facilitatorsconnect

Facilitators connect

A retreat designed for facilitators who want to learn, teach and get inspired

Cazoulès, France
August 28th - September 1st 2024

concept

External speakers

Top tier speakers to teach us more on specific topics such as psychological safety, change management and facilitation.

Internal speaker

An internal speaker(participant) to highlight our collective passion for facilitation across diverse professions. We want to give our attendees the opportunity to extend their experience and run their own session at the retreat.

Mini workshops

Anyone can host a workshop on any topic they like, whether they’ve done it before or not. Just write your name on the board and gather interested participants!

Expect To

  • Expand your professional network and foster collaboration for business growth
  • Experience your first real-life facilitation opportunity in a supportive and secure environment
  • Whether you are new or experienced, attending the retreat can be a life-changing experience for all
  • Possibly find a business partner and collaborate on projects
  • The retreat offers a chance to connect with like-minded professionals, gain knowledge and experience, and elevate your facilitation practice
  • Collaborate with fellow facilitators to create marketing materials, such as pictures, videos, reels, and LinkedIn posts
  • Joining a group of 30 like-minded individuals at the retreat can make you stand out and increase your visibility.
Within the first few hours
we were just in so many deep conversations already,
even though we were strangers.
- Angel Takooree

Speakers

Myriam Hadness

Myriam Hadnes, holding a PhD in Behavioural Economics and a Master’s in Sociology, combines academic knowledge with practical experience in group collaboration and facilitation. She is the host of the “workshops work” podcast, where she engages in weekly conversations with global facilitation experts. Since 2020, Myriam has built NeverDoneBefore (NDB), a global online community of facilitators who share a common goal: to spark fresh trends in group collaboration. With her business workshops.work, Myriam follows the vision to create an ecosystem for facilitators, helping them to leverage the impact of their work through community, collaboration and co-creation.

Annette Simmons

Annette Simmons is a well-known author, speaker, and consultant who specializes in storytelling and communication skills. She is recognized for her expertise in helping individuals and organizations effectively convey their messages through compelling narratives.

Her work emphasizes the power of storytelling to connect with audiences on a deeper level, build trust, and inspire action.

Simmons often conducts workshops and seminars worldwide, sharing her insights on storytelling techniques and their practical applications in various contexts, from business and leadership to personal development.

Jan Beuls

Jan is an adept change manager who excels in steering organizations through transformation, skillfully handling the inevitable resistance that arises. His foundation as an IT and project manager for significant digital projects has instilled in him the importance of the human element in change. 

Jan’s approach is grounded in both theory and extensive practical experience, utilizing workshop techniques to align and prepare stakeholders for change.

3 possible super interesting topics - you as a participant can help decide which one will be covered during the retreat!

1 – The Art of Asking Questions

As facilitators, questions are our most powerful tool that – if applied correctly – lead participants to connect with themselves, each other, and the content. Yet, not all questions are created equal: some spark vibrant discussions, while others fall flat, leaving the room silent.
In this interactive session, we’ll delve into the essence of impactful questioning and understand what most get wrong about asking questions.

We will explore:
Why some questions are gifts while others are weapons (and how to turn a weapon into a gift).
The difference between a nice and a kind question.
Which questions not to ask as facilitators or trainers and what to ask instead.
How the sequence of questions can significantly alter the results of a workshop.

In this interactive session, we’ll uncover the key ingredients for crafting questions that foster connection, provoke insight, and fuel meaningful dialogue. By the end of our session, everyone departs with newfound confidence and a refined approach to questioning that promises to elevate their facilitation skills.

2- Building a Facilitation Business

We don’t have to sell workshops to build a facilitation business!

In 2018, I started a freelance workshopping business after having quit my job in the public sector a year before. I didn’t have a network in the corporate world or in the world of facilitation. I had no facilitation certification (and still don’t) and basically no clue that facilitation was a thing. Fast forward to 2024: I built a six figures business, and am hosting the most popular podcast on workshops and facilitation (“workshops work”) which has turned me into one of the most connected facilitators internationally. During the Pandemic, I built a global online community that has been financially sustainable since two years and now employs a part-time community facilitator, social media expert and assistant; and I am leading an agency that provides returning revenue to my community of facilitators by providing facilitation training to multinational companies.

None of this was part of a master plan. In 2018, I didn’t know what a facilitator was, I never intended to build a community (don’t even particularly like communities) or an agency. Nothing of this came easy but I unconsciously took the right decisions very early.

