The Guardian officially led the way within the newspaper industry last weekend by hosting The Guardian Open Weekend. The National newspaper opened its doors and welcomed over 5,000 people into their offices at King’s Place to participate in a series of debates and workshops, which can only be described as a once in a life time experience.
The festival, held over the course of two days on the weekend of the 24th March 2012 was a fantastic opportunity for its readers to take part in a variety of discussions, talks, music, food, comedy, poetry and fun. The event kicked off at 10am on Saturday morning with talks to suit everyone ranging from “What might the Guardian’s future look like?” to “how to make buttermilk & lemon zest pancakes with a warm fruit compote” .
Guest speakers from around the world took part in the open weekend along with some of the top writers, editors, digital developers and photographers from the Guardian. These guests included the likes of Simon Jenkins, Polly Toynbee, Ian McEwan, Robert Harris, David Hare, Steve McQueen, Ahdaf Soueif, Jeffrey Sachs, Jeanette Winterson, Jeremy Deller and Jon Snow.
The weekend was aimed at bringing Guardian readers together, to learn the future plans of the newspaper and to recognise their biggest achievements of the last twelve months. The event, allowing unprecedented access to all areas of the paper, proudly showcased The Guardian’s evolution, with clippings displayed ranging from its launch as The Manchester Guardian in 1821 to its current day breaking news coverage, such as front pages from the 9/11 attacks and the London riots. For those attending with families with budding journalists, there were opportunities at “The Hub” throughout the day designed to encourage young people to get involved in all aspects of journalism.
The Guardian Open Weekend appears to have been a great success having sold out prior to the weekend of all day passes and most of the 200 events. The overall atmosphere was buzzing and the volume of tweets and blog posts was phenomenal.
Following the success of The Guardian Open Weekend, Cision is looking forward to similar exciting events in the future.