Here's our suggested list of everything you need to prepare for the Ideation session for an Organization (for both traveling on site with a client and hosting at your offices). If you think of other items that are useful, please share with us!

Right After Planning:

  1. Agency Lead to get names of participant(s) from clients
  2. Agency Support to set up the meeting for client and team

Goals/Purpose of Ideation:

  • Volume of tactics
  • Client buy-in of the process and ideas
  • Generate tactics that are focused on driving to the success metrics/measurements

Materials Needed:

  • Ideation workbooks (download the template in InDesign and/or PDF).
  • Category posters (download the template in InDesign and/or PDF)
  • Index cards
  • Pens/pencils
  • Sharpies
  • Scotch tape

Creative Team Homework:

  • Familiarize yourself with the Plan and measurements prior to the session
  • Meet with the Lead and Support to understand the clients' mandatory goals/initiatives to accomplish in Ideation (You will find that 9 times out of 10, there is a specific "thing" the client wants to push through and you are the neutral third party they are using to get it through)
  • Understand any additional background or insight on the client, as well as who the players are in the room and if there are any road bumps to avoid
  • Send email to client as a welcome, include the guidelines

Sample email to clients to edit as you see fit:

The Agency Creative Team would like to welcome you to the Transcend portion of our process, which begins with this collaborative Ideation session. The session will be a two-day deep dive of each of the categories and its specific measurements. We will be coming up with a wealth of tactical ideas to serve each that run the gamut from change management and internal processes to big external marketing ideas and exciting transformative creative. Always keep in mind when ideating or listening to others ideate, there are no bad ideas.

The goal of the session is to accumulate a large volume of tactical ideas so we will move fast and solicit ideas from every single person in attendance. Remember, if you’re there it’s because you’re essential to our plan’s success so everyone is expected to participate!

Bring nothing but yourself as brainstorm materials and refreshments will be provided (directions and instructions on where to park are below). There is a strict no-tech policy during the brainstorm. Computers and phones are to be off and away from your person. If you need your device at a certain time, your are invited to step away from the group to retrieve and use it.

We will begin the day at [insert time] with introductions, set up rules for the session and then get to work right away.

From the Agency side, the team members attending are:

insert names here]

Thank you for participating in this creative process with us — we are thrilled just at the idea of what will come of this brainstorm.

From, [Your Agency's] Creative Team"

--end email--

Also, in case you missed it, we've created two handy sheets which outline how to set up the room, materials and supplies needed, how to run an Ideation session, rules and reminders and a suggested agenda. Download Ideation Preparation Sheet 1 here and download Ideation Preparation Sheet 2 here - both PDFs.

Let's take a look at some tips and tricks for running an Ideation session next.

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