46 2 to 9 employees 126 10 to 49 employees 90 50 to 249 employees 48 250 to 999 employees 49 1,000 to 4,999 employees 61 5,000 or more employees 98 I don’t know 5
Approximately how many people are employed by your company or organization?

facilitators in company

% of responses# of responses
Just me 12.2% 2 to 9 employees 47.0% 10 to 19 employees 14.1% 20 to 99 employees 11.1% 100 or more employees 7.8% I don’t know 7.6%
Just me 64 2 to 9 employees 246 10 to 19 employees 74 20 to 99 employees 58 100 or more employees 41 I don’t know 40
Approximately how many people facilitate workshops at your company or organization?

Expert INSIGHTS

Like last year’s State of Facilitation report, most respondents are individual facilitators or working for outside agencies, both being hired by their clients. This makes sense given the cost of permanent in-house facilitators. The changing needs of businesses and their employees often require specialization for a short time. 

Compared to last year’s report, more respondents this year said they work for organizations of 5,000 or more people. This could indicate large companies are increasingly adopting facilitation practices to keep up with competition and rapidly changing logistics.

I’m surprised to see so few beginners represented in the results. This could be due to beginners having less familiarity with resources and organizations like SessionLab; however, I would imagine the post-pandemic world with return-to-the-office and hybrid arrangements would bring more beginners. 

Two examples I can think of are managers who have now become responsible for guiding their staff through new policies and procedures, and fast adapters becoming facilitators to help others catch up.

The titles “facilitator” and “consultant” are more popular than “trainer.” In the past few years, I’ve heard L&D professionals discourage using the term “trainer” since it conjures up ideas of repeating specific steps and specific scripts for groups of people instead of getting groups to participate and answer their questions. 

In other words, “facilitating” is helping people find their way forward, and “training” is telling people the way forward. Both are vital in business and the specific term likely comes down to what’s being done (facilitating new marketing ideas vs. training staff to new software).

 

Robert Kienzle

Senior Consultant for Knowmium in Hong Kong. Facilitator, coach and author of the Hybrid Live Guide.

Large companies are increasingly adopting facilitation practices.

Robert Kienzle

Focus on

Freelancers & agencies

In this section we zoom in on the careers of people selling facilitation services to others, whether as freelancers or as part of an agency.

If you are reading this report in search of information and inspiration to launch your own facilitation practice, take notice: facilitation is (still) a sector characterized by a high degree of informality. 

Networking (57%), word-of-mouth (55.9%) and being referred by a colleague (50.7%) are the most relevant ways of getting new clients. Interacting with colleagues and participating actively in local and/or online communities are absolutely key to starting and maintaining a career in facilitation. 

Sources of work

% of responses# of responses
Repeat clients 64.3% Networking 57.0% Word-of-mouth 55.9% Referral from a colleague 50.7% Responding to calls for proposals 34.4% Requests from within the company/organization 27.1% Content marketing / Advertising 9.4% Other 3.7%
Repeat clients 450 Networking 399 Word-of-mouth 391 Referral from a colleague 355 Responding to calls for proposals 241 Requests from within the company/organization 190 Content marketing / Advertising 66 Other 26
What were your sources of work in the last 12 months?

Facilitation is a trust-based business. Beyond the large amount of work coming from networks and referrals, 64.3% of external work comes from repeat clients. This not only indicates the value of ongoing relationships, but also a high sense of satisfaction in the work delivered.

While finding new clients implies a lot of work to build trust, develop relationships and negotiate agreements, it looks like a worthwhile investment in most cases.

The current state of facilitation for freelancers and agencies is that of a trust and relationship-based profession, where it is of utmost importance to invest time in building and maintaining connections.

On the positive side, this means that facilitators who build their reputation and take part in communities can see a return on that investment. On the potentially negative side, a system based on existing relationships can prove difficult to access for beginners. And how about clients trying to find the right facilitator for their needs without a network to lean on? 