In this interactive session, I share the steps I took to build a strong online business that gives me financial freedom and will help you to look beyond the obvious so that you might see paths for your own business growth.

3- Facilitation as a Leadership skill

Facilitation and leadership are two sides of the same coin. A leader lacking facilitation skills tends to micromanage, while a facilitator lacking leadership skills may simply act as a moderator or timekeeper.

Even though we expect facilitators to lead from ‘the back of the room’, it’s essential not to overlook our leadership abilities. To truly make a difference for the groups we facilitate, we must step up as leaders. This involves clarifying the workshop’s true purpose, fostering trust in the process, navigating power dynamics, managing group interactions, and addressing various challenges that arise.

In this interactive session, we will delve into the intersection of facilitation and effective leadership. Discover why recognising our leadership role is vital and how it influences group dynamics. From guiding discussions to promoting inclusivity, facilitators play a crucial role in driving decision-making processes.

Myriam Hadness

Annette Simmons

A Safe Place for Dangerous Truths – Pre-empts, Mindsets, and Play

We may know how to facilitate a group into a corral of outcomes using tactics that work like cattle chutes to deliver agreements, deadlines, and tasks by the end of the day. But people aren’t cows, so the next day many of them head over to the gate of agreements with second thoughts and return to the position they preferred all along. If they had spoken up during the meeting and risked hard questions or admitted their misgivings the group could have addressed these issues before they caused real problems. But that level of truth-telling requires psychological safety – a genuine faith in the positive intent of facilitator and participants. Faith is experiential, emotional, and – in a competitive narrative – can be seen as a sign of weakness. It’s a lot to ask of a group, but lucky for us, enough people crave psychological safety that our job to help participants find it, build it, and protect it, becomes a collaborative effort.

Description: In this workshop we will experiment with a variety of techniques that pre-empt negative patterns, inspire self-regulation, build skills for tolerance, and deliver mindsets that reframe “conflicts” from a battle narrative to an opportunity for collaboration. Experiences are highly participative and delivered via storytelling, images, metaphor, and humor. We learn when to take responsibility to NOT take responsibility for the group’s success so the participants themselves build a container of safety more powerful than any we might provide.

Facilitating Change

Jan leads organizations through transformation, as a change manager , which inevitably brings about resistance. He knows how to navigate complex changes and turn them into embraced narratives.

Drawing from his background as an IT manager and project manager for major digital implementations, Jan has learned the importance of the human aspect of change. He frequently utilized workshop techniques to align everyone involved. Starting off his practical experience, Jan has continuously delved into various change methodologies and communication models. So he knows more than the theory.

In addition to his professional journey, Jan has a hobby that challenges him to confront personal resistance: he is a mountain climber. Conquering the summit requires overcoming fear and resistance. Jan often uses the metaphor of mountains to drive his point home, and he even takes people to the mountains to prepare them for change and resistance.

During his workshop, he teaches you how people navigate through change and lets you experience what that entails. He delves deeper into the do’s and don’ts of facilitating change and provides practical guidance on handling resistance during a session. In short, how can you, as a facilitator, utilize workshops to contribute to change?

 

His workshop promises to be hands-on, ensuring participants can immediately apply the knowledge gained to real-world scenarios.

Jan Beuls

the venue

Chateau du Raysse, Cazoulès

All inclusive

No need to use your wallet!

Room Picture

Accomodation

Your room and bathroom to yourself, or with someone else. Nothing is mandatory, if you need rest throughout the day you can always withdraw.

You will look as relaxed as Chris!

Transportation

Don’t worry about transportation! We’ll have a bus that can pick you up at the Toulouse airport at 2 PM CEST on the 28th of August.

A dropoff is foreseen at the Toulouse airport on the 1st of September at 1 PM CEST

Food & Drinks

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all taken care of. There will also be snacks available during workshops and throughout the day. Drinks included.

Chats

Access to our external and internal speakers. You’ll be dining all together as they will be at the venue throughout the day. Feel free to connect with them!

