Seminars, just like training sessions or corporate meetings, are now going digital to harness its incredible power in simplifying and strengthening interactions. As is the case for any ground-breaking innovation, one must consider both the pro’s and con’s and keep in mind what this can bring to your event.
After having facilitated hundreds of collaborative workshops, we decided it was time to take a step back and write down the 10 key arguments pleading in favour of our digital solution. Would you like to learn what are the main benefits of using Stormz and how to present them to your clients or colleagues? This article is for you.
How to go beyond the simple quiz and really address the heart of the problem?
"By combining an interactive solution and the science of facilitation."
There are two ways to improve interactions during an event: hiring an outside facilitator or using a digital solution. Thanks to Stormz, you can choose a digital tool that will boost collective intelligence. Furthermore, you can not only ask us to take care of all the technical aspects, but you can also benefit from the experience of our consultant-facilitators to design collaborative workshops combining the art of facilitation with digital instruments.
"By choosing a custom-made methodology for the issue(s) at hand."
Stormz is highly flexible: you will therefore be able to use collaborative dynamics to address any given topic, either by adapting your own methodologies or by using ready-to-use activities. Stormz gives you access to all the necessary features to brainstorm, decide or develop solutions, enabling you to foster truly collaborative discussions. You can also combine Stormz with manual activities, such as prototyping or graphic facilitation – taking pictures for example.
"By favouring in-depth discussions for a stronger appropriation"
Lewin experiment’s demonstrates how an interactive discussion, after the announcement of a major change, strengthens the participants’ involvement and engagement for the suggested solutions.
Discussions and collaboration, not only favours an in-depth understanding of the issues at hand, it increases the participants’ involvement and enables us to address everyone’s doubts. Confrontation of diverging opinions improves decision-making thanks to a deeper understanding of all the different interests at stake.
How to neutralize negative group bias?
"One iPad for three, the guarantee of a reliable and balanced collaboration"
By giving out one iPad for every group of three participants, you foster dynamic and creative discussions whilst enabling sufficient group moderation to generate the most relevant digital contributions. Groups of three people are small enough to involve potential free-riders or temper the ardour of more assertive figures, but remains flexible enough to enable the free expression of creative ideas.
"With Stormz, everyone has their say, even with hundreds of participants"
Stormz shatters the usual barriers – such as shyness or hierarchy – enabling everyone to express themselves, anonymously on their own smartphone or an iPad. Participants will not be discouraged, as is often the case if they have, for example, to queue in front of a post-it board or wait in line to take the stage. Anonymity, by putting egos aside, is a liberating factor and increases the number of inputs, as well as their relevance.
"Favour discussions by showing, live, the key take-aways and results"
When we leave the floor to an assembly, it is important to make the participants feel that what they say has been heard and that their input is taken into account. Thanks to Stormz, you will be able to give participants a first feedback during the event, through a word-cloud, a histogram or a bubble-graph. Pay attention to their reactions while they read their own contributions in order to ensure a truly constructive debate.
“How to ensure a smooth and reliable workshop?”
"Stormz interface is simple, highly intuitive and adaptable to all settings"
On a smartphone, tablet or laptop: either way, Stormz technical support is flawless, fast and efficient for all participants, enabling them to focus on the issues at hand. Our interface is available in several languages (French, English, Spanish, Russian and Italian) and can be accessed from any browser.
"Use the Stormz Box to connect all your participants!"
No more awkward moments when your internet access falls apart. The Stormz Box is the most powerful tool on the market, generating a local, reliable and secure Wi-fi network able to connect up to 90 devices simultaneously. Stormz can also extend this network and adapt it for more ambitious settings. This guarantees an effort-less experience, without any connection break, even with hundreds of participants, in a train, castle or scattered over several separate rooms.
"Rend hundreds of iPads for your event"
Stormz handles all the logistics, the iPads and Wi-Fi, to provide the most secure, neutral and reliable setting for your participants. They will find their iPad waiting at their seat at the start of the event, fully charged and ready-to-use, thus enabling them to focus on the content of the workshop. At the end, Stormz takes back the iPads and makes sure they are sent back in good conditions.
"No need to spend your nights deciphering post-its"
Conclude your event by exporting, with a simple click, all collected data in the format of your choice (Pdf, Word or Excel). Thus giving more time for facilitation, analysis and discussions about the results.
Using Stormz for your workshop is like riding a bike: you must first believe in yourself, practice a lot and anticipate anything that might go wrong. Once that’s settled, you have many different options to become an accomplished facilitator! Either for high-end corporate seminars ou smaller informal prototyping group activities.
We are here to assist and guide you along this road:
We launched a live-chat available from our website so that you can ask any question you may have, should they be highly specific, such as “how do you protect my data?” or more general, like “Any idea regarding a training session with students?”.
