Conference

Control the Room

3rd Annual Facilitator Summit

Join us for our three-day virtual summit!

Deepen your knowledge on how to facilitate meetings that matter and connect with other facilitation and meeting practitioners. The event will include lightning talks, networking, and hands-on workshops from expert facilitators sharing methods & activities.

Date

February 2-4, 2021

Time

10:30am-3:30pm CST​

Location

Live Online

This event is happening again!

You should join us on January 31 - February 2

Get Tickets
Available Ticket Types

VIP Ticket (limited)

In addition to three days of the Virtual Summit, access to virtual speaker round table on February 1, 2021 and receive mailed facilitator care package shipped to your door!

The speaker salon is a private intimate gathering for the speakers & a few VIP guests. Douglas, our founder, will facilitate and explore the meaning and importance of connection. We will reflect on the past and anticipate the future and will have a lot of fun in the process.

Live Ticket

Access to all three days of the Virtual Summit. 18 Speakers total, six Lightning Talks + six 90-min Workshops Per Day (attendees choose 1 workshop per day)

Summit Purpose

We are gathering to build and celebrate a community of practice for facilitators. It is paramount that we create a safe place to learn, grow, and advance as practitioners, and to engage in a dialogue that advances the practice of facilitation. We invite people who seek to lead better meetings and who seek to foster inclusivity across all voices. Our mission is share a global perspective of facilitators from different methodologies, backgrounds, races, genders, sexual orientations, cultures, and ages. If you know someone who would benefit from attending Control the Room and would bring valuable diversity to the event or is part of a traditionally underrepresented group, please nominate them here.

Summit Theme

“We must establish a personal connection with each other. Connection before content. Without relatedness, no work can occur.” —Peter Block

Human connection is an integral component of the work we do as facilitators. When we connect things become possible. When we are disconnected there is dysfunction. When ideas connect they become solutions. When movements connect they become revolutions.

Event Speakers

William Aal

Equity, power and conflict in meeting design

Explore how to disrupt patterns of privilege and oppression that are often overlooked in meeting design. Explore those dynamics in your facilitation practice. Have fun making the invisible visible!

Mohamed Ali

You're that audience

How to prepare an audience for a workshop, long before they show up.

Elena Astilleros

$h*t to Hit!! Creating meetings participants love

Lead lively meetings where you (and everyone participating) feel alive and reinvigorated from your time together.

Rachel Ben Hamou

Onboarding Without Hoarding

Gather (Facilitation) Exercises You Will Genuinely Use. Since everything has gone virtual, the internet is a treasure trove AND a landfill of every process and exercise humans can imagine. How do you sift through all that noise to find activities that will help YOU facilitate well?

Emily Bowen

Peace, Love & Understanding

This 20 minute lightning session, and 90 minute facilitated session focus on how we can create lightness and ease when we want to connect people to each other and build trust when working remotely.

Kaleem Clarkson

Fighting Isolation and Building Meaningful Relationships through the Power of Play

Kaleem will be joined by David Klasko in this interactive workshop as we learn what the research says about the dangers of isolation, and how playing simple (and incredibly fun) games can create meaningful human connection in the virtual workplace.

Alison Coward

Workshop Culture for a Better Workplace

This presentation will explore the real potential of workshops in improving our experience of work, and what else that may bring.

Joshua Davies

Moving Minds: Exploring Conversation Maps in Facilitation

In this session, we’ll explore practical techniques for better awareness and co-creation in our discussions using conversation mapping, contrasting, and cadence control.

Leslie Forman

Secrets, Constraints, and Emojis

We’ll discuss practical techniques that facilitators can use to guide participants into deeper discussions, especially about ambiguous or sensitive topics. 

Madelon Guinazzo

Facilitating Fearlessly with Heart

Engage in this experiential based workshop to explore some of our facilitator fears in a safe way. Together we will build resilience and the sense of connection that leads to grounded positive action in the midst of fear.

J. Elise Keith

Facilitating in Real Time, Near Time, and Far Time

We’ll explore what it means to facilitate across different time scales and surface ideas we can all use to make a more lasting impact.

Vinay Kumar

Connecting people and thinking for shared values

This session will explore at least 2 methods in creating strong connections that increase the effectiveness of group work.

