I’ve been through other innovation workshops before and have to say that this event was like no other. We absolutely loved it! - Jeannine Haas, CMO Avis Budget Group
New York, NY, (PRWEB) March 27, 2014
The most creative place in Manhattan for team offsite meetings and workshops will open its doors in April. For more than seven years, the team at Innovation Loft™ has been a secret weapon to CxOs of many premiere brands. Innovation Loft’s expertise is designing and leading super-creative, collaborative workshops with corporate teams of 20-100+ participants. Topics range from strategy sessions to off-site teambuilding sessions, to implementation planning and digital visioning. Innovation Loft’s clients consistently report extraordinary levels of productivity, creativity and team alignment from these events:
Jeannine Haas, Chief Marketing Officer for Avis Budget Group recently engaged Innovation Loft™ for a 3-day workshop.
“I’ve been through other innovation workshops before and have to say that this event was like no other. We absolutely loved it! And when I say ‘we,’ I mean all participants. It was an outstanding workshop -- and one that I would highly recommend. It was that impactful… The energy, excitement and collaboration in the room was unprecedented. Everyone had a voice and a role in defining our success. We worked very collaboratively and had a ton of fun doing it. I would highly recommend this group or this process for a similar engagement… It was that good.”
A New Chapter
Until now, the Innovation Lof t™ has conducted these creative collaboration sessions at a wide range of venues including corporate conference centers, hotels, soundstages and even Met Life Stadium, often bringing truckloads of equipment and supplies to establish their trademark creative environments. But this month they take a major step forward launching Manhattan’s only permanent facility specifically designed to help teams unleash their innovation potential.
“You have to see it in action to fully appreciate it,” Innovation Loft™ CEO Howard Tiersky states. “Creating stimulating and inspiring environments that also maximize team collaboration is a craft that we have honed over many years. And we have poured everything we have learned into the creation of this fantastic new facility. By combining the benefits of the new Innovation Loft environment with our proven workshop design and facilitation practices, we can really deliver maximum value for our clients and a creative collaboration experience like no other to our session participants.”
Michelle McKenna, CIO of the National Football League, has used the Innovation Loft™ team on a series of events over more than 7 years, including at her prior roles as CIO of Constellation Energy and CIO of Universal Studios Theme Parks.
“I’ve done probably a couple dozen sessions with Innovation Loft. I always find that they work and they help accelerate. It’s just become part of my methodology for innovation and change.
I recently had a session for our “Sidelines of the Future” initiative. I brought in a bunch of professional football guys that had never really participated in sessions like this. I think they were surprised when they walked into the room and saw the rolling white boards and the toys. They saw people drawing instead of standard PowerPoint. I could see some skepticism on their faces, but before long they were fully participating and telling me how we never really have an opportunity like this. What that environment did was give them permission to let go of their daily job and truly innovate. Then, coming out of it they were really blown away. First of all, the time flew by. You don’t sit in a conference room looking at white board. You move around and think about things from many perspectives. When we came out of it, they were ready to have the next one!"
The Innovation Loft™ facility, opening in April just two blocks from Madison Square Garden and Penn Station, takes up the entire floor of a restored loft building. It has an open floor-plan with 6,000 square feet of customizable space and three walls of floor-to-13’ ceiling windows. The environment is filled with toys, oversized props, and just for good measure, a full-sized replica of a British phone booth. The facility is equipped with a state-of-the-art sound system, over 50 video screens and projectors, 100 Mb connectivity for video streaming and video conferencing, an extensive library of inspiring music and books, and plenty of magnetic whiteboard space for creative brainstorming. There is enough room and comfortable furnishings for groups of up to 120 people, but works well for groups as small as 20. The flexible space can be used for workshops, leadership offsites, sales training, team building sessions, planning sessions, board meetings, product launches and much more.
Renee Jordan, Chief Strategy Officer of Clear Channel Outdoor has worked with the Innovation Loft team for many years.
