Next to all the features of SessionLab that save you time and allow you to work collaboratively when planning your sessions, Facilitation Mode is a brand new feature which allows you to track the time when you deliver your workshops.
When you’re ready to begin delivering your session, you can click on the ‘Start Session’ button at the top of the session planner to begin running your agenda. You will see the Player toolbar appear at the top of your session where you can see your current block, how much time you have remaining, and if you're ahead or behind schedule.
Please note that Facilitation Mode is currently not available for sessions which contain breakout tracks.
How to start Facilitation Mode
You can start Facilitation Mode by simply clicking on the green ‘Start Session’ button at the top of your agenda:
Once you do this, you’ll see the Player toolbar appear at the top of the session planner, which will always show you the title of the current item on your agenda, and the time remaining in this current block. The colour in the Player toolbar will change from green to orange when 20% of the planned time is left, and to red when only 5% of the designated time remains.
You’ll also see some action buttons on the right side, which allow you to add more time to your current block, or to move onto the next block in your agenda.
You will also see a horizontal line appear on the left side of the session planner in the ‘minimap’. This will show you a visual representation of how far through the current block you are.
After the 15 minutes designated to this particular block is over, the session will automatically progress onto the next block.
Automatic transition through your agenda
The Facilitation Mode will automatically run through your whole agenda, moving seamlessly from one block to the following in your schedule, without you or your collaborators needing to manually move onto the next block.
This enables you to focus on the delivery of your session and not on spending time clicking the ‘next’ button. However, while Facilitation Mode is running, you can still adjust the timings of your agenda or fast forward in case your plan changes.
Finally, at the end of the session, you can choose if you would like to keep the updated plan, or restore the session to the original plan.
Adjusting the timing of the blocks
If you find you need more time on your current activity, you can add more time to the block while Facilitation Mode is running. In the ‘Add Time’ section of the Player toolbar, you’re able to add time in 1-minute or 5-minute increments.
Adding time in this way will not only add time to your current block, but it will also amend the start time of all the following blocks in your session. You can also adjust or even reorder the blocks as you would do during planning, while Facilitation Mode is running.
If you need less time than you planned on a block in your session, you can click the ‘Next’ button in the Player toolbar to move on to the following activity in your agenda.
It might happen that you go over time and that the Player toolbar transitions to the next block before you are finished delivering the current one. In that case, you can return to the previous block by simply adding more time to it as you would normally during planning.
Ending Facilitation Mode
When you’ve finished delivering your session, you can click on the ‘End’ button in the Player toolbar to stop Facilitation Mode running.
You’ll then have two options. You can either keep the plan as you just ran it (with any adjusted timings or content), or restore the session to the original plan before you started running the Facilitation mode. At the moment we do not yet offer the possibility to compare the planned vs. delivered plan, but we plan to develop such options in the future.
Please note, if you choose to keep your plan with the new amended timings, it is not possible to then decide to restore your original version at the moment (we might add this feature in the future).
Please note: if you end the session with some blocks that have still not been delivered and you decided to keep the actual plan, the duration of these blocks will be adjusted to a 0-minute duration, to reflect that they have not been delivered.
What if I forgot to start Facilitation Mode on time?
If you didn’t press the ‘Start Session’ button at the moment you began running your session, you can always modify the start time of your first block to reflect the actual start time of the session. This will then correct your timing.
If you had a locked block at the start of your agenda, and you began running your session late, you will automatically be behind schedule as shown in the below image. However, adjusting the start time of the first block to the correct time will put you back on track.
If you have other locked blocks in the session, and you don’t start at the planned time, there might be some odd conflicts happening in your schedule - including a case in which it might appear as some or all of the session has already been delivered.
For instance, if you planned (and locked) a break at 10, but you actually start the whole session at 11 then the break as well as other blocks connected to it will already be “in the past”. In this case you’ll need to adjust all the locked blocks in your session.