Riggs uses two styles of open source style meetings: structured and creative. The structured style works best for a less relaxed group of attendees or when the meeting style is first introduced to a group.
• Set a large room in rounds
• Provide simple tools like markers, post-its, flip charts
• Use a microphone for announcements and instructions by a facilitator
• Seat attendees at random tables by encouraging them to sit with new people to gain the most new knowledge
• Attendees start conversation on topics that cause them stress, stump them or have heard of but want more information on
• Encourage record keeping, but this is not mandatory
• Attendees who feel they are not getting information that they need are encouraged to move freely to other table discussions
•Set small pockets of time in the meeting agenda for meet ups and conversation
• Do not schedule competing speakers or events during these times
• Style works best in large foyer with small pods of comfortable seating with high foot traffic
Provide tools to record the conversation
Place food near this area
During this open time, attendees move around freely and join in any conversation that interests them
Riggs reveals both formats are acceptable and that when first used it takes a bit of getting used to, but over time it becomes harder to break up these conversations than it is to get them going.
For those seasoned meeting planners who have been taught that content is key to meeting success, this open source style meeting concept is a mind shift. Industry leaders as paid speakers are valuable but so are meeting attendees who gather with peers to share interests, problems and successes.
What do you think? Have you attended a meeting that uses this format? Did you like it, why or why not? Do share.