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Facilitation Essentials: Organizing or facilitating a larger meeting?

This quick reference tool is intended for employees at all levels who want to identify the types of support they may need for facilitating large or complex meetings. It contains a list of six roles and a description of each of them.


Depending on the size and complexity of your meeting, and whether it is in person or online, you may want to ask for support.

Here are some key roles to consider

Host

The person who calls the meeting. They bring people together, and choose a space (physical or virtual). They generally take an active role in designing the meeting.

Facilitator

Depending on the type of meeting, the host may engage a facilitator to help the group collaborate by clarifying participants' needs and then designing a meeting process to help the group reach their goals. The facilitator works to help everyone in the group participate, build mutual understanding, generate inclusive solutions, and then establish shared accountability for any next steps.

Producer

If the meeting is virtual, and larger or complex, the host and facilitator may work with a producer who manages interactions on the virtual platform to enable the group to interact smoothly with one another and with the technology.

Additional tech support

If the meeting is virtual, and the size, complexity, or audience warrant it, the facilitation team may engage additional tech support to help people participate and keep things running smoothly behind the scenes.

Harvester

This individual (or team) works to document essential insights and decisions. Depending on the scale of the gathering, they could be recording key points on a white board, in a chat box, or with graphics. They are responsible for capturing insights in a meaningful way, and sharing documentation on the process and the results.

Guardian

Depending on the size and complexity of the meeting, the host or facilitator may also engage someone to serve as a second set of eyes. This person can offer reflective questions, notice key points as people share them, and work through challenges the group may face.

Source: Virtual Meeting Role Cards

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