Van Lai-DuMone

Incorporate Creativity Into Your Virtual Facilitations

Learn how incorporating creative tools can not only serve to harness the attention of the group, but also serve as a practical tool for: Team Building and Development, Collaboration, Idea Generation, Problem Solving and Trust Building

Caitlin Loos

7 Hours on Zoom...In a good way!

Caitlin will be joined by Jordan Hirsch in the workshop portion to teach you how they created a 7-hour zoom conference that was energizing, inspiring, & fun

Jennifer Marin Jericho

How to Pivot when things go wrong

You’ll learn the tactics for Effective Facilitation and Facilitation Pitfalls on some of the tips I have learned along the way for when things don’t go the way you expect.

Solomon Masala

Zip in your Zoom

Most humans have been conditioned to get in front of a screen and go passive. We forget that real learning is an active, full-body experience, and in our virtual learning world it’s critical to keep the learning juices activated.

Erik Skogsberg

Learn to Transform

Learning Experience Design (LXD) for Better Meetings, More Impactful Workshops, and Lasting Change

 

Michael Wilkinson

Consensus Building: Techniques for Getting to Yes

In this workshop, Michael Wilkinson equips you with a clear understanding of the three reasons people disagree, three methods for establishing a consensus-focused process, and five techniques for getting to yes when disagreements occur.

 

Event Schedule

Tuesday | February 2, 2021

Kickoff

10:00 AM CST

Doors Open

10:20 AM CST

Introduction

LIGHTNING TALKS

10:30 AM CST

Van Lai-DuMone | Incorporate Creativity Into Your Virtual Facilitations

10:50 AM CST

Mohamed Ali | You're that audience

11:10 AM CST

Leslie Forman | Secrets, Constraints, and Emojis

11:30 AM CST

Break & Networking

12:00 PM CST

Michael Wilkinson | Consensus Building: Techniques for Getting to Yes

12:20 PM CST

Emily Bowen | Peace, Love & Understanding

12:40 PM CST

Erik Skogsberg | Learn to Transform

1:00 PM CST

Break & Networking

Workshops

01:30–03:00 PM CST

Van Lai-DuMone

As many of us move our in-person facilitations to an online model - it is vital to keep participants engaged and 'in the room'. Come prepared for an experiential and interactive workshop. Bring your creative capacity, pen and paper, and leave those cameras on!

Mohamed Ali

Everyone struggles with getting participants engaged in workshops. Workshop outputs get parked somewhere, loud participants dominate groups, timelines are shrunk and workshops get rushed. The question we'll be working to answer together is how might we effectively onboard participants without overwhelming them with the exercises and time needed to conduct the workshop? How might a beginners' mindset assist an audience to contribute what they really wish to.

Leslie Forman

We'll discuss practical techniques that facilitators can use to guide participants into deeper discussions, especially about ambiguous or sensitive topics.

Michael Wilkinson

Imagine this scenario: The meeting has been going great. The participants are engaged, significant progress is being made, and the sponsor is well pleased. Suddenly, a major disagreement erupts. While some are vehement about one position, several people take an opposing stand; and still others believe the entire discussion is a waste of time. Voices get louder, people stop listening, others check-out. As the facilitator, you know you have to take control and help the group move to consensus. What do you do? In this workshop, Michael Wilkinson equips you with a clear understanding of the three levels of disagreement and proven strategies for resolution.

Emily Bowen

There are techniques that we can employ to help people create relationships even when we can't be in the same space.

Erik Skogsberg

The best facilitators, whether they know it or not, are Learning Experience Designers (LXDs). LXDs bring the best of user experience design and the learning sciences to bear on creating transformation: whether in a meeting, presentation, workshop, or course. Participants will be guided through some hands-on practice in these methods for use in a meeting, workshop or training of their own and then begin to design for better learning experiences and lasting change in their future facilitation work.

Prizes & Happy Hour

Wednesday | February 3, 2021

Kickoff

10:00 AM CST

Doors Open

10:20 AM CST

Introduction

LIGHTNING TALKS

10:30 AM CST

Jennifer Marin Jericho | How to Pivot when things go wrong

10:50 AM CST

Kaleem Clarkson | Fighting Isolation and Building Meaningful Relationships through the Power of Play

11:10 AM CST

Caitlin Loos | 7 Hours on Zoom...In a good way!

