Events, meetings, and conferences should be an exciting and worthwhile opportunity to collaborate and tackle topics that matter to those attending and not feel like some unusual form of punishment. With a little help from your ThoughtExchange license, you can access the diverse perspectives in your organization, be inclusive in gathering input (even from the silent majority) and make sure your event is everything your attendees are looking forward to.
Let it be known, we’ve seen it completely change the energy in the room in the span of the first five to ten minutes of the event - before people are even through with the continental breakfast.
So let’s dive into a few great use cases, complete with questions you can use to keep the ball rolling for your next event.
Question: What are some important things for us to discuss at our upcoming event/meeting?
Give people a sense of ownership to drive engagement and build excitement. This question helps reinforce to your attendees that they are stakeholders in the event and not mere spectators along for the ride.
Live in the room after a presentation
Question: What are some things we need to be discussing about this important topic?
OR What are your thoughts, both positive and critical, about how we’re doing in this important topic?
Let the team define what they want to explore further - you will likely be surprised. Gather up a list of interests from the presentation and create opportunity to drill down into the things that matter most to the group.
Live in the room as a wrap-up
Question: What are some key insights from this event that we should take forward into our daily work?
Take time to reflect on what everyone has learned and how they will apply it. Heck, allowing opportunity to share key takeaways can bring insights that weren’t even covered in the event. Just be sure to make time to run this one live in the room so you don’t lose the learning after everyone heads off to their busy lives.
For more examples of questions for each step of the event planning process, check out 10 Ways to Use ThoughtExchange to Support Your Next Event
Run the Exchange
Here are a few tips to help you move participants through the Live Exchange.
- Use the Present feature to guide participants through the experience and keep them engaged.
- There will be a bit of a kerfuffle at first as people get organized and sort out how to join. Don't panic. Encourage participants to lean over and help their neighbour - the room will soon become very quiet!
- Give them about 10-12 minutes to enter their thoughts and rate.
- Move participants along to the star step. About halfway through (usually around 5 minute mark), announce that if they haven't gone to the star step yet, please do now. Ideally you would like participants to star at least around 30 thoughts. If participants are starring already, ask them to star at least 15-20 more (depending on how many participants you have in the room and their activity).
- *You can keep an eye on the number of thoughts and pending thoughts by refreshing the "Results" page.
For more information on the how-to's or running an Exchange at an event or meeting, click here.
Partner to discuss the results. What’s interesting about them?
Have people pair up with the person sitting next to them to talk about the top five to ten thoughts in the Exchange, and the insights (or perhaps even surprises) about them. What’s of interest? What are the takeaways?
Ask for a few brave souls to share some of the things they heard or learned.
This is where our trickle-up method culminates in key insights and takeaways being shared with the entire room. Even if it’s the same few that keep sharing with the larger group, the important thing is that every voice is being considered and meaningful conversations are taking place.
Now that you’ve got a framework for using ThoughtExchange Standard to redefine collaboration at your next event, check out our blog post on leading great live Exchanges, written by ThoughtExchange CEO Dave MacLeod. Also, check out how Dave put this into practice at the OPEX Exchange. (We linked straight to the relevant part of his talk - but please do check out the entire thing. Trust us, it’s worth the watch.)