G R O U P PA R T N E R S W O R K S H O P S P E C I F I C AT I O N S
“Helping our clients avoid solving the wrong problem really well...”
What are our requirements?
A typical environment will be well lit, comfor table for a few days work and will have absolutely flat walls with no interruptions, to enable the application of electrostatic paper technology. This creates a seamless canvas for the whole team to work with. We typically require a minimum of 30 feet of flat, painted, ver y smooth and obstruction free wall for a full session ( Scenario or Journey assignment - Discover y or a Development session.) The walls should be interruption free. Definitely not ‘flock’ wallpaper, or hessian wall coverings, but almost any other surface. Glass will work and some inner walls in large meeting rooms that are flat and obstruction free. The surface materials we use are clingy electrostatic and are in fact ver y thin plastic sheets. So the wall they go on must be flat and smooth. This is because the material needs to cling to it and we need to draw smoothly on it. BUT - If a large flat glass wall is available it needs to be an inner wall. This is because if it is an outer wall the natural light behind will cause a problem. We will arrive with electrostatic film, tons of it and will aim to cover every suitable flat area with it to give us room to think and develop the scenarios, journeys or frameworks. And while the response in some venues is “AAAArgh, you cannot stick anything on our walls...” they soon relax when they understand that static electricity cannot do any harm and they then get excited and want to go and buy a load of it for themselves!
Natural ambience We prefer well and naturally lit space and plenty of room to move freely. We prefer to have NO tables, other than a computer station and we arrange the room in a ‘horseshoe/arc’ shape preferably facing the long expanse of white wall, and therefore walls full of antique pictures and wall mounted screens or lights are NOT good. Preferably the electricity points for the computer station will not be in the front wall where we will establish the visualisation area and also will not cause a hazard for the attendees. We will bring ‘Gaffa’ tape. We will probably arrive the evening before and get into the room(s), prepare the stimulus component and generally get ready.
Access and security
If we need security clearance can that be arranged in advance and can we be informed of what we need to know to understand the vagaries of the individual processes and telephone numbers for if that doesnâ€™t work. We need access at least 2 hours before the sessions star t. Sometimes therefore it might be possible to get in the night before. This is to remove any unforeseen issues and prepare walls and seating arrangements ahead of time. If the sessions are longer than a single day, and they usually are, then we will not want to be moved to a different room. We will need some security as we will leave materials in the room(s) overnight and we would like to be sure that the cleaning contractor knows not to helpfully clean the white walls.
If building a support structure
It is possible to quickly fashion a multiple paneled wall. This is possible with prelaminated chip or fibreboard. Typically this is freely available in 8 ft x 4 ft sizes, or 2.2 meters, 1.4 meters approximately. These can be stood ver tically next to each other to make the 5 metre long canvas we need. They must be very smooth and flat, painted or Formica/Melamine covered would be excellent, also fine painted surface will work but the panels must be butted very closely together as this after all is a drawing surface so firm and flat, firm and flat!
Working sessions are critically impor tant for thinking. Conversations around the impor tant topics inform the frameworks and develop the business outcomes we need. The environment within which we work is therefore of great impor tance. The rooms have to accept the electrostatic materials. They should have plenty of free space for people to be able to move around. The walls must be free from fittings and ‘furniture’, fire alarms and air conditioning controls. These can be worked around but ideal if they don’t sit right in the middle of the walls. Daylight is a real bonus. It’s hard on the eyes to work all day in ar tificial light. It’s difficult for teams to focus if the lights are dim, and being a visual process good light is ver y impor tant. If we know that light is difficult it is wor th getting extra lighting equipment arranged. We do not like chair rails/dado rails. At all. See the Less suitable examples which follow.
Less suitable examples
Like all things, the room thatâ€™s chosen for the event can have a major impact on creativity and innovative thinking. Some rooms seem to give off a strong energy and feeling. Dark and restrictive spaces can have a damaging effect on peopleâ€™s ability to think and be energetic. We have illustrated some of the pitfalls of dark and restricted space, the implications of dado rails and the feeling a bad room can generate. The other problem with the wrong room is it severely limits that freedom of being able to break out of the framework and work in a more abstract way or on a different idea temporarily. Letâ€™s find the right space and remove any restrictions to creativity and thinking.
Group Partners Europe 32 St Jamesâ€™s Street, Mayfair London SW1A 1HD, UK
Group Partners America 111 West John Street, Suite 302 Seattle, WA 98119