11:30 AM CST

Break & Networking

12:00 PM CST

William Aal | Equity, power and conflict in meeting design

12:20 PM CST

Solomon Masala | Zip in your Zoom

12:40 PM CST

Alison Coward | Workshop Culture for a Better Workplace

1:00 PM CST

Break & Networking

Workshops

01:30–03:00 PM CST

Jennifer Marin Jericho

"The devil is in the details." We often think of facilitation as the moment when we are in the room, running a workshop or meeting, but there's quite a lot of work to be done before and after to host a successful workshop.

Kaleem Clarkson & David Klasko

Technology has provided a platform to find and foster these relationships, but it takes a thoughtful and structured approach to create a human connection. Based in improv comedy, and built for video conferencing, Artly Working has designed workshops to add humor, vulnerability, and spontaneity to the virtual world - in other words, the human element! Using games and exercises developed specifically for the platform, the goal is to fight isolation and loneliness and build bonds on our remote platforms, and not in spite of them. Participants will leave with games and exercises that can be implemented with teams right away.

Caitlin Loos & Jordan Hirsch

In this workshop, we’ll explore how we turned our annual company conference — a deeply human, connected experience for 100+ people — into a Zoom call that lasted seven hours and spanned four time zones, but still worked. You’ll experiment and play with activities that help turn a virtual event into a virtual experience.

William Aal

In this session, participants will learn how to set the table for people to fully participate, taking into account the currents of power difference in the space. How to be aware of your own privilege dynamics; how to acknowledge conflict and use it as a tool to deepen community and when process becomes liberatory and when it furthers patterns of oppression.

Solomon Masala

Here come 25+ kinesthetic activities that range from 1 minute to 1 hour, guaranteed to get participants energized and enlivened, regardless of the group.

Alison Coward

As facilitators, we all know the impact we can make *in* a workshop, but have we really considered the wider impact we can make and the importance of facilitation in making the workplace better? Workshops bring many of the factors that we want to see in productive, engaged and positive cultures - collaboration, inclusion, motivation, creativity - so how can we take these elements beyond a one-off event and bring them more generally into the workplace?

Prizes & Happy Hour

Thursday | February 4, 2021

Kickoff

10:00 AM CST

Doors Open

10:20 AM CST

Introduction

LIGHTNING TALKS

10:30 AM CST

Madelon Guinazzo | Having Fun With Fear

10:50 AM CST

Vinay Kumar | Connecting people and thinking for shared values

11:10 AM CST

J. Elise Keith | Facilitating in Real Time, Near Time, and Far Time

11:30 AM CST

Break & Networking

12:00 PM CST

Joshua Davies | Moving Minds: Exploring Conversation Maps in Facilitation

12:20 PM CST

Elena Astilleros | $h*t to Hit!! Creating meetings participants love

12:40 PM CST

Rachel Ben Hamou | Onboarding Without Hoarding

1:00 PM CST

Break & Networking

Workshops

01:30–03:00 PM CST

Madelon Guinazzo

We all have fears as facilitators and our participants all come with their own fears as well. How do we tap into the powerful potential of transformation that this fear holds for both of us? How do we let that fear fuel us into fun and greater trust in ourselves and life? How do we hold fear - our own and other's - with equanimity? Engage in this experiential based workshop to explore some of our facilitator fears in a safe way. Together we will build resilience and the sense of connection that leads to grounded positive action in the midst of fear.

Vinay Kumar

The exercise of creativity evokes considerable engagement and innovation from participants in any group environment. Using the right brain is not only fun but also helps in drawing out many aspects that participants often find difficult to articulate in a group setting. This is especially true when groups are extremely diverse in terms of experience, cultures, hierarchy, language etc. This session will explore at least 2 methods in creating strong connections that increase the effectiveness of group work

J. Elise Keith

As professional facilitators, we're pretty good at planning and running events. Some of us do a great job following up, too. But how do we make sure the work begun in our events and the changes these events inspire have an impact on the every day lives of those we serve? How can we facilitate keeping the conversation alive when we won't be there to literally facilitate the meetings? In this session, we'll explore what it means to facilitate across different time scales and surface ideas we can all use to make a more lasting impact.

