“Imagination is more important than knowledge” Albert Einstein
What a dynamic session! I had the privilege of teaching another event management course for the Georgia Center for Nonprofit’s Nonprofit University.
I always encourage people to start the planning phase of all marketing communications initiatives with a brainstorming session. It is very useful when planning a new or updating an established special event.
Brainstorming creates a freewheeling environment in which everyone is encouraged to participate. There are no “wrong” or “bad” ideas.
Make sure participants have fun brainstorming. Encourage them to come up with as many ideas as possible, from the solidly practical to whimsical. Welcome creativity!
Here are some suggestions for holding a great brainstorming session. These are from Notes For Nonprofits :
- Set a Goal – This helps keep everyone on track
- Be Strategic – Invite people with diverging opinions. Be sure and create a mix of big picture thinkers.
- Post an Agenda – Brainstorming doesn’t necessarily mean a free for all. Creating an outline will keep you on task and help you focus on specific sections.
- Start the session off with leading questions.
- Encourage everyone to speak.
- Determine data collection. I like to provide a flip chart so everyone can see all the responses.
- Set a time limit. I suggest you break the session into 1/2 hour segments. If not, the session tends to become dry.
Brainstorming to add to your next special event? Once the goal is set, hold your brainstorming session. Betsy Wiersma and Karl Strolberg suggest using four open-ended questions to add WOW to your event:
- What will surprise our guests?
- What will they talk about after the event?
- What will leave a lasting impression?
- What will be extra special or unique?
Have you had any successes brainstorming? I would love to hear from you!