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How to ensure creative collaboration with online workshops


Be it for business model innovation, go-to-market strategy, communication strategy, team building or co-creation for other purposes, LGI frequently conducts workshops and events with clients and partners, with often 30+ participants at a time, coming from all over Europe and other parts of the globe as well (China, Central Africa, …) To keep the innovation going despite COVID-19 restrictions, LGI moved completely online and shifted its way of facilitating workshops and events with new, innovative methods. As a result, LGI successfully conducted 20+ online workshops and events in the past year, as well as dozens of online meetings that also needed a new fresh touch. The feedback has been very positive and the innovation momentum is still up!

Ice-breaker for team building at the beginning of a go-to-market workshop for a Horizon 2020 project

Ice-breaker for team building at the beginning of a go-to-market workshop for a Horizon 2020 project

Here are a few tips on how we’ve managed to ensure our online activities continue to produce innovative results:

  • Online events can be difficult to keep partners engaged throughout, as people get pulled into other work demands online, distracted by activities at home, or simply tired of staring at a screen. In order to compete with these demands and also to fit the online structure of the workshops, we have gamified many of our methodologies. This helps to make up for the in-person interaction that’s missing. For example, group introductions now include games that take into account individuals’ home environments, and workshops employ group exercises such as drawing or trivia.
  • Many unexpected technical issues can happen on the day of the event. In order to ensure everything runs smoothly, we have learned it is important to test the format of the event two to three times in advance. LGI has also found new tools to boost the performance of our online workshops, such as being able to break out into small groups or having the capacity to provide live translation throughout. We have also put together a best-practice guide to help everyone on the team master the execution of their event when the day comes.
  • (Co-)facilitation can have a huge difference on the quality of an event. Co-facilitators not only help to manage behind-the-scenes technical issues, but also answer questions from workshop participants, allowing the facilitator to focus on the workshop content itself. (Co-)facilitators create a positive and vibrant atmosphere that allows participants to be creative and co-design, rather than getting the whole group stuck in problems related to technical issues or held up with questions they missed the answer to.

 

Online communication strategy workshop for an energy cluster

Online communication strategy workshop for an energy cluster

 

  • Feedback has always been an important aspect of our workshops, whether offline or online. This helps us to continue improving our format and keep learning. An important adaptation to our feedback now includes technical aspects, as this helps us to understand the level of our workshop participants, as well as how we can create enjoyable, creative and insightful experiences for our clients and partners in the future.
  • Last but not least, celebrate! It’s incredible what can be achieved online, in spite of what could have been imagined in the pre-COVID world. Acknowledging this at the end of the online event, or even after each phase, is a good occasion to build up motivation, a sense of community and collaborative success amongst the participants.

 

Team building event for a Horizon 2020 project across Europe and China

Team building event for a Horizon 2020 project across Europe and China

 

We’d be happy to hear your feedback and how you’re coping with the change in work habits due to COVID-19. Share with us on social media:

 

This post was co-written by:

Lamiaa Biaz

 

Lamiaa Biaz
Innovation Strategist
Meet me on LinkedIn

 

 

Joanne Schante

 

Joanne Schanté
Head of Innovation Strategy
Meet me on LinkedIn

 

 

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The views and opinions expressed in this blogpost are solely those of the original author(s) and/or contributor(s). These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of LGI or the totality of its staff.

 

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