(Formerly operated as Intellact)
Like most of our services, intallact's Virtual Space Conference Hosting Service is another exclusive offering that you probably won't find anywhere else. No, this concept has nothing to do with computers or the internet — this "Virtual Space" is a unique and powerful concurrent session learning and discussion format for conferences and large meetings. The format has it's roots in the better-known Open Space Technology by Harrison Owen (which we also offer).
Check out the benefits that we guarantee:
Before we describe how we can promise all of the above, you should first know that Virtual Space is not for everyone. Your organization needs all of the following characteristics to tap into the awesome power of V-Space:
If all of the above applies to your organization, we can offer a stunning conference experience that will profoundly increase participant engagement and your expected outcomes - our fee depends on it. This web page covers several aspects of Virtual Space: How it works, What we offer, History and Testimonials.
The Virtual Space concept is based on some key principles:
In a V-Space conference there is no need for 'outside expert presenters' or months of selecting appropriate sessions. Instead, they are an elegant structure of multiple sessions that combine prepared Presentations, unscripted Discussions, and Workshops that can be created mere hours before they happen.
Ahead of Time
It all starts with a theme that can be has broad or focussed as you choose to make it. This is a common starting place for many conferences - so far so good.
Participants are then given an opportunity long before your meeting to prepare short 45 to 60 minute Presentations on any topic relevant to the theme that they have significant experience with and that they feel will be of interest to other participants. These can range anywhere from polished PowerPoints with handouts, to basic research for a moderated discussion.
At the actual conference, we begin with an EMPTY grid of break-out rooms and times. [This is a scary concept for most conference planners. Yes, it is different. No, it is not chaos. Yes, it really works. Most people find it difficult to fully understand V-Space until they have been through it once and witnessed its power.] At the V-Space conference kick-off, the first step is to fully outline the Virtual Space structure: how it works, what its rules are, and what is expected of everyone.
Next, all prepared Presentations are described to the assembled participants by their creators. The audience members are then given the opportunity to describe additional sessions and learning that THEY are looking for, relevant to the conference theme. From this sharing of needs and individual interests, each and every participant has the opportunity to create a Workshop to satisfy any of the requests, or to volunteer to moderate a Discussion session on the topic.
We now have sessions, either prepared or based on relevant experience, that are formally negotiated into concurrent sessions on our V-Space grid, based on the ground rules of the process. When this step is complete (it usually takes 1-2 hours), we have created an entire conference of relevant, timely presentations, workshops, and discussions for everyone to choose from. Each attendee then selects the session that best fits them for each time slot, and we are off and running.
Why it works
A key characteristic is participants taking full responsibility for their own learning and the growth of the organization. If a topic that they want is not there, they ask for it. They select which sessions they will attend. If a session is not what they wanted, they can (and are expected to) leave and move on to another one. If two high interest sessions are in the same time slot, there are mechanisms to request rescheduling or repeating sessions. The results will amaze you and everyone who attends.
Virtual Space (and Open Space) technology requires a skilled guiding hand. In order to be successful, a delicate balance must be maintained between the fluidity of the session creation process and the rigidity of the structure that keeps it all together. That's where we can help. intallact's Virtual Space Conference Hosting Service includes the following:
This service is provided at a very reasonable cost, allowing you to redeploy your conference budget to other initiatives. Even then, we recognize that this might be a daring initiative for you, so we back up our promise. For more information, and to find out if Virtual Space conference sessions are right for you, you can contact us from our home page. Trust the process. It really works.
intallact is a Canadian pioneer of the Virtual Space concept. We were originally exposed to this awesome tool by Tom Leahy of Boulder, Colorado, who has used the format to deliver the National Challenge Course Practitioners Symposium for more than a dozen years. This is how he describes it:
intallact adopted the same approach when we created the annual Canadian Experiential Education Practitioners Symposium in 2002. Our facilitators have now helped to create a number of V-Space conferences, and the format consistently receives rave reviews. Here is a typical anecdote from a recent CEEPS conference:
Feel free to visit some of the above symposium web sites for more information and testimonials on Virtual Space, or contact intallact from our home page.
We are so confident that Virtual Space will deliver total satisfaction, we are willing to back up our service with an iron-clad guarantee:
For more information on our Virtual Space hosting, please contact us.