Get Smart About Strategy Sessions: Because the Future of Your Business Depends On It

August 23, 2016

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ImageThink graphic records during a creative brainstorm with attendees using the board as a reference tool.

ImageThink graphic records during a brainstorming session.

 Are you ready to plan a successful brainstorming meeting and maximize the impact of your strategy session?

We constantly seek to innovate for our clients, and they turn to us because we provide the insight and wisdom to creatively frame sessions and extract big ideas. Our extensive experience working with businesses across industries for over seven years has taught us the key ingredients that go into a successful strategy, brainstorm, or planning session.Want to know more about how visuals can enhance, align, and focus your strategy session? Read on to learn how to get more from your meeting before, during, and after everyone returns to work.
ImageThink sets up multiple stations with graphic recorders in the room during a strategy session to capture multiple breakouts occuring simultaneously.

ImageThink sets up multiple graphic recorders in a client session to capture all of the breakouts in the room.

Before Your Event

Get Real About What You Want To Get Done Give your attendees a framework that keeps your meeting structured and less prone to getting derailed. Vet and know your goals and agenda and set realistic expectations for the meeting. Be sure to discuss your objectives with your graphic facilitator so they have the opportunity to bring you their expertise and so you have the opportunity to discuss how to best work together. Get The Right People In The RoomMake sure essential people are involved while planning so you guarantee you have authority, decision makers, and providers of key insights during your session. Without the right mix of people, you may find your meeting stalling out and losing direction. Connect the right people with your graphic facilitator to maximize their impact together.Be Smart, Be Visual with TemplatesPre-event templates and infographics are a creative way to align and engage working groups. They also provide a framework for you to integrate with your graphic recorders/facilitators to create focused, creative brainstorming and strategy sessions.  Take a look at your agenda and discuss opportunities where you can get creative with templates.
ImageThink journey map template

A ‘journey map’ template shows ways to get towards long term goals.

Event Day: Brainstorming Techniques + Strategy Techniques

Graphic facilitators take notes so you don’t have to. They’re experts as trained conversation facilitators, and keep participants engaged throughout the duration of a strategy session. With one in your meeting you can be assured that a group’s ideas are documented and synthesized.  The result is concise, clear, and connected ideas.  Your group’s visions, goals and observations are even more powerful when they are transformed into a visual metaphor, like a journey map or growth plan.Visual brainstorming creates structure and unlocks creativity during meetings and strategy sessions. The visual notes become a powerful tool to turn thought into action. They can lead groups to identify next steps, and to encourage reflection from your attendees. Your meeting attendees can vote directly on a visual with post-its or sticky dots to clearly prioritize what’s important. Templates, like the one above, help structure the discussion and invite active participation in a group.

After Your Event:

Even after the day’s proceedings come to a close, the images from your meeting can continue to support the large initiative of your meeting. Experienced graphic recorders will professionally photograph the illustrated meeting notes. These digital assets are a useful tool for you to share and  further facilitate reflection and action amongst attendees. Your strategy session or brainstorming session will live on in the visuals created on site and continue to spark inspiration. Use them for further reflection, for reference, or to create enduring assets to gift and send out to clients, attendees, and key stakeholders.
ImageThink offers solutions for you to create enduring assets after your event ends. Pictured here are some books, cards, stickers, and cases made from ImageThink's prints.

Create books, cards, cases, stickers, and more with your boards after your event ends.

Continue the Strategy Session with Draw Your Big Idea 

ImageThink co-founders Nora Herting and Heather Willems wrote Draw Your Big Idea which presents their sought-after guidance and more than 150 drawing exercises tailored to brainstorming, refining, and executing ideas in the home, studio, and office. Learn graphic recording and visual facilitation tools, and the skill sets that allow us to support an elite roster of clients with our services around the globe. Draw Your Big Idea has been featured in Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneurs en Vogue, and more. Before or after your event, continue to draw inspiration from ImageThink’s work and apply visual thinking in your workplace with colleagues, clients, and beyond.ContentMarketing-DrawYourBigIdea-AntiBucketList-053116As leaders in the graphic facilitation field, ImageThink has supported over 300 sessions per year, meaning we’ve logged tens of thousands of hours over the seven years we’ve been in business. Featured in TED Talks, on the Today Show, and in Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, our team has visualized the big ideas of some of the most influential companies and thought leaders in thirteen countries on four continents.Interested in collaborating together to make your strategy session visual? Reach out at ten.k1487629298nihte1487629298gami@1487629298ofni1487629298 for more information. Click here for a full list of all our services!