You can always get in touch with us to solve any problem that may arise. You only have to press the bubble-shaped window in the lower right corner of the Stormz interface. If ever you happen to leave before getting an answer, you will receive it by email.
The best way to grasp how Stormz works is to listen to an experienced professional explain everything in a clear and detailed presentation. He will talk about every feature and illustrate it with concrete examples taken out of past experiences. At the end, you will have a better understanding of all the possibilities Stormz offers you.
What’s the difference between a good school and a great school? The ability to learn, not only from your teachers, but from your peers. So, would you like to meet other Stormz users?
We organize on a regular basis sharing hours to gather participants from all around the world. Based on the American time zone, they will allow you to meet experienced facilitators and get better acquainted with Stormz. A great event to take part to, even if you’re not American!
Contact our North-American office to make sure you don’t miss the next one ;)
Stormz is constantly evolving and designing new features, always extending the scope of facilitators’ tools. To get updates on our latest developments, you may use several channels:
The news that you can read in the bottom right corner of Stormz, briefly summarizing our new features and workshop templates.
The blog comprising in-depth articles about design-thinking and facilitation. You will also find descriptions of workshops highlighting the use of specific Stormz features, like vote or pictures.
The newsletter summarizes our latest news, features and events. Don’t hesitate to register to receive it on a monthly basis.
Stormz gives you the possibility to lead an ambitious facilitation, for up to several hundreds of participants! However, you also know that, in order to manage the best possible workshop, you should take all the necessary precautions. Stormz is here to assist you with a few “packages”:
- Have a Stormz facilitator read through your workshop to ensure that it perfectly matches your goals and, if necessary, have him give you facilitation tips.
Ask for a remote technical assistance service to solve problems that may arise and address all possible contingencies.
Hire an assistant facilitator who will handle Stormz and guarantee the best collaborative experience. You will therefore be able to focus more on facilitation and yours participants.
You need only ask!
Today is a special day! We're really proud to announce a new template named "Develop your team". Created in collaboration with Strategic Play, a great team who empower organizations to unlock their creative genius using play, and especially LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methods.
To celebrate this collaboration, we welcome Jacquie Lloyd Smith from Strategic Play and Author of the book "Strategic Play: The Creative Facilitator's Guide", as a guest on our blog.
She's sharing her 20 years’ global experience in the design and delivery of incredible learning experiences in a playful way: a card deck featuring LEGO® visuals and now powered by Stormz!
So we leave it to Jacquie to tell us the genesis of this collaboration and how you can develop your team with this practical, visual, and user-friendly technique.
Stormz Technology and LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methods
By Jacquie Lloyd Smith
Have you ever met someone, maybe only briefly, but your paths continued to cross until you finally connected?
Well this is the story of how we at Strategic Play and the creative minds at Stormz began an interesting visual project. The story takes place over a span of five years and starts in Buffalo, New York, going to Sestri Levante, Italy; back to New York, then to Toronto and Whistler, Canada; and ends in Paris, France. Beautiful locations for the happenstance meetings, but the backstory is not as interesting as the final outcome—the electronic visual cards.
Back in June of 2016, we (Jacquie and Steve) at Strategic Play® were in the final stages of production of the cards, when Mary Ellen introduced us to the Stormz technology tools. From the first iPad swipe we knew it was a partnership made in heaven. The teams at both Strategic Play and Stormz had already met at a number of creativity conferences, but until this moment we did not know what we were going to develop together.
We are happy to announce we have now firmly connected our 3D Diagnostic Cards, based on LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methods, with Stormz. These cards are available online in an introductory set in the complementary Stormz Visual Package. If you are a facilitator using Stormz, make sure you try out the set and please send us an email to let us know what you think.
Stormz is designed and developed for group discussion and decision making, it is proving to be a powerful tool for creative problem solving. The technology allows for groups to identify, discuss, vote, and comment on concepts and ideas in order to gain greater understanding.
The diagnostic cards are powerful, pocket-sized tools for inspiring creative thinking, problem solving, decision making, and collaboration. Why do people love these cards and what makes them so powerful?
The LEGO® vignettes use a degree of satire to convey powerful meanings about human conditions.
With this form of communication, it’s easy for anyone to say “The Emperor has no clothes.” In a world where people often hide behind language, tread carefully not to offend, and search for real meaning in communication, these visuals help conversations get to the point where people can tell the real story in a way that is perhaps lighthearted, palatable, and most effective. The cards allow people to tell their stories and move away from a “you” point of blame to an “I” point of view.
We designed these cards to transform dialogs and enable critical conversations.
Used with the Stormz technology on smartphones and iPads, facilitators have a tool to reach large groups and facilitate powerful conversations. Online or in-person.
Create a free account and play with the new Stormz Lego template or learn more about Strategic Play Diagnostic Cards!
