Monday’s IIR Market Research Event agenda included pre-conference sessions. I did a strategic thinking seminar along with Lori Schade in the morning. Thanks to all the attendees who asked questions and offered comments throughout the very interactive session.

I attended Holly O’Neill’s seminar on turbo charging new product ideation in the afternoon. She is president of Talking Business, a California-based marketing firm. Her session included 9 exercises intended to help participants grow in facilitating ideation sessions. Her comments were a reminder about ideation session fundamentals that are easy to overlook. Among these:

  • Create an ideation platform upfront – a clear documentation of the session’s objectives and topic breadth
  • Use an initial mind dump to let people share ideas already on their minds
  • Get people standing up and moving around often to keep energy levels high
  • Consider an inspiration table – a collection of objects designed to spur creativity on the topic being considered
  • Structure exercises that allow people to build off of one another’s ideas
  • Have participants sketch out ideas to help bring them to life

As time permits, I’ll provide additional updates throughout the week on relevant topics.