Rapid Demos work like speed dating or speed networking. But rather than selling yourself or your business, Rapid Demos invite you to pitch a new idea. Pitchers are spread across the room and 4 to 7 participants gather around each pitcher. Every five minutes the bell rings, urging the participants to move to the next pitcher.
This fast-paced innovative meeting format is an excellent way to practice your pitch while preparing a presentation to your management or a Pitch Night. A full session needn’t take more time than just 1 hour. Sharing your idea with many small audiences during such a short time frame lets you collect a lot of useful feedback. Especially if you focus on preparing a compact visual presentation and make it easy for your audiences to capture your slides. The feedback you collect will help you further shape your idea.
Pitch Nights & Startup Weekends
The term “pitch” was initially used to sell an idea to a venture capitalist in order to get funding. Its current use is much broader, referring to quickly summarizing any process, product, service, organization, or event, and its unique value proposition.
Within larger organizations, pitches help to elicit support for internal changes and innovations. Whenever such companies initiate innovation projects or intrapreneurship programs, the process always includes a pitch event (such as a Pitch Night or a Startup Weekend). Presenters are prepped to move their idea from concept to pitch. Their audience gets the opportunity to select the most engaging pitches.
Take Coca-Cola as an example. Coca-Cola wanted to encourage intrapreneurship within the organization, believing that large organizations should embrace startup skills to remain successful in a fast-changing world. Coca-Cola organized a Startup Weekend with 100 associates gathering at their headquarters in Atlanta to pitch ideas and to refine that pitch for a panel of judges.
Always make sure to prepare well
However straightforward or exciting these meeting formats may seem, always make sure to prepare them well. Take the time to research which innovative meeting format is best suited to the specific objectives you want to achieve. Don’t overlook the practical details that you need to take care of.
Make it as easy as you can for everybody to focus on just 1 thing: creative interaction. Like so many things in business, meeting success depends on good preparation and supervision. Especially if you want to your meetings to take advantage of the synergies between all participants.
About the author
Sara Coene is Managing Partner at Bedenk, a Belgium based business creativity agency that makes organizations future proof. As an Organizational Change Coach and Design Thinking Facilitator, Sara helps organizations develop the change and innovation capabilities of their teams.