Industries served

AllBy practice type
% of responses# of responses
Non-profit organizations / Non-Governmenta... 52.5% Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) 41.0% My own team 40.5% Other teams in my company or organization 38.7% Large Corporate Organizations 37.8% Government Agencies 33.6% Educational Institutions 29.8% Individuals 29.5% International Organizations 21.7% Startups 17.2% Other 3.6%
Non-profit organizations / Non-Governmenta... 509 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) 397 My own team 392 Other teams in my company or organization 375 Large Corporate Organizations 366 Government Agencies 326 Educational Institutions 289 Individuals 286 International Organizations 210 Startups 167 Other 35
I facilitate as an individual (e.g. freelancer, sole proprietor) I facilitate for clients as part of an agency/consultancy offering services related to facilitation I facilitate in-house, within a larger company/organization Non-profit organizations / Non-Governmenta... 52.5% Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) 41.0% My own team 40.5% Other teams in my company or organization 38.7% Large Corporate Organizations 37.8% Government Agencies 33.6% Educational Institutions 29.8% Individuals 29.5% International Organizations 21.7% Startups 17.2% Other 3.6%
I facilitate as an individual (e.g. freelancer, sole proprietor) I facilitate for clients as part of an agency/consultancy offering services related to facilitation I facilitate in-house, within a larger company/organization Non-profit organizations / Non-Governmenta... 509 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) 397 My own team 392 Other teams in my company or organization 375 Large Corporate Organizations 366 Government Agencies 326 Educational Institutions 289 Individuals 286 International Organizations 210 Startups 167 Other 35
Who have you provided facilitation services to in the last 12 months?

A breakdown of the type of sector and industry served by respondents returns the image of a flexible skillset that can be, and is, applied practically everywhere, from SMEs (41%) to International organizations (21.7%). Most respondents indicated the non-profit sector as the area in which they provided facilitation services in 2023 (52.6%). 

This may be because of an overlap of interests: distributed power and stakeholder engagement practices are at the heart of much facilitation work. It may also indicate that those working in non-profits are more keen to give back to the global community, including by responding to a survey!

Pricing

By roleBy countryBy regionBy sub-region
% of responses# of responses
Number of responses 0 100 200 300 Marketer 4,000 CEO/founder/business owner 2,500 Other 2,325 Designer 2,000 Consultant 2,000 Coach 2,000 Mediator/Conflict Resolution specialist 1,860 Facilitator 1,860 Learning & Development professional 1,637 Health care specialist 1,500 HR professional 1,500 Trainer 1,395 Agile practitioner 1,302 Manager 1,209 Teacher/Educator/Lecturer 1,000 Engineer 1,000 Community worker 600
Number of responses 0 100 200 300 Marketer 4,000 CEO/founder/business owner 2,500 Other 2,325 Designer 2,000 Consultant 2,000 Coach 2,000 Mediator/Conflict Resolution specialist 1,860 Facilitator 1,860 Learning & Development professional 1,637 Health care specialist 1,500 HR professional 1,500 Trainer 1,395 Agile practitioner 1,302 Manager 1,209 Teacher/Educator/Lecturer 1,000 Engineer 1,000 Community worker 600
Number of responses 0 100 200 300 United States 4,000 Canada 3,000 Australia 2,600 Belgium 2,402.19 Germany 2,325 United Kingdom 1,860 France 1,860 South Africa 1,395 Italy 930 Spain 906.75 Kenya 300
Number of responses 0 100 200 300 United States 4,000 Canada 3,000 Australia 2,600 Belgium 2,402.19 Germany 2,325 United Kingdom 1,860 France 1,860 South Africa 1,395 Italy 930 Spain 906.75 Kenya 300
Number of responses 0 100 200 300 Americas 3,000 Oceania 2,500 Europe 1,674 Asia 1,000 Africa 525
Number of responses 0 100 200 300 Americas 3,000 Oceania 2,500 Europe 1,674 Asia 1,000 Africa 525
Number of responses 0 100 200 300 Northern America 3,750 Australia and New Zealand 2,500 Western Europe 2,325 Eastern Asia 2,000 Northern Europe 1,925 South-eastern Asia 1,140 Eastern Europe 1,116 Western Asia 1,000 Latin America and the Caribbean 1,000 Southern Europe 930 Southern Asia 600 Sub-Saharan Africa 525
Number of responses 0 100 200 300 Northern America 3,750 Australia and New Zealand 2,500 Western Europe 2,325 Eastern Asia 2,000 Northern Europe 1,925 South-eastern Asia 1,140 Eastern Europe 1,116 Western Asia 1,000 Latin America and the Caribbean 1,000 Southern Europe 930 Southern Asia 600 Sub-Saharan Africa 525
What would be your average fee (including preparation and follow-up) for facilitating an in-person one-day (8h) workshop with 15 participants?

