On the Beach!

owen owen at tmn.com
Mon Dec 14 14:56:30 PST 1998

At 04:08 PM 12/14/1998 -0500, you wrote:
>I have never facilitated Open Space on the beach but have facilitated a
>Future Search in India by the Ganges in an open air structure.  It was an
>amazingly beautiful location in a wildlife park.  The things that affected
>work were rain - even though we were basically protected, the noise from the
>rain hitting the tin roof drowned out any possibility of communication even
>within the small groups.  Wind - again, it's amazing how hard and exhausting
>it is to communicate when you get a good wind blowing.  Water - the sound of
>rushing water in the far distance is soothing but when it's real close it
>affects how much you can hear (I expect waves would have a similar effect).
>Temperature - it was "unseasonably" hot and by 2:00 in the afternoon,
>unbearable for doing much of anything except sweat and dehydrate.  Although
>people were thrilled with the idea of our location and plans prior to the
>event, they were unanimous in that they did not want to try to hold such an
>event outdoors again.
>The other stuff, like where to hang things and how to identify where the
>breakout groups have gone are all manageable compared to "mother nature."
>You may want to consider having an indoor room with tons of patio doors that
>lead to the beach so that you can access the best of both worlds <g>.
>Good luck.
Ralph Baby -- I think Kim's advice about some indoor version is worth
considering -- or you could try my canefield tent version. I guess the
issue is -- do they want to have a romp on the beach -- fine. or get
something done????? h.

>From  Mon Dec 14 15:15:36 1998
Message-Id: <MON.14.DEC.1998.151536.0500.>
Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 15:15:36 -0500
Reply-To: rhodes at smsys.com
From: Rhodes Hileman <rhodes at smsys.com>
Organization: Small Systems Co
Subject: Re: On the Beach!
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ralphsc wrote:
> Friends,
> A corporate client wants its open space meeting of 110 people done on the beach in Florida.

Hello Ralph,

What springs to mind:

        Surf.  Noise may make conversation difficult in all
but the smallest groups. Since it's an OS, that cuts two ways.
The small groups won't have to go very far to acheive isolation.
The whole group will only be able to hear someone who is well

        Sun.  People from Florida will not have a problem with
this, or at least they will already know what to do.  People
coming from elsewhere may need some coaching about UV
exposure, etc.  Everyone will need water.

        Wind.  Posting paper on anything you contrive may be
frustrating.  How about renting a slew of white boards?  I assume
you're not having this event in hurricane season (the Fall).  Even
so, blowing sand may be a problem at other times of year.

        People.  How do you limit participation in the event to the
legitimate participants?  Or do you care?

        Dogs.  Not a problem.

        Rain.  Unlikely.  But possible.  Is there a backup space nearby?

I think that about covers it.  Why do they want to do it on the beach?
Because in Fla., the term "open space" suggests beaches?
If you knew that, it might help with the planning.

Rhodes Hileman
mailto:rhodes at smsys.com      land: 206-328-8364
http://www.smsys.com/        cell: 206-595-9174

We must always seek to ally ourselves with
that part of the enemy that knows what is right.

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