On the 5th of September, IBV hosted the first digital workshop meetup in Switzerland. The goal of the meetup was to experience several workshop techniques only using digital tools. The meetup took place at the IBV Collaboration Space in Bonstetten (Zürich).
The IBV Collaboration Space provides the latest technologies that allow us to completely digitize actions in a workshop or a collaborative session. Large interactive displays serve as digital whiteboards or workshop walls. Each attendee got a tablet (in our case a Microsoft Surface Go) to contribute during the workshop exercises.
The attendees of the meetup were fascinated, impressed and really enjoyed using the different technologies for doing the workshop. A great mix of consultants, HR people, trainers, teachers, sales and marketing people made the evening an extraordinary event and the outcome of the workshop very interesting.
Doing a workshop completely digital is an effort. It takes some time to get familiar with hard- and software. As we learned a lot over the past few years about how to introduce workshop attendees to these technologies and the workshop techniques, we created a special agenda for the workshop.
Several people came early and we used this time to let them experience the technologies we used later during the workshop. We started with a special “Welcome Exercise”, a simple but powerful one.
Every attendee had to write down some personal information in a prepared table on one of the interactive displays and add a picture from their last vacation. So people learned how to write with the digital pen and got familiar with the software searching for images.
After presenting the agenda of the digital workshop we gave a short introduction to the used technologies. People learned the 3 key principles of working with CollaBoard:
- Ink on the screen canvas with a digital pen (the pendant of working with an analog flipchart or whiteboard)
- Create and write on digital sticky notes on the tablet and send them to the big screen
- Zoom in and out of the canvas (as if you would step away from the flipchart in front of you and go to another one)
For our case each attendee got a Microsoft Surface Go with a pen and CollaBoard running on it. After this introduction, we started with the real workshop.
Building the groups
To build three random groups, everyone wrote their name on a sticky note on the tablet. Then, the workshop moderator changed the colors of the sticky notes randomly into one of three colors. In the end, we grouped the sticky notes by color and had three groups.
Brainstorm for a new product
At the IBV Collaboration space, we have three interactive displays (SMART, DELL, Surface Hub 2S). Each group went to one of those screens. Their task was to brainstorm about a new innovative product. Every person added sticky notes with ideas to the CollaBoard canvas. After a few minutes, every group looked at their large display, where they saw all of their ideas gathered. Then, every idea has been discussed for a few minutes. After that, the group voted which idea should be pursued for the rest of the workshop. We had ideas like:
- An office, where people can work in a lying position
- A plant that is watering itself
- A flying car
Buyer persona creation
The next task was to create a buyer persona for this product. As most of the people were not familiar with the concept of a buyer persona, Sophie Hundertmark introduced this method shortly. Then, each group went back to their workspace with the displays and the tablets and started to create the buyer persona.
To guide people through this part of the workshop, we used a template. The advantage of using a template is that people can focus on the task, follow a process and are not disturbed by other things.
Doing a buyer persona digital, allowed us to search for images on the web to have an even better picture of the persona. After creating the biography of the person, we wrote down the needs this person has and the solution our product offers for his needs.
Presentation of the product and the buyer persona
When all the groups were done with their personas (and they had a lot of fun doing them), all workshop attendees gathered in front of the biggest display and presented their results.
It was very interesting to see all the creative ideas and products the people came up with during the workshop. The workshop ended after the presentations with some time for networking and enjoying the BBQ.
Walk the walk, talk the talk
Doing workshops digitally is not just a trend. It is something very important for many companies as they face a lot of challenges during workshops. Often, people need to travel, which takes time, generates costs and is bad for the environment.
IBV started experimenting and learning what is relevant for a successful digital workshop many years ago. Nowadays, using cutting-edge technologies, the challenges can be mastered!
It was our first digital workshop event in Switzerland and we are looking forward to doing it again. Have a look at the dates of our next digital workshops.