Income range

% of responses# of responses
0-$4,999 14.3% $5,000-$9,999 6.8% $10,000-$29,999 19.3% $30,000-$49,999 13.0% $50,000-$69,999 12.0% $70,000-$89,999 9.0% Over $90,000 25.6%
0-$4,999 57 $5,000-$9,999 27 $10,000-$29,999 77 $30,000-$49,999 52 $50,000-$69,999 48 $70,000-$89,999 36 Over $90,000 102
In what range is your annual income from facilitation?

Expert INSIGHTS

When I chat with fellow facilitators about their primary source for acquiring business, the most frequent answer is referrals, word of mouth, or existing relationships, which is reflected in the data. However, many of us spend a disproportionate amount of time trying to attract new, shiny leads through social media (which, let’s face it, can be a huge distraction!).

The evidence is clear: We work in a relationship-driven industry. To increase the number of workshops you conduct in 2024, start leveraging your relationships, asking for referrals, and prioritizing conversations over content creation. 

Because word of mouth is a big driver of future bookings, it does pay to invest in creating rave-worthy, results-driven workshop experiences, where your participants turn into workshop evangelists for your work, meaning you can spend less time in business development, and more time doing the work that you love.

Income is multifaceted and heavily influenced by your client’s location/currency, the industries you cater to, and your economic buyers (and their position in the organizational hierarchy). For instance, it’s quite common for Executive Strategy workshops to command higher fees compared to IT system training for frontline leaders.

The key differentiator in earning potential lies in the perceived value of your work, and the power of your brand. If your service is commoditized, like delivering training or workshops using pre-existing methodologies, it’s treated as a commodity, and most likely, you charge a day rate. 

However, if you develop intellectual property, processes, and services, and create a powerful brand, you can demand higher, value-based fees.

I think many facilitators limit their potential by solely focusing on workshops. To boost your income, consider expanding your business model to encompass advisory services, coaching, or project work. While we wish our workshops had an immediate impact, often it’s necessary to offer wraparound services, to help sustain change and client results.

Leanne Hughes

Author of The 2-Hour Workshop Blueprint: Design Fast. Deliver Strong. Without Stress; host of the First Time Facilitator podcast and of an on-demand program called Booked Out Facilitator, where she helps you book out five more workshops, for every workshop you deliver.

We work in a relationship-driven industry.

Leanne Hughes

Facilitation practice

What was it like to facilitate in 2023?

In this section we will look deeper into the daily lives of facilitators and what their work was like during the year. What were facilitated sessions and workshops like in 2023? Did they take place remotely or in person? What kinds of topics were most requested, and what does that tell us about the profession as a whole? 

