How to Run a Virtual Workshop on Multiple Surface Hubs

Virtual Workshop on CollaBoard, IBV's productivity app for Surface Hub, Surface Studio and all Windows 10 devices.

If you ever ran a workshop, you know how high the stakes are. Actionable results are not just a welcome outcome; they are an expectation. But steering multiple stakeholders and facilitate their work together, prompting them to take decisions in a few hours is no easy feat.

The Problem with Virtual Workshops Before CollaBoard

Traditionally, workshops require co-workers to be in the same location; this however implies major investments in terms of time and money. The high costs prevent companies from having more of these meetings, even though they would be extremely useful.

What about holding a virtual workshop via conference call, then? The problem with conference calls is that they don’t really provide an environment for collaborative work. Studies actually show that conference calls are killing our productivity. It is the same old problem: the central stage is for the speaker, not the team.

This is why IBV created CollaBoard: a productivity app designed for Surface Hub and Windows 10 devices that enables real-time collaboration leveraging natural input methods such as touch, voice and inking. CollaBoard is a huge workspace where teams come together to brainstorm and generate business solutions while discussing on conferencing software. Everybody can add their input to the canvas, which is shown in real time across all devices, thus eliminating the need for participants to be in the same location.

With CollaBoard on the Surface Hub meetings are a completely different experience. First, everybody can participate with an easy-to-use interface that allows you to focus on your work, not the application. Second, the app allows real-time collaboration with multiple people working on the same project at the same time, including multi-touch interaction on the Surface Hub. Third, brainstorming with CollaBoard on a Surface Hub is unparalleled: working with a flexible natural user interface on such an immersive device gets you in the zone in no time.

Fig. 1: Business Model Canvas in CollaBoard

That’s why CollaBoard is the perfect solution for a successful virtual workshop – with no travel required.
Let’s see how that looks like.

How to Run a Virtual Workshop on Multiple Surface Hubs

The facilitator simply needs to include a CollaBoard QR Code in the meeting request. That is all. There is no need for trainings, because the app has been designed to be extremely easy to use. Even inexperienced users can be immediately productive.

The day of the workshop, after having communicated the goals, aligned the audience, and laid out the agenda, the facilitator divides participants into workgroups, each logged on CollaBoard on a Surface Hub in their own conference room (or a Windows 10 device at their desks). The groups can then go on and brainstorm (or gamestorm) for solutions to their assigned problem. Thanks to the pin/unpin feature, they can use the CollaBoard canvas as a huge pinwall, exactly as in real life. While the teams are working, the facilitator can supervise the progress from his own Windows 10 device or Surface Hub. He can also call each team on Skype for Business to assess eventual obstacles and provide help. Easy, quick and efficient, exactly as a workshop should be.

Results & Follow-Up

Once the allocated time is over, the facilitator starts a group call between all the Surface Hubs to let each team present their ideas. The groups only need to move to the portion of the canvas where each team worked to view their presentation in real time. As the closing discussion takes place, the person in charge of the meeting minutes consolidates the results at the center of the board.

All inputs are saved in CollaBoard’s Azure-based cloud. Therefore, at the end of the workshop, the facilitator and the minutes taker simply need to work on the project in the app. There is no need to transcribe entire whiteboards or take pictures anymore. Plus, as all ideas are saved in the app, there is no chance for data loss. Based on the outcomes of the workshop, the facilitator then summarizes the results, lays out the next steps, timelines and owners. This is just the beginning, since the owners can further update the project as they deal with their action items. All without having to send countless email updates to a huge list of recipients.

Fig. 2: Marketing Mix in CollaBoard

With CollaBoard, you can have as many successful workshops as you need, save time and money, all while increasing productivity and efficiency. Why continue working with outdated technology?

Join IBV’s modern workspace: try CollaBoard now. We offer you a 30-day trial version, because we know you will love it.

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