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Facilitation and iMEET!...

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“That far in front of butcher's paper it's not funny”

We are expert at facilitating large and small meetings, workshops, ‘Town Hall’ and ‘World Café’ events, and focus groups. Whilst we are happy to use the more-traditional processes to deliver the right outcomes in a meeting, we are the developers of iMEET!, a web-based collaborative platform.

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Developed by Global Learning to support and accelerate meetings and conferences, iMEET! captures discussions and allows groups to rapidly analyse, organise and evaluate ideas — leading to rapid problem-solving and decision-making. All information is captured and is available immediately.

iMEET! provides a remarkable advantage for virtual and geographically-dispersed teams, supporting processes such as team meetings, planning, community consultation, surveys, high-stakes events, and performance management. Our users have ranged from executive teams of four to groups spread across many countries. Teams or individuals use networked computers — either face-to-face or virtually — to capture discussions, rather like electronic butcher's paper. iMEET! is scalable, and works with groups of any size to create shared vision and agreement on goals and actions.

Q. What does iMEET! actually do?
A. In a nutshell, it allows people to communicate via computers, in order to sort, analyse, prioritise material, and then choose a course of action. We offer two basic scenarios as examples: the face-to-face session (conference, seminar, meeting) and remote collaboration. In face-to-face sessions, we use inter-connected computers to collaborate and in place of whiteboards, butcher's paper, and hand-written notes.
Q. What is needed to make it happen?
A. First and foremost: people who want to get something done! In most instances, we use internet-connected computers (nothing special here: any computer connected to the internet will do) and provide the rest. If the internet is not available at a given location, we provide the machinery to bring iMEET! to those present: in the form of computers, a wireless (or wired, if preferred) network, and a server. For face-to-face sessions, we also arrange to have data projection so that collaborative results are seen as a group.
Q. How does iMEET! work?
A. Consider this face-to-face scenario: a group of people gather for a seminar, collaborating in order to produce a final outcome (a series of actions). Typically, the room would comprise a number of tables, space in front for a facilitator/chair, whiteboards, butcher's paper, and possibly a data projector for some presentation material. But how do individuals in the room have their say, and how is a final outcome derived? By including iMEET! technology, individuals are able to have their views captured in real time, and shared amongst all participants. What's more, these views (entered into the iMEET! server) can be edited, merged, discussed, reshaped, voted upon, consolidated, and actions prioritised, all within the timeframe of the meeting.
Q. But what do I need to use iMEET! at a conference or seminar?
A. At most conferences and seminars, we provide wireless-enabled laptops with which to enter information into iMEET! directly. Data is stored on a central server (also provided by us), and made available to all other laptops, and projected via a data projector onto a large screen for all to view. All that you need to be able to do is enter content via the keyboard into the intuitive interface on the computer, using a standard web browser.
Q. So how does iMEET! give me or my group an advantage over more-traditional methods?
A. In a number of compelling and very useful ways. The process captures all content from all who participate, regardless of strength of voice. And because it isn't scrawled on butcher's paper, the content is easily read and even more easily manipulated (edited/sorted/prioritised). It's surprisingly easy to rearrange content to reflect the views of those present, and to focus on the topics that matter the most — and all in real time, with results appearing as they are input. At the end of the process, the output is available immediately to all, without the need to transcribe notes to a computer.
Q. How do I access conference/seminar notes after the event?
A. Depending upon your requirements, we can either deliver the final output of the conference or seminar within 24 hours of the event (as a Word document or Excel spreadsheet), or alternatively, we can make the session open to delegates via the internet post-event, allowing for further discussion of material, and further work — and then deliver the final output at a nominated time. Online access to iMEET! is protected by unique usernames and passwords, assuring confidentiality of the material at all times.
Q. That sound interesting, but what about using iMEET! before an event?
A. We cater for this, too — one of the more popular applications of iMEET! is to pave the way for an event, by engaging participants online in order to discuss material beforehand. A typical scenario is to iron out agenda items prior to a meeting, or to prioritise topics for discussion and resolution at a seminar or conference. Password-protected access to iMEET! is via the internet and a web-enabled computer.