Running Creative Hothouse Meetings

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Teams back together and looking to run a more traditional brainstorming sessions to encourage fresh and creative thinking? Check out five top tips to help you run a more effective brainstorming workshops with your teams to generate more creative ideas to grow your business.

Top Tip 1 - Have a Good Creative Facilitator

To provide inspiration and to keep people focused, have a good creative facilitator. They will control the meeting with different tasks and exercises in line with the agreed workshop agenda. They need to provide guidance and inspiration, with clear instructions and good examples of what the meeting is trying to achieve.

Top-Tip 2 - Focus Idea Generation on Deeper Insights and Trends

Most brands we work with don't have a shortage of market or customer data. The real challenge is to identify and then focus on the deeper insights that will truly inspire winning innovation. Before the ideas workshop, take time to identify insights and pain points that you can then share with the workshop team.  We suggest splitting the group into 2 and 3s, and give each group 1 or 2 insights to focus on. If the insights are good, the ideas will flow. Rotate the insights and rotate the small teams to keep things fresh.

Top-Tip 3 - Consider Running an Insight Brainstorming Workshop

If you don't have good insights, before you focus on idea generation, why not run an "insight brainstorming workshop"? Use a variety of games and techniques, including synthesis of available data combined with some quick social media listening. Look at "old data" with fresh eyes to identify deeper insights and pain points. Then select the insights that you feel have the greatest potential to inspire ideas. The video below shows how we run insight brainstorming using our Zip-Zap Ideas® platform.

Top-Tip 4 - Be Dangerous and Use Different Creative Facilitation Techniques

In addition to insights, be ready to use a range of different creative facilitation techniques to challenge and inspire fresh thinking. Simple techniques include role play (ideas that different celebrities might have); focusing on random words; role play but from the perspective of different animals; thinking like a start-up; giving the group a box of random objects; ideas inspired by music and sounds; ideas inspired by random newspaper headlines. For techniques in action, watch the video below on how we run creative facilitation training. Don't panic, we don't always dress up but it can help!

Top Tip 5 - Get Fast Feedback from Target Customers

Once you have developed a range of early ideas, look to quickly identify the ones with greatest potential, to identify the top 4 or 5 ideas to take into more detailed development. Our overnight fastSCREEN™ consumer panels are run with Zip-Zap Ideas®, for a faster and more cost-effective way of screening "leading ideas" with target consumers and key stakeholders. Available in all major markets, they are normally run overnight to screen between 24 and 48 mini-concepts that appear in random order.


Get in touch if you have any questions or comments - we'd love to hear from you.