A successful meeting or retreat can save you time and energy, surface unaddressed issues, and bring people to the same page. How a group meets is just as important as what they meet about. This is where we come in: 501 Commons can help you structure engaging and productive meetings and retreats.
The foundation for every meeting is the same: careful planning up front and skillful facilitation in the moment. We can bring the clarity, structure, and objectivity you need. Our experienced facilitation consultants will take the time to learn about your unique mission, so they can often give advice on the content of the meeting as well.
How It Works
Because our facilitators need to be available on our selected date, contact us as soon as you start planning a meeting, ideally before you have finalized your date. Be sure to build time into your planning schedule to have 1-2 meetings with your facilitator(s) before the meeting date. Because of the extended length and scope, retreats require more preparation. We can provide a team of facilitators and technical support for larger or more complex meetings.
Using a customized approach, our consultants will work with the meeting convener and/or a small design team to:
- Confirm the purpose and context of the meeting
- Think through who needs to be in the room and craft the invitation
- Shape a compelling agenda
- Clarify desired outcomes
- Design methods and/or activities to keep participants engaged
- Anticipate potential conflicts and roadblocks
During the meeting, we will:
- Balance the needs for discipline as well as spontaneity
- Make sure that everybody has an equal opportunity to participate
- Moderate conflicts or inappropriate behaviors
Put on the kind of meeting that you would be excited to attend. At the end of one of our facilitated meetings or retreats, expect to have:
- Stronger working relationships with the participants
- Reframing of difficult or complicated issues
- Clarity on decision making, ownership, and next steps