There have never been more opportunities to network with other facilitators and learn about facilitation, near you – now in more than a dozen towns & cities throughout England & Wales and online as well.
If you are a facilitator or use facilitation in your work, or if you are just interested to know more, do take a moment to join one of our 5 regional groups and RSVP now for a free facilitation meetup near you.
If you have already attended or if you are a regular, read on to find out what’s new and how to get more involved.
“A brilliant initiative – a great way to build your faciliation skills whilst networking with like-minded sorts” – Neil Fogarty
“Setting out as a facilitator on my own was a scary decision but I have met so many great people through the meet-ups… Its a really wonderful community to be a part of!” – Camilla Gordon
“There’s a generosity and love of learning which makes these meet-ups special. And a surprisingly wide range of people and ways that they use their skills” – Penny Walker
The first IAF England & Wales ‘facilitators & friends’ meetup group began 5 years ago now with monthly evening meetups in London, and was joined 3 years ago by the South West and North of England groups. That’s when we launched our England & Wales Leadership Team and established our pattern of monthly local morning coffee meetups, quarterly regional afternoon learning meetups and an annual all-day learning meetup for all-England & Wales during International Facilitation Week (#FacWeek) each October. Last year we were joined by the Midlands & East of England group, and our local coffee meetups extended from London, Bristol & Leeds to Birmingham, Oxfordshire, Manchester & Warwick as well. We are grateful to all our volunteer hosts & session leaders and everyone else who has made all of this possible.
Since our new IAF England & Wales Board was elected last year we have raised our ambition, and now we have adjusted our pattern of meetups accordingly – and identified some new volunteer leadership opportunities as well.
Our new ‘at a glance’ monthly schedule shows the new pattern of meetups, including new monthly local coffee meetups in Cambridge, Cardiff, Newcastle, North Wales & Winchester, and online as well. Click on the image above to enlarge the schedule, and note that if the first day of the month falls midweek then the first Friday may come before the first Monday!
The new pattern will also include afternoon learning meetups in more regions but less frequently in each. Already the schedule shows 3 per year in the South West and two plus our new Annual Conference in the Midlands & East. These will be joined by 3 per year in the North, and ultimately Wales. In London our bi-monthly afternoon learning meetups and evening drinks meetups will shift to quarterly, and be complemented by new evening learning meetups as well.
Our 2-day annual conference “The Power and Practice of Facilitation”, 18-19 October in Birmingham, will extend our previous all-day meetup for International Facilitation Week. You can expect a diverse range of highly interactive, peer-led parallel sessions to choose from, common to previous years, plus this year:
- an opening keynote session on Friday sharing stories of the power of facilitation from the client perspective
- a facilitated ‘Open Space’ session on Saturday to raise and address topics of your own, and/or to attend repeats of a few of the most popular parallel sessions
- networking dinner & drinks on Thursday & Friday evenings
- a prize raffle on Saturday afternoon including free facilitation kit, free personality profiling, free facilitation books and training, and more!
Discounts are available for early registrations until 30 June, and an additional 25% off all rates is available to IAF members. If you are not yet an IAF member and would like to join, you can save a whopping 25% on your first year’s membership if you buy it when you register for both days. See IAF: who we are and what we do (below) and learn about IAF membership.
We will continue to collaborate with others and share their facilitation-related learning & networking opportunities as well, not least those of our friends at partner Association IABC UK. Check out their upcoming events in London Listening workshop: a critical skill for communicators – why is it dying? on 1 May and Future Fit 2019: what is happening in the world of communications today, and tomorrow? on 23 May. IAF members may book for these at IABC member rates – if interested, please contact me.
We will be expanding our Leadership Team this year by inviting all our local meetup hosts to join us – online in Basecamp and (when they are available) for monthly zoom calls, and face-to-face in Birmingham on June 20 – in conjunction with a Midlands & East regional afternoon learning meetup.
We are also keen to welcome new members to our volunteer Leadership Team. Please contact us if you may be interested in any of the following opportunities in particular:
Regional meetup group organisers for the North of England, Wales and London & SE regions
Meetup hosts for new local coffee meetups in Brighton, Devon, Leeds, Liverpool, London & Nottingham – or wherever you are!
Podcasters to join our brand new new podcast team.
Or, please let us know how you would like to get more involved – for more information and to contact us, please see IAF England & Wales.
See also about me, how I work, who I work with and recommendations & case studies, and please contact me about how we might work together. Please do not delay before contacting me – the earlier I hear from you, the more chance that I will be able to help and the more helpful I may be able to be.