Preparing for a Program: FAQ

Here is some information that clients have requested in the past regarding their programs. Have a question that’s not covered here? Email us or tweet your question @arielgroup – we’ll answer, and may include your question here for others!


During Program




What steps should I take to make sure we secure a date for a program?

Once you have decided that you would like to hold an Ariel program, you will partner with your Client Success contact to secure a date that works best for you. We will send you a contract, and once we have a signed agreement, we will move forward with the detailed implementation planning for a successful program.


What hours should I block off on participants’ calendars?

For an ideal experience, participants should be present for the whole training.

Standard hours for our two-day presence programs:
Day 1: 8:30 am–5:30 pm
Day 2: 8:30 am–5:00 pm

Standard hours for our writing programs with in-person coaching:
Day 1 (group day): 9:00 am–5:00 pm
Day 2 (coaching day): Each participant will meet with facilitator for 25 minutes sometime from 9:00 am–5:00 pm

Standard hours for our two-day sales programs:
Day 1: 8:30 am–5:30 pm
Day 2: 8:30 am–4:00 pm

If you need to adjust these hours, please let your Client Success Manager know and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.

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Where do Ariel’s in-person programs take place?

Our facilitator travels to you for the program delivery. Programs may take place in your office’s available conference space, or you may choose to rent a nearby meeting space. Our clients have found success with both options. In order to accommodate the design of the course, typical conference-style rooms will not work. Ariel Client Success Managers can help you choose the best space so that your participants have the ideal experience.


What type of physical space should I reserve?

Presence/sales programs
Our presence programs are highly experiential and require space for movement, sitting, standing, and small group conversations. Given these requirements, we ask that there is at least 500 square feet available. Specifically, the space should include a circle of moveable chairs (one for each participant and one for the facilitator) in the middle of the room and a small side table for materials, and two flip-chart pads on easels. All other furniture should be removed from the room for the duration of the program.

Our presence programs use vocal exercises and can get loud. It is best to have a space that is as soundproof as possible and that is separated from people who may be working nearby. We want you to be aware so you can prepare anyone in your offices or the rented space that may need to know.

For more set-up specifics, please visit the presence program room diagram.

Writing programs
Writing programs must take place in rooms with an LCD projection setup. Participants should be seated at desks or tables arranged in a U-shape or clusters, with the facilitator and projector screen at the front. As with presence programs, a small side table for materials and two flip-chart pads on easels are also necessary.

For more set-up specifics, please visit the writing program room diagram.

If you have questions or concerns about the space you have as an option for your training, please work with your Ariel Client Success Manager to discuss the best alternatives.



When can the client expect to receive the materials?

We aim for materials to arrive one week before the workshop date. We do not ship materials until we receive a signed program contract, so this date may vary. If you have a special request about the shipment of your hard copy materials, please notify your CSM.


What other materials are needed during the program?

For every in-person program, our facilitator will need the flip-chart pads, masking tape, walls on which we can hang paper, and assorted colored markers. Writing programs should provide extra paper and pens for learners who may have forgotten them.

If you’re unsure about any of the details, please consult with your Ariel Client Success Manager.



How many people can I schedule to attend each program?

The number of participants varies from program to program. Small class sizes allow more individualized coaching time from your facilitator. Your Client Success contact will help you understand the ideal class size for each of the Ariel offerings.


How should participants prepare for the program?

Many of our programs have pre-work for participants to prepare so that they get the most out of the program experience. The pre-work varies from reflection activities and questionnaires to brief readings. Your Client Success Manager will be sure you have the pre-work file to distribute to the participants before the program. Ideally, participants will have at least two weeks to complete the pre-work.

Presence/sales programs
The participants do not need to submit the pre-work to anyone, but they can bring it with them to the course if they would like to refer back to it.

Writing programs
Learners receive a sign-up questionnaire that they should print, fill out, and bring to the workshop (or e-mail to the facilitator, if the program is virtual). If learners find that they write best on computers, we recommend that they bring laptops.

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What is the expectation on covering the cost of facilitator travel?

The cost of facilitator travel and expenses is added to the program cost in the final invoice. Ariel has standard travel guidelines as part of our contract for working together. When you are ready to start the contract process, we will share these with you to review.

