Coastal Oasis:  A Place for Facilitators to Connect, Create and Rejuvenate
Marriott-Hotel, Myrtle Beach, SC
Wed, February 21 8:00 am – 5:00 pm: Trainer Convening
Wed., February 21 5:00 – 6:00 pm: Gathering Opening Reception
Thurs., February 22 8:00 am – 5:00 pm: Gathering
Fri., February 23 8:00 am – 5:00 pm: Gathering
Sat., February 24 8:00 am – noon: Gathering
Sat., February 24 1:00 - 5:00 pm & Sun., February 25 8:00 am. – noon: Post Courses


What's the ToP Gathering?

The ToP Gathering is an in-person event designed to bring together ToP Network members and ToP practitioners for three days of laughter, learning, sharing and participation.  The term 'gathering' means to bring people together or assemble from various places.  Gathering represents the spirit of this event.

The theme of this year’s Gathering is “Coastal Oasis:  A Place for Facilitators to Connect, Create and Rejuvenate."   Over three days you will experience engaging workshops, all group plenaries, and lively networking around this theme.  We will learn from each other and experience ToP facilitation methods in action.

Hear from Past Attendees

Why should you attend the Gathering?  View your ToP colleagues as they tell you why they attend and what they gain and learn from the Gathering. Hear from Holly Hayes, of the local host team, on why you want to come to Myrtle Beach, SC.

ToP Network YouTube Channel



Program Overview

Pre-Gathering Workshop

Subject: Pre-Gathering Convening to Co-Create our Community Agreements
Date: February 6, 2024 (online)
Time: 8-10:30am PT/11a-1:30pm ET

During this engaging session we will be co-creating community agreements that will serve as the guiding principles for the ToP Gathering  2024.  Connect with other facilitators about the power of community agreements and delve into some ways community agreements can be an anti-oppressive practice.  This session is for everyone whether or not you are attending the Gathering.

Read more about this session and sign up to attend

During the Gathering

You'll participate in workshops, all group plenaries, World Cafe, Open Space sessions and networking breaks. All sessions will be designed with the Gathering theme in mind.  We will include the following interest areas/topics in the sessions:

  1. Developing and strengthening connections among participants in a facilitated meeting
  2. Creating new connections and deepening relationships among facilitators
  3. Introducing new approaches and techniques to facilitation
  4. Modeling ToP facilitation methods
  5. Integrating ToP methods with other methods
  6. Getting back to in-person facilitation
  7. Refining hybrid and virtual facilitation
  8. Caring for and advancing the skill of the facilitator
  9. Sharing ToP training best practices
  10. Addressing emerging topics/issues in 2024

Workshop topics include:

ToP-Notch Connections: Welcome to ToP Annual Gathering
Falling Forward with the Business Side of the Facilitation Business (profit, loss and everything in between)
Walking our Stories as Facilitators
ToP Facilitation in Africa: Lessons Learned
Working in Complexity: Where does ToP fit?
Cultural Dynamics in Africa; Unleashing Development through Inclusive Facilitation
Attitude Alert: Navigating Contentious Conversations
An Integrated Approach to Strategic Planning
Reach a New Level of Connection through Authentic Relating
Integrate Go-To Organization Development Frameworks with ToP Facilitation for Effective Client Outcome
Developing a Personal Rejuvenation Plan that Helps you Recharge and Optimize your Best Performance
The Philosophy Behind ToP

Key Presentation and Discussion:

We have Yvette Pressley, as a guest speaker on the topic of Implicit Bias, followed by a World Cafe for reflection and discussion on the first day. Dr. Yvette Pressley is a Spiritual Formation Instructor for the Doctor of Ministry program at Duke Divinity School in Durham, NC. Her teaching and practical ministry focus on guiding leaders in interracial and intergenerational dialogues and interactions around reconciliation.