Materials

Materials

Always access to workshops and to our workshop materials, so you can facilitate, try out at any given time.

about Last year

More details about last year’s retreat!

what people are saying

We all want to make a difference and we all care about different things.
But in essence it’s the impact that really drives us.
- Katrina Dargel

Rooms

Shared Room

Double occupancy

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€ 3.999*

  • Full access to the venue
  • Drinks & food included
  • With someone of your preference
  • Transport from & to the airport of Toulouse

Single Room

Single occupancy

person-icon

€ 4.999*

  • Full access to the venue
  • Drinks & food included
  • A room all for yourself
  • Transport from & to airport of Toulouse

Get in touch with us if you would like to join the waiting list for a single room.

* Excluding VAT 

FAQ

the cancellation policy can be found here: https://www.facilitatorsconnect.com/terms-and-conditions/

Tourist tax is included in the price. 

VAT will be added for private individuls and Belgian and non EU companies at checkout.

VAT will be shifted for European companies at checkout.

Yes, just let us know if you need one and we can set up an invoice for you.

For participants interested in extending their stay at the event venue, we offer the possibility to book extra nights, allowing you to enjoy the location and its surroundings for a longer period. Please read below for details regarding booking additional accommodation, associated costs, and transportation information.

Booking Extra Nights

  • Price: Each extra night can be booked at a rate of €110. This rate includes the cost of breakfast for the following morning.
  • Maximum Stay: Participants may book up to four (4) extra nights.
  • Food and Beverages: While breakfast is included in the price of the extra night(s), please note that all other meals and beverages will be at the participant’s own expense.

 

Transportation

  • Airport Transfer for Standard Stay: For participants not booking extra nights, transportation from the venue to the airport on the final day of the event is covered by us. This service is designed to ensure a seamless and hassle-free departure for all attendees.
  • Impact of Booking Extra Nights on Transportation: Should you choose to extend your stay by booking extra nights, please be aware that the complimentary transportation back to the airport will no longer be provided. Participants will be responsible for arranging and covering the cost of their return transportation to the airport. Our team is available to assist with information on local transportation options and can help you arrange a transfer if needed.
  • Yes, there will be. A few weeks before the event, we will send out a survey where you can indicate your arrival details, including your landing location and time. We will then arrange a taxi or shuttle service from Toulouse Airport to transport you to and from the venue.

     

    While you have the option to fly to Bordeaux or other airports, please note that our transportation service will only be available from Toulouse Airport.

We are aiming for full capacity of 30 attendees. 

Our shuttle service offers pick up from Toulouse airport. If you’re arriving at a different location, such as Bordeaux, you can take a train to the nearest pick up location.
Please note that you will need to cover the cost of your train ticket. 

While we understand that you may need to step away at times to attend to personal matters such as emails or phone calls, we kindly request that you do not disrupt the sessions. Please feel free to participate in the activities at your own pace, as none of them are mandatory. While wifi will be accessible at the venue, it may not be as strong as what you’re accustomed to at home.

Yes! A few weeks before the retreat we’ll be sending out a survey to get all the information we need. In that form you can fill out the name of the person you want to share your room with. 

A few weeks before the retreat we’ll be sending out a survey to get all the information we need. In that form you can fill out the name of the person you want to share your room with. 

If you don’t have a specific room mate in mind we will put people together based on gender, country and/or language. Also this will be asked in the survey. 

Yes, all rooms come with a bathroom. However, there is one room without its own bathroom, so two rooms will need to share a bathroom.

  • Bathroom for yourself, or shared with someone else
  • Seperate beds
  • Sheets
  • Towels & toilet paper


To ensure your personal hygiene needs are met, kindly bring along your preferred soaps, shampoo, and conditioner.

It will be a relaxing environment, a summercamp for entrepeneurs. 
Pack comfortable clothing for the event, and feel free to bring one or two professional outfits for personal content. During the retreat, a photographer will be on-site to capture images of you that you can use to showcase your work and attract future clients.

There is a pool at the venue, which could be a refreshing way to cool off, especially considering that we’ll be in the South of France during the hotter months of the season.

This retreat is open to anyone interested in facilitation, whether you’re new to the field or an expert. By coming together in this atmosphere, you’ll gain confidence, receive feedback from experts and like-minded individuals, and form lifelong connections.

Similar to last year, we’re excited to offer the stage to one of our attendees. If you’re interested in hosting your own workshop at the retreat, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We will select one candidate for internal speakers based on the interests of the attendees.

For more information, please reach out!

Prior to the retreat, we will send out a survey to gather all the necessary information. The survey will also include a section for you to specify any allergies, which will be shared with the caterer.



See you in August?