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How to Run Creative Meetings

Author: LEO Admin/June 6, 2019

By now, most professionals working in an office environment have a pretty clear idea of how to run a meeting. Find a time that suits everyone, circulate an agenda, take notes, listen and answer questions, finishing with circulated meeting notes and actionable points. In fact, we’ve covered how to run a meeting in detail in a previous post here.

Creative meetings, on the other hand, are far more challenging considering that merely sitting and talking isn’t the best way to get the creativity flowing. If you’re looking for some tips on how to make your creative meetings fly, then LEO has some ideas for you.

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Pick Your Team

Carefully picking the meeting’s attendees will ensure that half the battle is already won. As a meeting leader or organiser, it’s up to you to consider who needs to be in the room to make the creative meeting come to life. Think about the task at hand, the client, or the project and invite people with the right energy and expertise to tackle it. You want the right mix of ‘ideas’ people and those with skills to bring ideas to life to ensure that all bases are covered and that the meeting produces tangible ideas, not just hypothetical ‘what ifs’.

Pick Your Location

Getting creative among the same four walls as always is somewhat of a tall order as London’s weather doesn’t always lend itself to brainstorms in the park. Still, if you’re serious about getting your team to think outside the box, then a change of location can help. There are lots of different spaces you can take advantage of like museums and galleries, just be sure to keep the team small and not too noisy. For a more formal change of scenery, it’s also worth looking into meeting rooms which can be hired out by the hour or for the day, providing your team with all the resources and the change of scenery needed to feel really creative.

Provide the Right Resources

We’ve all been in meetings that go off-tangent, have people catch up about weekends or not get down to the task at hand – this is even more common in creative meetings. These inefficiencies need to be minimised as they only lead to loss of time and resources. The first step to streamlining the creative meeting process is sending out an agenda or brief that explains the purpose of the meeting as well as any details that help with idea generation, plus the scope of work. Be sure to include things like target audience, budgets, and any other specifics that will help to direct and narrow the ideas down.

You might also want to provide some doodle paper and coloured pens/pencils as it can help with getting those creative juices flowing and easing people into a more creative mindset.

Direct the Meeting

It’s natural for people with the most ideas and those comfortable expressing them to dominate the conversation. Your task, as the meeting’s leader or organiser, is to ensure that everyone has the space to put forward their ideas, helping the people who are slightly more on the shy side to be equally heard. Sending out a brief or an agenda prior to the meeting should, in theory, guarantee that everyone is prepared so you can be comfortable asking individuals for a contribution directly.

If the conversation starts to veer off-track or circling back to an idea that has already been vetoed, then be firm in getting back on track. It may seem like the wrong thing to do in a creative meeting, but it’ll guarantee that the meeting results in great ideas that fulfil the brief.

Action Notes

The frequent free-form nature of creative meetings mustn’t get in the way of actionable outcomes. Nominate someone to take notes during the meeting, writing down as much of what is said as possible, before distilling it into summaries and actionable points. The notes should then be circulated to all the meeting’s participants with some potential dates on when to action the items by or suggested date for a follow-up meeting.

While there’s no special secret to running creative meetings successfully, it’s essential to conduct each one with a mission statement, or brief, and with the right team. A creative meeting should give everyone a chance to contribute ideas while the meeting’s leader keeps the conversation on course.

Above all, creative meetings need the right setting so if you’re after genuinely original ideas, try switching up the same conference room for something a little more inspiring.

Do your creative teams have a need for inspiration? LEO are here to meet all your needs, with meeting rooms in London’s most prestigious locations.

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