Direct quotes come from responses to the question:
“How has your facilitation practice changed over the past 12 months?”

session length

20232022
% of responses# of responses
Not at all Few times a year At least monthly At least weekly Less than 1h long sessions 20.0% 19.5% 25.2% 35.3% 1-2h long sessions 39.6% 21.4% 33.8% 5.2% Half a day sessions 35.5% 6.6% 51.3% 6.6% Full day sessions 28.0% 6.3% 51.2% 14.6% More than 1 day long sessions 17.9% 2.0% 51.2% 28.9%
Not at all Few times a year At least monthly At least weekly Less than 1h long sessions 159 155 200 280 1-2h long sessions 345 187 295 45 Half a day sessions 306 57 442 57 Full day sessions 246 55 450 128 More than 1 day long sessions 152 17 434 245
Not at all Few times a year At least monthly At least weekly Less than 1h long sessions 27.3% 32.8% 19.5% 20.4% 1-2h long sessions 42.2% 28.9% 24.5% 4.4% Half a day sessions 36.7% 11.5% 46.3% 5.5% Full day sessions 27.9% 6.5% 51.7% 14.0% More than 1 day long sessions 16.8% 2.7% 54.7% 25.8%
Not at all Few times a year At least monthly At least weekly Less than 1h long sessions 237 284 169 177 1-2h long sessions 408 279 237 43 Half a day sessions 355 111 448 53 Full day sessions 268 62 496 134 More than 1 day long sessions 155 25 503 237
How often have you facilitated the following sessions in the past 12 months?

One of the inheritances of the global pandemic has been the spread of shorter interventions. The circa 2 hours session is now the most common session length, whether online or in-person. 

Facilitators in 2024 must know how to get to the point quickly and deliver value in the arch of a short, sometimes bite-sized, session, as well as how and when to argue for longer interventions.

More pressure to get straight to the point.

I have noticed that people seem to want everything in an hour or less if possible.

Face-to-face practice has become more succinct - more content is covered online in advance, face-to-face is for sharing, discussion and roleplay/practising.

Generally a trend towards shorter interventions.

We no longer run virtual sessions of over 3 hours.

All virtual and usually no more than 2 hours.

session type

20232022
% of responses# of responses
Not at all Few times a year At least monthly At least weekly Remote 31.7% 28.9% 33.7% 5.6% In person 36.7% 12.5% 46.5% 4.3% Hybrid 15.1% 4.3% 50.4% 30.2%
Not at all Few times a year At least monthly At least weekly Remote 283 258 301 50 In person 343 117 434 40 Hybrid 127 36 423 254
Not at all Few times a year At least monthly At least weekly Remote 57.8% 3.8% 38.4% In-person 29.5% 8.1% 62.4% Hybrid 7.4% 32.4% 60.3%
Not at all Few times a year At least monthly At least weekly Remote 606 40 402 In-person 312 86 661 Hybrid 69 303 564
What types of sessions have you delivered over the past 12 months?

Almost all respondents have run sessions in-person and remotely this year. As is to be expected, in-person sessions are less frequent: 46.5% of respondents have shared the same space with their participants a few times of year, while 28.9% have facilitated remote sessions at least weekly. 

While people are coming back in person, the trend of more online sessions is growing as well. During the Covid-19 pandemic remote became a necessity. Now, working together remotely is a choice for an alternative form of meeting. When is remote most appropriate, and when not? What is the true value of remote facilitation and where is the true value of meeting in person?

Hybrid sessions, with people joining both remotely and in person at the same time, have seen a small increase. Hybrids were very much an experiment in 2022, while in 2023 a consensus has emerged that hybrid meetings can be productive, but they require an investment in extra resources, staff, and dedicated technology. 

In their comments, facilitators have remarked that securing these extra resources is challenging, but also that some companies have made a successful investment in hybrid meetings. Clients with distributed workforces, take heed!

 

I'm pushing back hard against 'casual' hybrid (not thought through, under-resourced).

Our organization has reopened our offices and some of them have undergone significant renovations. The technology available in our buildings has been upgraded and this has enabled me to facilitate on-site in hybrid, in-person and virtual formats.