Our terms are conservative: they keep our clients’ spending down and respect our traveling professional facilitator. We have found that the overwhelming majority of our clients accept our travel guidelines as written. If you would like to negotiate changes, we will accommodate these where we are able.


What time will the facilitator arrive for pre-program set-up?

Each facilitator will prepare for her/his program with you a bit differently. It is best to confirm the specific time of your facilitator’s arrival with the Client Success Manager. It may be as early as the evening before the program or 90 minutes before the program start time.


Do I need to prepare anything before the facilitator arrives?

For most of our in-person programs we use poster-size chart paper as a visual aid during the course of the training. Our facilitators chart notes and reminders for participants. Since this is done specifically for each course, we ask that our facilitator is allowed early access to the space to prepare. We may also send you hard copy materials. Please pass these on to the facilitator upon arrival or place in the reserved program space.

During Program


When is lunch? Are learners expected to work during their lunch break?

Depending on the workshop, the time of lunch may vary. Most often it is one hour in the middle of the day. Participants typically do not work during lunch. For some workshops, we ask them to “think about something” during the lunch break or “come back with thoughts on X.”


When are the breaks? How long are they?

For each day of programming, there are two breaks—one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Depending on the workshop, these last between ten and fifteen minutes. Please contact your CSM for exact timing, and if you need to adjust the breaks, please ask. Our facilitators are flexible and willing to accommodate when possible.

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Do learners need to bring laptops to the workshop?

For presence workshops: No laptops are needed. If you choose to have your learners complete our online course evaluation, we will ask them to fill it out on their smart phones at the end of the workshop. They will not use technology during the workshop.

For writing workshops: If learners find that they write best on computers, we recommend that they bring laptops. If they don’t have access to laptops or prefer not to use them, they can handwrite their drafts. We ask learners to keep laptops put away until the drafting portion of the workshop to help them stay fully present.

For Creating Powerful Presentations workshops: The learners will need laptops, as the workshop involves drafting in PowerPoint.



We have a lot of participants going through the program. Can we have an opening greeting or kick-off to the day?

Many clients have had successful large programs by gathering participants from all the groups together in a welcome kick-off plenary, then again in a closing session at the end of the program. If you think a plenary would be effective for your group, we can most definitely accommodate this. This is a detail you should share with your Client Success Manager so that we can effectively plan and deliver for you.


If there are multiple groups planned for an in-person training program, what is the best way to split participants?

We recommend that you split the participants into even-numbered groups when possible. Having the participants broken into groups and assigning them a specific program workshop room at least a few days before the program start will help make the morning of the program run smoothly. You can share the group list with your Ariel Client Success Manager and he/she will be sure the facilitator team has it. It is also best to avoid any direct reporting relationships within a group, but if you are unable to avoid this, please do let us know.


XYZ person needs to leave for XYZ amount of time for XYZ reason. Is that okay? Should I have them register for a different session?

It is very important that a person experience the whole workshop. However, if there are unavoidable situations, please contact your CSM to go over options.

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How does e-mail/phone/live coaching work? Is the same room setup needed for live coaching days as for the workshop day?

Writing coaching
E-mail coaching: The facilitator sets a deadline (typically one week after the workshop ends) for learners to e-mail him/her their documents. The facilitator responds to the e-mails as they come in, and learners receive their documents back with tracked changes in Microsoft Word.

Phone coaching: During the workshop, the facilitator passes around a sign-up sheet that offers various time slots for each learner’s 25-minute individual coaching session. When it is time for the learner’s phone coaching appointment, he or she calls the facilitator with the number provided.

Live coaching: During the workshop, the facilitator passes around a sign-up sheet that offers various time slots for each learner’s 25-minute individual coaching session. Learners should arrive at the coaching location promptly. For in-person coaching days, just a desk and two chairs are needed! Since the sessions are 1:1, a big conference room is not necessary.

In-person presence coaching
Larger areas are best, and a small office is not ideal. However, the space does not have to be the same one as the workshop, as long as there is room for a person to stand up and move around.



Will the program be evaluated? If yes, how?

We are flexible. Sometimes we fit into a broader offering or initiative, so clients opt to assess our workshops with an evaluation form they already use. We also offer a standard evaluation as a form that learners fill out after the course. If you choose this option, we can provide you a summary of the results at no extra charge.


Can you show me what kinds of questions you ask on your evaluations?

Please contact your CSM for a copy of our standard course evaluation.

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