People brainstorm to generate ideas and share knowledge to achieve a goal or solve a problem. Although brainstorming can be carried out alone, group brainstorming is more effective for solving more complex issues. It encourages better understanding, fosters collaboration, and drives creativity and innovation.
Productive brainstorming sessions don’t just happen. They aren’t as spontaneous as they may seem. So if you want to produce excellent results, you must plan everything out to the tiniest detail, from the participants you’ll invite and the event schedule to the brainstorm location.
Choose a venue that affords you privacy and is conducive to creativity. It should be distraction-free, ideally in a quiet, informal setting where your team can relax and feel comfortable expressing their opinions and ideas. It may be best to take your meeting out of your workplace, so try and think outside the box and research other spaces near you. Consider an unconventional brainstorm space to inspire the team and get everyone engaged.
The Best Brainstorm Venues
You probably don’t think much about the venue when meeting for a brainstorm if you have a room at the office available at your convenience. But if you want to get everyone’s creative juices flowing, take them out of the same old familiar environment and explore other options.
Libraries always provide valuable brainstorming experiences. Not only do they offer room for quiet concentration and learning, but they also have a flexible space for generating, conceptualizing, and analyzing ideas.
- Industrial Spaces
Whether you have a small team or a large group of participants, industrial spaces make a unique brainstorm location. Their wide-open, unpretentious look makes everyone feel at ease and motivated to work. They have enough capacity to seat all your attendees comfortably and conduct break-out sessions. However, you’ll have to visit the venue first to ensure it has appropriate lighting for the activity.
Being away from your usual work environment can significantly change the dynamics of your meeting. So don’t hesitate to convert your space or rent an exciting covered patio for a successful brainstorming session. This unique meeting venue will help relax your mind and improve your concentration. But if it’s an open patio, make sure you pick a day where it’s not too hot or raining for a convenient, uninterrupted session.
Most museums have event and meeting spaces for rent that provide an informal and welcoming atmosphere for everyone to interact and discuss. These impactful brainstorming sites don’t require much maintenance or preparation but will definitely make a lasting impression. They are also more stimulating and interesting than a typical meeting space.
What To Look For In Brainstorm Spaces
The venue can either make or break your brainstorming session. For the best chance of success, focus your efforts on the key elements of an effective brainstorming space.
- Quiet Environment
Choosing a quiet location doesn’t mean being in an area that feels like you’re so far away from civilization. A noisy restaurant or a crowded public park may not be the best option. You’ll want a quiet environment where everyone can focus on their task and not be distracted by external noise.
Suppose you want to move the activity from your meeting room. In that case, book a space that’s still within walking distance from your workplace and accessible via public transportation. You’ll want to ensure everyone can get there quickly and without any hassle so that they can arrive eager to discuss and in the right frame of mind.
Make sure it has all the amenities and features needed for the activity. Look for a room with audio-visual capabilities for presentations, wheelchair access, and kitchen facilities. Check if you can use the break-out rooms and pay attention to the seating arrangements.
The attendees should have comfortable seating throughout the session and enough room to relax during breaks. However, you also don’t want a conference center that’s too spacious, as it will look like half the participants didn’t show up.
A well-ventilated brainstorm room should be part of your priority list. A hot, stuffy environment is counterproductive and can negatively affect your mood, health, and productivity. So when choosing a spot to brainstorm, make sure it features temperature control and has sufficient fresh air. Otherwise, you either look for a different place to rent or have them install a working HVAC system.
Great brainstorming sessions are incredibly motivating. They can ignite creativity and boost your confidence. If your meetings haven’t been as fruitful as you hoped, here are some ideas you can consider:
- Rolestorming at Auditoriums
Go beyond the traditional brainstorming technique and try rolestorming in an auditorium. You’ll be immersed in the history, grandeur, and beauty of this one-of-a-kind venue. This unique space will allow you to be ‘in character’ and come up with more creative ideas. You will feel more confident stepping out of your own skin and into someone else’s if you’re in a suitable setting like an auditorium or a theater.
- Charrette at Art Galleries
The charette is a valuable brainstorming technique if you have several topics to cover. A gallery is ideal for this procedure because it has enough wall space for charts, pictures, and words or ideas that everyone came up with during the discussion. You can also book a few rooms to break up brainstormers into separate teams to address various issues.
- Starbursting at Pavilions
For a brainstorming technique that requires you to generate good questions rather than answers, you’ll need a space that will spark your creativity. Pavilions are a great place to start, providing a convenient shelter for collaboration and meeting. This multipurpose venue can be transformed into a meeting point and a place for work, relaxation, and dialogue.
- Step-ladder Brainstorming
This brainstorming technique is ideal for introverted team members and perfect for different locations. For instance, a lounge has a perfect layout for an informal gathering and gives brainstormers a place to sit and relax while waiting for their turn to share their ideas. You can also set up a tiered classroom for a more focused experience for the facilitator.