Ever wondered how to run an event without an agenda, or speakers confirmed until the day?

One of the biggest challenges of organising conferences, lectures or discussion meetings is putting together the perfect programme, finding the speakers and telling them what to talk about.  

Open Space Technology (OST) was developed to allow attendees to self-organise and collaborate around a question of shared concern. It’s a fantastic way to organise an event that allows participants to talk about what they want, when they want and all without you having to spend hours planning a programme.

41 Portland Place hosted it’s first open space event last month and our Council Chamber and Reception room provided the perfect location to run this exciting and surprisingly stress free event format.

60 of the Academy of Medical Science female Fellows were invited to an open space workshop at the central London Grade II listed venue. The aim of the day was to explore ways in which female Fellows can support other women working in biomedical research.

The day began with an opening circle where attendees decided on the agenda of the meeting themselves, allowing their strongest concerns to be at the forefront of the discussions. The Council Chamber, Reception room and Ann Rylands room were used to provide an open and creative space in which guests could move around freely choosing to join whatever discussion sessions they wanted. Small discussion stations were set up around the rooms so attendees knew where to go to meet attendees and share ideas. The Ann Rylands room was converted into a newsroom where participants could write up the note of their session on the day, so there was no need for the organiser to spend days writing up reports and chasing speakers for contributions.

The discussions were of course fuelled by delicious nibbles from the 41 Portland Place team, including mini smoked haddock fish cakes and tomato and basil quiches. A delectable selection of cakes served at a permanent refreshment station meant that guests could access drinks and treats whenever they wanted rather than needing to programme specific slots for refreshment breaks.

Why not try open space technology for your next event? Let the team at 41 Portland Place help take the stress of programme organising away from you.

Please contact Maddie on 020 3176 2182 to discuss an open space workshop for your next event.

Sign up to our newsletter