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Telco 2.0 Industry Brainstorm - How the Interactivity Works

We’re overwhelmed by the interest in the next Telco 2.0 Industry Brainstorm on 27-29 March in London. We tested the market a year ago with a 30 person workshop, and after growing to 220 people in October 06 the event has now grown tenfold to fill out our capacity of 300 people. (Next event is end of October 07 if you can’t make March).

People seem to like a.) the laser focus on the cutting-edge strategic issues, b.) the structured facilitation by STL Partners’ Telco 2.0 experts, and…c.) the application of our ‘Mindshare’ interactive process. No other public event does this, and people seem to see it as a breath of fresh air from all the normal ‘Death By Random Powerpoint’.

Some people have asked for more details of how the interactivity works. There’s an introduction to the ‘Mindshare’ process here. But here’s a more detailed description of the method:

Speaker presentations are designed to stimulate a debate as part of a structured large scale brainstorm. Presenters in each section of the brainstorm make up a small panel of 2-3 people carefully selected experts. We ask each presenter to deliver a short presentation (10 mins, 6-8 slides) on a very specific topic which is complementary to the others, and we work with them in advance of hte event to define each slide to ensure relevance.

The audience (‘participants’) is seated at round tables of up to 8 people. After stimulus presentations in each section of the brainstorm the participants are asked to discuss what they’ve heard with those next to them and then feedback their thoughts anonymously and simultaneously, within a structured format, using brainstorming technology (wireless laptops + special software).

They can see other people’s input on their screens as well as their own, and all the data is beamed onto the main presentation screen too. This feedback typically takes 10 mins and results in 100s of comments and new ideas.

While this data is inputted, our team of analysts reviews it and discusses it with the panel of speakers. We pick out the key themes of the feedback and agree what topics are in scope and out of scope for a discussion with the speakers. Our facilitator then runs a panel discussion based on this feedback for 20-30 mins. As part of this process we also allow some open Q&A with the audience and, depending on the topic, we sometimes run an instant vote to test the climate. on controversial issues.

On Day Two and Three of the Telco 2.0 event we use a similar process, but allow more time for debate, and structured discussion.

All discussions are captured and turned into a verbatim report after the event, which participants have access to.

Essentially, we’ve applied the interactive brainstorming/workshop approach we use with our consulting and training clients to a larger scale public event.

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