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US – GiGse adopts innovative engagement tool

By - 13 October 2014

Organisers of next year’s GiGse (April 21-23, San Francisco, CA) are promising a ‘transformational experience’ following the unique output generated by the first GiGse Advisory Board meeting, which was held using the innovative ‘Open Space’ format favoured by many of the world’s most progressive organisations.

Convened in Las Vegas across September 28 to 29, the 40 strong Advisory Board, which comprises respected industry thought leaders including Ian Hogg, Chairman, GamCrowd; Susan Hensel, Licensing Director, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board; Nevada Senator Greg Brower; and David Licht, Chairman, All American Poker Network, made huge advances identifying over 40 themes the industry feels passionate about and which will consequently form the basis of the GiGse programme moving forward.

Much of the success of the two half day Advisory Board meeting has been attributed to the adoption of ‘Open Space Technology’, a format which has no formal or pre-determined agenda, instead empowering participants to create the agenda for themselves and to self-organise the discussions which arise.

Ewa Bakun, Head of Content, Gaming at Clarion Events explained: “Open Space Technology originated in the US and has been used in different formats since the early 1980s. It works most effectively when certain conditions are met including business issues that stakeholders are genuinely passionate about, and where there is a real sense of purpose – both of which, I’m pleased to say, apply to the GiGse brand. I am delighted that we made such fantastic progress in such a short period of time and that there is such a ground swell of positivity towards the GiGse brand.”

This upbeat view was echoed by Valerie Spicer, Executive Director, Arizona Indian Gaming Association, who commented: “I found that the engagement and interaction of the ‘open space’ concept was what has been missing in the many conferences I attend. The ability to discuss important topics with a group of professional stakeholders was not only informative, but left me feeling as though I had achieved something and gained something – that is a valuable take away.”

Luisa Woods, Director of Online and Internet Marketing at Tropicana added: “I have to say I was initially skeptical of the proposed format, but the outcome very quickly changed my thinking. The ‘self-organising’ structure of the meetings meant that I was always gathering to discuss topics I’m passionate about and that are critical to our business. Also it meant that the other participants in each session were similarly engaged and focused.”

Ewa Bakun concluded: “The methodology used at the GiGse Advisory Board Meeting and the free flowing discussions has enabled us to identify the themes the industry is really passionate about. I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to the 40 members of the Board who made such an invaluable contribution to the process. A Book of Proceedings will now be published to gather the conclusions, share them with the wider industry and serve as a basis for the GiGse 2015 agenda.”

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