Since January, members of the open innovation platform Response Room have been submitting ideas to help solve challenges facing event organizers and others in the business events industry, specifically related to online events and the return to in-person events.
Launched during PCMA Convening Leaders 2021, Response Room is meant to harness the collective brain power and creativity of planners, suppliers, academics, and others. It was created by the GCB German Convention Bureau in cooperation with PCMA and the IMEX Group. Innosabi serves as software partner.
Those who join the free platform after completing a short registration form will find a blog with articles in four areas: hot research, brainfood, innovator’s book club, and success stories, plus a German language section. It also has a listing of upcoming events. But the engine of the platform is the “Innovation Challenges” area, where members work together on questions and problems submitted by others. (Most of these are in English, but there is also a German-language section.)
As of mid-April, the platform has nearly 400 members from around the world, and 28 topics have been opened where those members were able to share their ideas, discuss others’ ideas, and ask questions. A video tutorial on the site (watch below) explains to members how they can submit their ideas to be considered and how the process works.
In a recent challenge, the German Society for Neurology (DGN) sought ideas on how to create an interactive and participatory event experience for online attendees at its upcoming hybrid event. In the “community ideation” phase of the process, DGN offered background information and its overall question along with three specific questions to help focus the discussion.
Each of the four ideas submitted by members in response to DGN appeared with a title, a description, and that member’s solutions or perspective. One member offered several solutions, some of which are paraphrased below:
- Both in-person and digital attendees should have common communication channels in order to use apps to take part in surveys, quizzes, and other exercises.
- Adapt your mediating formats more to the digital users. Instead of long lectures or series of keynotes and panels, do shorter, more entertaining formats (such as interviews or a science slam). Supplement these formats with digital feedback instruments (VOXR, Slido, etc.) that can be used by all participants.
- It is important to have common challenges. Why not start a challenge accompanying the conference that can be accepted and solved online and on-site?
- To give online participants visibility to all, use a photo wall online and event interactive wall in the conference rooms.
In other phases of the process, members can comment on ideas like the one above and vote for their favorites. Those who sought solutions by creating a challenge can seek an evaluation of the ideas from predetermined experts and/or use the survey tool to gain better insights into the community’s thoughts on the problem or on specific solutions.
How Response Room Works
Curt Wagner is digital editor at Convene.