Kevan Hall: favourite room for facilitating training

By Kevan Hall, CEO, Global Integration

The design of meeting rooms may sound like something only an obsessive facilitator would worry about. Well, admittedly, we are obsessive in our search for facilitation quality, but the design of the meeting room can make a huge difference to the level of participation groups and sends a powerful message about expectations for the day.
We have a detailed specification for the ideal meeting room layout. It includes plenty of space to move, natural light and wall space. These sound like absolutely obvious elements but you’d be surprised how often hotels and corporate meeting rooms are designed to prevent these things from happening. Hotels routinely fill the wall space with pictures and use wall coverings specifically designed to stop adhesive tape or wall charts sticking to them. Fixed tables in old-fashioned configurations such as boardroom and U shape are bolted to the floor and effectively prevent a lot of small group work and movement.
Natural light makes an enormous difference, particularly to multi-day training programs. By the third day in a basement room it becomes really hard to get groups energized. This is particularly critical if you have people who travel from different time zones as natural light is the most effective way to reset the body clock and minimize jetlag.
The picture above is my favorite meeting room this year for natural light and space  – admittedly we can’t all have these views of the mountains in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Within the room, round tables seating four to six people encourage group discussion and participation. If you walk into a darkened room with rows of chairs facing a large stage and screen, then it’s quite clear straight away that your role will be “shut up and listen”.
Those initial moments of entering a room help set the tone for the style of meeting you want and the level of participation, you expect – don’t make it look like business as usual!
What is your favorite meeting room? Send us a photo and tell us why (and we’ll pop them on this blog for you with a mention!) – email claire at

Kevan Hall, CEO Global Integration

Kevan Hall is the CEO of Global Integration, and the author of Speed Lead. In addition to the momentous task of leading a team of training consultants specializing in the skills required for managing in complex companies, he is writing a new book and actively participates in facilitating training.

About the author:

Kevan Hall Kevan Hall is a CEO, author, speaker and trainer in matrix management, virtual teams and global working. He is the author of "Speed Lead - faster, simpler ways to manage people, projects and teams in complex companies, "Making the Matrix work - how matrix managers engage people and cut through complexity", and the "Life in a Matrix" podcasts, videos, cartoons and blog. He is CEO and founder of Global Integration. Company profile: .

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