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Community collaboration key in creating GoSite

From a stakeholder coalition to a community survey, many voices are needed to build a 21st century information sharing space in the heart of Grand Rapids.
Underwriting support from:
Maya Lin's "Ecliptic" at Rosa Parks Circle near GoSite location

Maya Lin's "Ecliptic" at Rosa Parks Circle near GoSite location /Courtesy Grand Rapids Art Museum

The future location for the GoSite Information Sharing Space

The future location for the GoSite Information Sharing Space /Courtesy Grand Rapids Art Museum

A vibrant downtown will now have a welcoming place for information sharing

A vibrant downtown will now have a welcoming place for information sharing /Courtesy Grand Rapids Art Museum

It is a great time to be in Grand Rapids. The energy is all around. We are a community that knows how to mix tradition and innovation, respect for the past and an open mind for the future and most of all how to work together to build the kind of place where all can enjoy a wonderful quality of life.

Working together is key for the new GoSite located in downtown Grand Rapids, in the northwest corner of the Grand Rapids Art Museum adjacent to Rosa Parks Circle. Together with a coalition of partners including Experience Grand Rapids, Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc., the Arena District and the Cultural Marketing Group representing over 20 arts and cultural organizations, the framework is coming together for this unique information sharing space that will serve tourists and locals alike.

The idea is to create an environment that reframes the traditional travel information center to empower and fully engage an integrated 21st century audience. In a digital world, ways of communicating have changed significantly, eliminating barriers between visitors and residents in the conversation, and enriching the experience for all.

In addition, the multi-faceted platform of information sharing about metro Grand Rapids, linking content created by various segments of the community, can also assist local businesses in welcoming potential new employees and their families to the area while at the same time highlighting products and services in the region. Incoming college and university students will also find a useful, one-stop location to begin their exploration of the vibrant areas surrounding their campuses.

Again, collaboration is key. Many excellent organizations, from Hello West Michigan to the Avenue for the Arts, as well as other groups and associations, have a wealth of information available through their websites, literature and social media efforts. Having a high-profile location in the city center to help link to each and shine a light on the programming, events and resources available will increase awareness and participation, as well as better reflect the diverse and numerous local offerings with just a simple visit to the GoSite.

Core values of the GoSite include:

  • To be inclusive of the diverse elements of the Grand Rapids community.
  • To contribute to the promotion of the region in a way that maximizes the experience and provides greater exposure to local offerings.
  • To encourage participation and feedback in the ongoing conversation about the area, creating a greater sense of community.
  • To achieve superior customer satisfaction levels with visitors, residents, stakeholders and supporters.
  • To be a collaborative and comfortable space in a central location, a recharge zone on many levels.
  • To be flexible, comprehensive in content, accessible and used by many different segments of the community.
  • To be valuable on multiple levels and work across various sectors of business, government, nonprofit and other organizations to create a network of information sharing.
  • To use the latest technology in creating a fun, interactive and up-to-the-minute environment of information sharing.
  • To understand needs of different audiences in information sharing techniques, including traditional methods as well as the latest trends.
  • To incorporate distinctive design expected of this city, human-centered with form and function, able to accommodate community partners as well as offer special event opportunities.

From wayfinding methods and tools, to interactive touch screens and social media feeds to special guest speakers and events, the GoSite discussions are enthusiastic and approaching the framework from multiple perspectives. Everyone in the community is encouraged to join in the discussion with the first of many surveys by following this link to answer 10 short questions about basic services and hours. Enter to win a GRAM Membership at the end of the survey.

Take the GRAM GoSite Survey.

The timeline for the GoSite will be announced soon, you’ll be sure to hear more about it in Place Matters as the project develops this summer.

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