The GOSite will be an innovative, fun, and welcoming place for visitors and locals alike to find and share information and ideas about Grand Rapids; a convenient, central location to help people explore, discover, meet friends, and find their niche in the wonderfully diverse Grand Rapids community and neighborhoods.
Extensive research and community meetings resulted in preliminary design drafts for the space, along with ideas for programming. But that wasn’t the end of the planning, just the beginning. Thousands more voices were needed to truly design a place reflective of the whole community.
So this past summer, the GoSite Pop Up opened to present design plans, pilot programming, and to ask the public for feedback and ideas in creating this innovative gathering place.
The results were astounding! Over the seven week Pop Up phase, the space averaged over 120 visitors per day. Guests provided feedback, sampled programs, and helped inform traffic patterns and which services and items in Grand Rapids were most requested by visitors.
Those stopping by included locals from every neighborhood, people new to Grand Rapids due to a career move, students, business owners, and travelers from around the world.
Following the Pop Up phase, the GoSite partnered with DesignVox, a local consulting firm, to analyze over 3,000 feedback notes, experience expectations, web and interview comments, and personal observations from staff and volunteers.
We learned a lot from visitors and community residents, and gained a better understanding of guests’ needs.
Overall, the most important confirmation: People want to connect with people! A personalized experience is best facilitated by a person, and while it is good to have digital tools, maps, diverse programming, calendar of events, and other important information, the key to a successful experience is the human interaction.
We couldn’t be more thrilled with the public response and how it helped define the design and function of the GoSite. We are ready to get started with full confidence of its design direction. Space remodeling begins in January 5, and stay tuned for the official announcement soon for the Opening Day celebration and launch in Spring 2015!