Posted Date: February 16, 2017
The second part of Stephanie Morgan's tips for choosing the best seminar for you.
by Stephanie Morgan
As mentioned in yesterday's article, Evaluating
Agility Seminars - Prepare to Get the Best Value - Part 1, finding
the agility training opportunity that will benefit you and your dog may require
some advanced preparation in the decision making phase. Thorough research ahead of time will greatly increase
your chances of success.
So here comes the
brain-strain, figure crunching, purely cost/time analysis.
- You start with the basic figures of Cost, Length
of Time, Number of Participants.
- Take your Overall time minus breaks, lunches, or
other expected non-working time (I found it helpful to convert the time figures
to minutes instead of hours and minutes)
- Divide the remaining time by participants. This
will give you an estimate of the most time you could potentially expect to work
one-on-one during this seminar. Usually, the figure would be a little lower
allowing for any lecture at all.
- Then to get an apples-to-apples figure, divide
the cost by the expected minutes to work and you then have a cost per minute
amount to compare to your other training opportunities. I also used this per
minute figure to create an hourly rate (x60) and an hourly rate per person
starts at 9:00 am and goes to 12:00. It's 3 hours long and costs $150. I would
estimate there to be at least 30 minutes of non-working time, either due to
breaks or bar setting or other stuff. That leaves 2.5 hours, or 150 minutes to
work. Divide 150 by 6 people and you now have 25-minute estimate on the most
amount of time you could work with this trainer. Take $150 divide by 25 minutes
and you now have a per minute cost of $6. Other comparable figures would be the
per hour class rate and the per hour per person. See chart below for
further comparison examples.
The numbers used in the chart below are from actual events.
It is an illustration of how to compare the information you gather. Of course,
as mentioned at the outset, seminars and how you end up estimating their value
afterward is often more relative to the usefulness of the information.
I found it interesting that I already felt that I was
getting a great value from my weekly class. This chart proves that without a
doubt with a 1.07 per minute cost as compared to a 3-hour seminar at 6.00 per
minute. I also have come to realize, for me, if I don't work at least 30
minutes at a seminar, I don't feel like it's worth the cost and effort to
attend. Especially if it involved added travel expenses. So that doesn't really
relate to money at all. But I do like being able to see an apples-to-apples
Each person has to make these choices based on their own particular
personality and circumstances. I hope this was helpful for anyone looking to
get the most out of a new exciting agility training opportunity.
This article reprinted with kind permission by Stephanie Morgan. First published at http://thatsmysuperdog.com/evaluating-seminars/
Morgan created the blog That's My Super Dog.com to help
those new to competing in dog agility find their way. Topics range
from technical how-to type articles to general observations. Every
new training and trial experience becomes the topic for the next article. With
animal training as a timeless passion, Stephanie enjoys sharing what comes
next on this fun and challenging path to agility excellence.