Unusual unconferences is the new series of articles aimed at surprising you with a fresh and unconventional approach to business meetings, incentives, conferences and events. Vienna House hopes, the ideas shared on this blog, will become your favourite source of inspiration, when you plan your next business event.
The Open Fishbowl meeting
Are you eager to know, how to organize a conference or training that eliminates the oftentimes slightly dull one-sided communication in the form of a lecture? A good solution may be the OPEN FISHBOWL meeting. During this meeting, each one of the participants has the opportunity to speak. This meeting option combines the conventional information sharing with the exchange of views, questions and experiences and ensures a dynamic and interactive gathering. Sounds compelling, doesn’t it?
The rules of the “game”
The rules of the OPEN FISHBOWL are above all determined by the proper organization of space. At least two circles of chairs need to be arranged – a smaller circle and a larger one. Chairs for participants are positioned in such a way, that the central point of discussion for the experts is in the inner circle, which forms the so called “open fishbowl”. It’s called like this, as at least one of the chairs in the inner circle is empty. Any member of the audience may (at any time or at previously agreed moments) occupy the empty chair in the discussion circle and join the fishbowl to take an active part in the debate. Chairs can be easily arranged in this way in any small or large conference room without no additional technical requirements to be met.
A debate is started by the moderator who introduces the topic to the participants sitting in the circles. Depending on the number of participants in the meeting and their willingness to speak, the length of the discussion may vary, but it should be more or less predetermined. When time runs out, the moderator summarizes the discussion.
Strong points of the Open Fishbowl format
The course of the meeting depends on the issues raised, the purpose of the meeting, and the attitudes of the participants. An event organized in the OPEN FISHBOWL format, can make participants active in a nonintrusive, natural way. This is a good option when you want to unlock potential, initiate the exchange of knowledge and experiences and avoid pressure. Such a solution will be suitable both for passive observers of the discussion (rotation breaks the monotony) and for those who are willing to speak in public. In terms of organization, the form is simple – it does not require any special conditions, additional costs, or preparatory measures.
Give it a try and organize the Open Fishbowl or any other event in Poland!
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