Open Space to maximise networking at GiGse

The Open Space concept will maximise networking opportunities next month at GiGse in San Francisco, California, according to Tabatha Addison, who will help to steer the meeting methodology.

Open Space, which allows participants to create and manage their own agenda of parallel sessions around a central theme of strategic importance, will take place at GiGse – held at the Hyatt Regency from April 20-22 – after being tested out at the event’s advisory board meeting in September.

“The feedback that we received was overwhelmingly positive,” said Addison, who has more than 20 years of experience in leadership and professional development.

“As with all of the Open Space functions I have had the pleasure of facilitating, initially the participants were somewhat skeptical as it was different than any meeting format anyone had ever attended.

“That said, by the end, the group gave it a big thumbs up!”

With Open Space, all of the issues that are important to the participants will be raised – rather than the organisers imposing a strict agenda.
Those issues will be addressed by participants who are most qualified to talk about them, and the resulting ideas and recommendations will be documented in a comprehensive report.

“In my experience, the entire ‘meeting’ really is a networking session,” Addison, who became a certified Open Space facilitator in 2009, added.

“As the session topics are created organically by the participants, there aren’t really any barriers.

“If there is a topic or discussion that doesn’t interest you, then don’t attend it and go to another one. With each participant having the opportunity to create any agenda item they wish, the communication remains open at all times.”

Key topics at GiGse are likely to include how a California and tribal gaming model can be established; what the experiences in regulated states mean in terms of policies and public awareness across the US; and convergence, games and marketing.

“With Open Space, after an event, all of the results will be made available to an entire organisation or community within days, so the conversation can invite every stakeholder into implementation straight away,” Addison said.

“Results like these can be planned and implemented faster than any other kind of so-called ‘large-group intervention’. It is literally possible to accomplish in days and weeks what some other approaches take months and years to do.”