Joshua Davies

If we are what we say, what do your interactions say about you? Too many conversations are treadmills, endless going without ever getting anywhere, or broken parallel monologues in search of a true dialogue. In this session, we'll explore practical techniques for better awareness and co-creation in our discussions using conversation mapping, contrasting, and cadence control.

Elena Astilleros

Do you feel totally drained after facilitating your sessions? When you ask questions, do you get crickets...or worse, only the same handful of people answering every time? In this session, you'll learn: How you might be creating the wrong kind of drama (without realizing it), Practices you can start using to trigger group genius in your next meeting or workshop and a simple way to up level the questions you ask your team.

Rachel Ben Hamou & Andre Ben Hamou

Since everything has gone virtual, the internet is a treasure trove AND a landfill of every process and exercise humans can imagine. How do you sift through all that noise to find activities that will help YOU facilitate well? We’ll explore how you can develop processes and criteria that allow you to evaluate exercises and activities at speed. We’ll help you ‘Yes And’ the great resources you discover, without things becoming unmanageable.

Prizes & Happy Hour

Wait, What's Facilitation?

Whether you know it or not, you are probably a facilitator. The act of facilitating is to make an operation or process easier. Facilitation skills are crucial to exercise when planning and running meetings to make them as participative and productive as possible. It’s imperative to company profit and culture to conduct successful meetings. Perfecting the art of facilitation is one of the most important and beneficial skill sets that make a successful leader. 

A skilled facilitator can supercharge a team’s performance by functioning as a process guide for navigating complicated business challenges. Facilitators are experts at leading groups through key meetings and gatherings. Facilitators exist to enable better gatherings between teams, stakeholders, or collaborators of any kind.

Want to join us?

Interested in bringing a team? Click here to get a code 
for 20% off groups of 3-4, or 30% off groups of 5+

What People Are Saying

"I loved the conference. As a relatively novice facilitator, I returned energized and inspired. When I signed up for the conference - I mostly did so because of rave reviews from my colleagues. It was a little hard to tell what I was getting into from the event page. There's so much value here for folks in leadership roles etc."

Vishal

UX SUPERVISOR

"I realized my entire role is facilitation. I have to do a lot of lateral influencing. So I use these skills even if it is not a super-structured workshop. Our product team has micro meetings all the time, and these methods help us get the most of those moments. My team can lean on me to facilitate. You will redesign the way you have conversations. I can’t believe every college student doesn’t have to take a class like this. This is how you collaborate. It is the underpinning of the future of work."

Savannah

PRODUCT DESIGNER AT TAILWIND

Photo Disclaimer

Please note that photographs, video & audio recordings will be taken throughout this event. These will be used by Voltage Control for marketing and publicity in our publications, on our website and in social media, or in any third party publication. Please contact our events manager, Tara, if you have any concerns or if you wish to be exempted from this activity.​

Refund Policy

All sales for workshops are final. The registered participant may invite another person to substitute their place at any time at no charge.

Magical Meetings Pre-Launch Party

Monday, Feburary 1st | 2:30-4:00 CST

Douglas and John, authors of the new book Magical Meetings, are offering a complimentary book launch experience to celebrate the upcoming launch of the book on the eve of their annual facilitation Summit. While the book officially goes on sale in stores everyone on March 1st, you’ll have the opportunity to get a copy before everyone else. 

They have also prepared an extra special virtual book launch experience. While this will be online, this is NOT a webinar or a boring meeting. They are gathering meeting professionals and remote workers of all ilk to celebrate the launch of Magical Meetings and explore together how to make every meeting more magical. Come prepared to participate!

You’ll start by meeting another attendee at random and sharing stories of your favorite meetings, followed by a share out of some of the best stories. Then our publisher, Rohit Bhargava, will share a few opening remarks before John and Douglas share their Magical Meeting stories. For the second half of the launch, we’ll spend some time in small groups in guided conversation to explore how we can show up better in all meetings. Finally, we will close with a bit of commitment.