3 fast tools to help with creative design process
1. Stakeholder Alignment Canvas Exercise:
Before you can design your event, you need to understand who you are designing for. The old saying, “You can keep some people happy some of the time, but not all people all the time” is very true. This four-step process map allows you to think outside of the standard financial and hierarchical stakeholder list and together agree which stakeholders provide the most impact.
Step 1: For 5 min and without discussion create a long list of all the people who could have anything at stake when it comes to the event. Stakeholders can be trivial to fundamental to the events success. Write them on sticky notes and put them on the long list section. As the writer sticks them to the Canvas they vocalise them so everyone can hear them. But no discussion or justification should be given.
Step 2: For 1 minute and without discussion take that long list and plot the stakeholders on the matrix, showing their level of power (can they stop the event from happening) and interest they have in the event (do they want to be involved in its design, do they need certain things to happen at the event for the event to be successful). After the 1 minute is up the team can discuss and debate the location on the Canvas, but for no more than 5 minutes.
Step 3: Stop the debate and ask the team to define and agree upon the overarching aim of the event. In a short statement what is the purpose of the event? What makes it successful. Once that is complete move to step 4.
Step 4: Re-evaluate the Stakeholder’s location on the Matrix referencing each against the Overarching Aim. This step will help you be sure the stakeholders belong in the top quadrant High Power and High Interest. These are the stakeholders we design for first because they provide the biggest impact and therefore value.
2. Retrospective Chart
This is a great tool to get the design team’s thoughts on previous activations. Allowing everyone to evaluate past activities and understand how they can be improved upon for the future. It is important that all activities during live events provide a return on investment. This simple chart helps align the team on the past and work towards the future.
Step 1: Write on the chart (or sticky notes) all the things that were successful at the event.
Step 2: Write on the chart (or sticky notes) all the things that were successful at the event.
Step 3: For every item plan a next action. Keep, Cut, Elaborate, Refine, Sideline.
3- Brain Buckets – Idea Prioritization.
The best brainstorming outcomes arrive when we put no constraint or feasibility on the ideas. A million-dollar idea that isn’t in the budget might spark a five dollar idea that is. Therefore, we always tell people there are no bad ideas and write them all down. However, presented with a huge list of ideas, it can be challenging to sort th
rough them. It is nessecary to evaluate them based on their importance and feasible taking into account time and budget constraints etc.
Step 1: Brainstorm a giant list of ideas (sticky notes) that can solve the event challenges you face. These could be technologies, décor, food or any other elements. Do not disqualify anything because of time, budget or difficulty.
Step 2: Take the notes and plot them on the Idea Prioritization chart or sort them into buckets based on Low Cost/Low Difficulty Low Cost/High Difficulty High Cost/Low Difficulty High Cost/High Difficulty.
Step 3: Discuss as a team which idea/s is the most balanced and which will return the best results for the cost and effort.