Monday, November 19, 2012

Don’t Underestimate the Brainstorm

Brainstorming is an integral part of most creative businesses, and the event industry is absolutely no exception.  In fact, we at BENG! love the brainstorm session portion of our projects that we offer "Free 'Storms"for our clients.  It's a great way to get our team to relax and in the right state of mind, and our clients follow quite quickly. We keep our brainstorms open, free and easy - as they should be. Of course we have creative objectives to reach, but sometimes you need to break the ice before you can move forward on a project. We believe the brainstorm does both: 1 - it takes you right to the heart of your project. 2 - It gets you in creative line with your client, team and sets you on the right track for your project. 

How do we do it?
There are so many articles out there that negate the positive elements of brainstorming. We agree the traditional brainstorm where everyone gets a pencil and a notepad and goes around the room taking turns on ideas isn't the most effective way to get to your creative objectives. So, how do we do it? How should you do it? Here are some helpful tips:

1. There Is A Time and Place For Everything
Know your audience, know what you are trying to brainstorm about and feed into it. You need to find the right time and the right location to create an environment that fosters creativity. It's not about sitting in a room and not coming out until you're done.

2. Understand your objective
Know before you begin what you are going to discuss, plan your meeting attendance accordingly and have a plan. You cannot expect that everyone sits in a room and shouts out ideas until the perfect one arises, you need to nurture the environment and the relationships. You foster the ideas, and 

3. Be prepared
Get some research done. Think about what your goals are and how you want your team to achieve them. Come to the meeting prepared with "thinking" points so that you can share and provide input to the conversation. Everything is a work in progress during a no one should feel under prepared, but you should at least have had a moment to think about the topic.

4. Guidance is Key 
Define a clear leader in the brainstorm. The person should be in charge of the open flow of conversation, ideas, and positivity. Sometimes the best work is found when going off topic, but you have to know when enough is enough. Also, having a leader will help your team feel safe and comfortable, knowing that negativity wont have a place in the room. 

5. Don't Force It, Sometimes 2 Times is A Charm
Sometimes we have to do more than one brainstorm. The questions and ideas that come up in the first one lead to more roads to explore and that can take time. Don't worry if you don't leave the room with a concrete idea or direction...brainstorms can help you in the right direction and sometimes you need more than one.

Tips on how you or your agency brainstorm? Any unusual places? Let me know nicolen at bengny dot com