Take a look at the emerging program schedule

Fun and Rejuvenating Experiences

Here’s a glimpse of how the Local Experience team is preparing to help you “connect, create & rejuvenate”:

  • Join us on Wednesday (Feb. 21) at 5:00 pm for an engaging opening reception with refreshments, and an afternoon of miniature golf with old and new friends.
  • Thursday and Friday (Feb. 22 & 23) will begin with optional morning yoga and book charting before our amazing sessions start at 8:00 am
  • Throughout the days, we have planned art stations, laughter yoga, qi gong, & beach walking.
  • Don’t forget to visit the selfie station each day!
  • Friday (Feb. 23) will include a catered formal lunch with an evening on the beach as we learn to dance the shag, the official state dance of South Carolina.

Trainer Meetup

All ToP trainers (Qualified, Mentor, Apprentice) are invited to attend the Trainer Meetup that will be held before the Gathering on Wednesday, February 21 8:00 am - 5:00 pm.  This is a time for all trainers to annually get together in person to tend to the business and advancement of the ToP training program.  Lunch and morning and afternoon break refreshments will be provided.  Sign up to attend when you register for the Gathering.  There is no fee to attend.

Registration Fees 

Registration opens October 20, 2023 and closes February 8, 2024.  Early bird rates are available to January 8, 2024. There are discounted rates for ToP Network members.  To join the Top Network is $125 and you will have the opportunity to do so before registering for the Gathering.  We welcome First Time Attendees, colleagues who haven't attended an in-person Gathering before; the discounted rate is $450 for members and $600 for nonmembers.


Rates: Member   Non-Member
First time attendee $450   $600
Early Bird $500   $650
Regular $600   $750
One Day * (Includes Meals)      
Thursday (breakfast & lunch) $170   $245
Friday (breakfast & lunch) $180   $255



Scholarships that cover the registration fee are made available for attendees.  We just issued 15 scholarships.  The ToP Network is pleased to support our colleagues attendance at the Gathering. 

This ToP Gathering Scholarship Fund was established in 2019 and is supported by generous donations from many colleagues.  To make a donation to the Scholarship Fund, Click Here.

Post Courses

We are offering 2 courses for a fee ($500) following the Gathering.  These 1 day courses will be held on February 24 1:00 - 5:00 pm to February 25 8:00 am - 12:00 pm.  This is an opportunity for you to participate in-person at trainings that might not be offered in other locations.  

Making Data Dance (1 day):This course focuses on designing participatory processes for data gathering, review and analysis. We illustrate ways to ground groups in the data they need to make better decisions using the Focused Conversation and Consensus Workshop.

Trainers: Kathleen Paulo and Jane Stallman

Facilitation for Innovation: Inspiring Group Creativity (1 day):  The course incorporates insights from Technology of Participation (ToP) and Design Thinking. The focus is on how to support your teams or the groups you work with to evoke new ideas, innovative solutions and inspiring results. The course is geared for facilitators, team leaders, project managers and educators. You will learn and participate in multiple activities that enable groups to move beyond groupthink to group creativity. There are major modules in this course conducted over an eight-hour period:

  • Shaking Up the Group Mind: Tools to Foster Fresh Ideas
  • Framing and Reframing Problems: Tools to see Complex Problems from New Angles
  • Developing Creative Solutions: Tools to Develop Innovative Strategies

Trainers: Librada Estrada and Ann Epps


The Marriott is located at 8500 Costa Verde Drive, Myrtle Beach, SC.  The group room rate is $199 and rooms are available 3 days pre and post the event at that rate.  You may share a room and we have posted a "request a room-mate form" so you can find a room-mate.  The hotel offers many indoor and outdoor amenities that will enhance your stay near the beach.  Click here to learn more about the hotel

Please remember to make your hotel room reservations by January 23, 2024 to get the group rate of $199. Here's the link to online reservations or call 1-800-228-9290 and reference "The ToP Network Meeting".  You may share a room. To search for and connect with a roommate(s), go to this form.