In co-creation workshops, consumers or end users come together with key internal stakeholders to shape the next steps of a product or experience. Rather than focusing on participants as subjects to study, co-creation workshops bring participants into the development process as active agents working with designers, product developers, marketing professionals, and other client stakeholders.
In contrast to focus groups in which clients observe a discussion out-of-view in a backroom, all participants in a co-creation workshop are in the session together – as equal partners – co-creating what the future elements or features of a product will be in real-time.
Unlike focus groups, co-creation sessions:
Co-creation workshops offer the opportunity to bring everyone together in a rich, creative and immersive way to design the future together. What emerges from co-creation sessions are ideal future directions, strategies, and/or product requirements articulated in ways that balance customer needs and business needs. Additionally, any explicit watch-outs or risks verbalized in co-creation sessions get captured and documented, along with participant-informed mitigation strategies.
Innovative platforms and technology make it possible to facilitate remote co-creation sessions that can be deeply meaningful and engaging. When it comes to facilitating truly immersive remote co-creation sessions, here are some tips we’ve learned running workshops over the course of the pandemic…
Planning for the sessions:
Prepare participants by explaining what co-creation sessions are.
Remind them that they will need to be on camera in a quiet location without distractions for the duration of the workshop.
Request that they use ear buds or a headset to reduce background noise and feedback.
Thank them for agreeing to be a part of the research and let them know how valuable their voice is.
Provide them the same information participants receive. However, place special emphasis on the importance of learning from consumers and end users during this work, reiterating that they are equals in this engagement.
If there are moments when internal stakeholders should refrain from engaging, be sure to call those out ahead of time (and remind them again during the workshop if necessary).
Zoom offers a breakout room feature that allows for more intimate small group engagement. Definitely take advantage of this feature and assign participants and stakeholders to breakout groups prior to the engagement.
Virtual white boards, like Mural and Miro, allow for everyone to participate in activities in real-time. Prepare a virtual white board that features an agenda and all of the necessary elements and activities you will use to help make the session pvely and participatory.
Finally, remember that most of the fun activities that make co-creation workshops successful in person can easily be adapted to remote workshops thanks to templates and features available in virtual whiteboards.
Facilitating the workshop:
Sabrina Hallongren brings to Sylver Consulting a rich background in applied research and new product development. She has substantial experience conducting qualitative and quantitative research involving participants from a variety of age ranges and backgrounds. Naturally curious and never one to take the path of least resistance, Sabrina particularly enjoys exploring areas of inquiry that require new and innovative research methods. Sabrina holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Northwestern University with a focus on parenting and child technology use. She also has an MA in Child Development and an MA in Puppetry.
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