Hosting Successful Brainstorming Sessions

Posted by Mitchell Communications Group on August 1, 2013

Coming out of a good brainstorming session can be incredibly inspiring. Coming out of a bad one? Well, that can be hugely frustrating. So how do you make sure your session is a success? Try these tips the next time you set up a brainstorming session.

Hosting Successful Brainstorming Sessions 20130730

You must first decide the purpose of your brainstorming session. Be clear and concise about what you want to achieve and how long you expect the session to last. It can be extremely helpful to develop a creative brief in advance of your session. The brief should define the objective or goal of the campaign as well as any issues the campaign may need to overcome. It also should contain relevant research and audience insights. In a perfect world, getting client buy-in on your brief before you distribute your materials to the team is best.

You should be sure to send off your creative brief and any related materials to the team you have selected in advance of the session. You want to allow participants enough time to review the materials and, hopefully, provide them with the opportunity to think privately before the brainstorm starts.

Speaking of your team, you will want to think through who you want to invite to your session. Ideally, you should have six to eight people to create a diverse group. You want to include those who have knowledge of the core issue and/or audience, but you also may want to bring in people who fit the target profile, those with a reputation for thinking of the “big ideas” or even some outsiders to bring a fresh perspective.

The most successful brainstorming sessions are managed by a facilitator who not only understands the creative process but also can engage the group in a balanced, inspired discussion while providing encouragement to think outside of the box.

After the session has taken place, you need to decide what the next steps will be. Do you have enough information to meet you goals or objectives? Do you want to schedule a work session to take a deeper dive into some of the top ideas uncovered? Whatever the case, be sure to follow up with your team to let them know the outcome. It can be helpful for them to see how their ideas were incorporated into the final product.

What tips have helped make your brainstorming sessions a success? Tell us in the comments below, or tweet your responses using the hashtag #mcgblog.