We are extremely proud to share that our close partner and Stormz certified facilitator from Moscow, Imper Group’s Mikhail Rossius, successfully ran a large-scale event with Stormz last month, gathering over 140 directors of Russian hypermarkets from French retailer Auchan in a ground-breaking convention.
With the help of the Stormz software (available in Russian language) and its dedicated Box, Mikhail facilitated various activities:
- The Weather report, a quick introductory session to assess the mood of the crowd;
- A 30-minute four-step ideation session, where participants ranked all the ideas and enriched the top 8 with new insight;
- A Core Value workshop, asking participants to look for synonyms of the three words that best describe their core values;
- A Q/A session to collect questions regarding the presentations;
- And, finally, a Surprised-Delighted-Concerned feedback session to finish in style.
What did Mikhail have to say about this last one?
“This particular session came out to be really collaborative, as their leaders allowed meaningful discussions to take place. On the scene with an iPad, they facilitated the discussion, answered questions and remarks that came up. “
“From what I saw, it was a huge breakthrough from a traditional large group event”
Mikhail is our Key Local Partner in Russia. Contact him, if you need help for your next corporate meeting or if you want to be trained to using Stormz for your own work meetings, trainings or events.
Thank you, Mikhail, for sharing this experience with us and congratulations!
How can we share our thoughts and feelings? How can we use words to describe what we’re truly passionate about? How can we express the fleeting impressions, the transient feelings that nourish our imagination and that we would like to translate into our professional ventures?
Creativity may be fickle and volatile, refusing to be pinned down by words and speech. We must therefore find other ways of communicating, test new languages. We may, for example, use our writing skills for a brainwriting or get on with a more practical approach to prototype solutions. There is, however, a tool which stands at the core of our imagination and thought processes, a tool that may turn out to be our most trusted ally in our search for optimal creativity: images!
Think about this old childhood picture that brings back to mind so many memories; or about the company logo that conveys everything you need to know about them. How about this painting whose plastic beauty leaves us speechless? Images can have artistic purposes, they can help us remember past events or serve the purpose of asserting one’s identity. Regardless of its specific role, images represent who we are and strengthen our creative abilities. It is also an incredible way to communicate, as they can instantly express what a thousand words could never aspire to fully describe.
Illustrating your Stormz workshops
There are three main ways to use images during a Stormz workshop:
In this article, we will mainly talk about the third one since you can now export, copy-paste and share your workshops with the cards’ attached files!
We will show you how to use visual cues to enrich your collaborative workshops, should it simply be to live a shared experience, to reflect on your core values or to find inspiration.
Four workshops to share a common vision!
These four workshops will no doubt inspire your participants and unlock new creative possibilities for your team!
Visual brainstorming – Find inspiration by analogy
One of the main rules of brainstorming is to create an environment where the participants’ contributions echo one another, mutually reinforcing each other and bringing ideas to fruition up until your teams come up with the golden egg. In that perspective, rather than starting on a blank sheet of paper, it may be useful to summon images to provoke the unlikely encounter between seemingly unrelated elements and build innovative solutions from there.
In this workshop, the participants should implement practical solutions with a creative constraint of two inspiring images.
Try out this workshop on Stormz!
MoodBoard – Visually illustrate the overall "feel" of an idea!
The MoodBoard is popular in creative circles and remains associated with designers, constantly surrounded as they are by images, substances and patterns of all sorts. Discovering someone else’s MoodBoard is like peeking into someone’s mind, its mood and intentions. This technique doesn’t only apply to creatives; it can bring huge benefits to whole teams, either to express some feelings or to build a common vision.
The MoodBoard will allow you to exchange all sorts of images and documents and to think, in a collaborative way, about those you feel closest to.
Try out this workshop on Stormz!
Value Board – Define your values!
In this workshop, you will have to position yourself in regards to images already present in the workshop rather than having to find them in your environment (as required in workshops like the MoodBoard). Every image will question your perceptions and relationship to your surroundings, giving you the opportunity to reflect on your true motives.
This workshop will also make you work on your shared values and inspiration models in order to increase your every-day commitment to virtuous practices.
Try out this workshop on Stormz!
Photostorming – Send a postcard to your team!
Postcards have the ability to gracefully conclude an awesome experience and allow us to share it with people we care for who couldn’t be there. Photostorming is an interactive, short and most engaging workshop where your participants will have to write a postcard of the event for colleagues who were not able to make it.
They will have to take a picture – or a selfie! – and write a few words explaining what they learnt from this experience and what they enjoyed the most about it.
Try out this workshop on Stormz!
Images, pictures and all kinds of visual elements will turn your workshop into a truly creative and inspired experience and increase its spontaneity. If you would like to use canvases, whether they are specifically adapted to your own methodologies or standard ones, we kindly invite you to read this article!