“It is truly a creative space and creates an environment of fun and innovation--which you need when you have the goal of having collaboration and ideation around business challenges. It is a different kind of meeting space. This is not your typical hotel meeting room. There is a buzz and an energy that they create that stimulates the creative process and the collaboration process. By the end of our strategy session, we had completely set our agenda for the year. Yes! We have a plan in place for the entire year based on the outcome of what we did in those two days.”
“One of our goals in any session is to customize the space to become an ‘information rich environment’ for that specific event,” explains Tiersky. “For example, we’ve developed our own software to control the over 50 video displays spread throughout the space to allow us to surround participants with relevant or stimulating imagery, videos, charts, product images, or other pertinent visual information and to change that regularly throughout the session. We also have expansive, curved magnetic whiteboards where we can display prints from our plotter with even more information or stimulating imagery. And one thing our participants really love, we often bring in graphic artists who create illustrations throughout the event as a way to document the ideas generated and topics covered during a given session.”
Dawn Zier, CEO of Nutrisystem selected Innovation Loft™ to help create Nutrisystem’s next-generation product strategy. She subsequently asked the Loft team to provide innovation training to her key executives for use in their day-to-day leadership roles.
“We engaged the Innovation Loft team to help us stretch our thinking around product innovation. The session they ran for us was extremely creative--from the way the environment was set up, to the exercises and activities. They made sure we had clear goals for the session and they really held us accountable to them. The session was very enjoyable and the results were outstanding. I’d definitely work with them again.”
Workshop participants at Innovation Loft™ have access to special tablets which are loaded with additional reference material relevant to the topic of their event. Tiersky demonstrates, “We update the tablets wirelessly throughout each workshop with the photographs of everything written on any of the white boards during prior rounds of work, so nothing is lost and everything is accessible to participants at the tips of their fingers.”
Bay Hirschfeld, The Loft's Director of Innovation Services, has seen the results play out for many organizations. "What might take an organization upwards of six months to accomplish internally, we’ve repeatedly seen realized in just a few days at Innovation Loft," said Hirschfeld. "Our skilled team of facilitators, innovationeers and support staff are 1000% committed to supporting the participants in any way possible to help them achieve great things!”
The Innovation Loft™ goes far afield from traditional auditoriums or hotel meeting rooms, with unconventional furniture that includes bean bags and massage chairs, and even Nerf guns and trampolines. "Fun is a key ingredient for inspiring innovation," said Hirschfeld. "Everything in the Innovation Loft is there to encourage creative thought."
Prior to launching this facility in NYC, the team at Innovation Loft™ was commissioned to create and run a permanent Innovation Center at the Baltimore offices of Constellation Energy, a $20 billion company that is now a part of Exelon. David Chang, the executive responsible for all of Constellation’s ecommerce and mobile business, sponsored many sessions designed and led by the Innovation Loft. “The whole idea of this open, exciting, and rich environment really did wonders for me and my team to help and stimulate our thinking. The idea is you go in there and get out of your comfort zone and get away from what you are used to. When you open the floodgates the ideas just pour out! It was amazing and ‘out-of-the-box.’ Our entire company has benefitted from the ideas and decisions from those sessions.”
Innovation Loft™ in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan is slated to open in April 2014 with open house events scheduled throughout April and May. Preview tours of the space prior to the grand opening are available to the media by appointment. "It's an ideal spot for companies to come to tackle big ideas and springboard the accomplishment of ambitious goals," said Hirschfeld. The facility is also well-suited for use by consultancies, advertising agencies, workshop leaders, training companies, or corporate and social event planners. Innovation Loft staff is always available to help plan and coordinate, support events, and facilitate any event as needed.
About Innovation Loft™
Innovation Loft™ Inc. (a spin-off of Moving Interactive Inc.) is the premiere consultancy specializing in helping corporations “unleash their teams” to perform at their maximum potential for creativity and collaboration. Innovation Loft™ works with many leading brands to design and execute workshop events typically from 1-3 days in length for groups from 20 to over 100 participants. We utilize a wide range of leading practices and exercises for creative brainstorming, facilitation, decision-making and action-planning. Innovation Loft™ provides sessions at client or offsite locations as well as at their unique innovation facility in the historic and convenient Chelsea section of New York City.
David Schutzman, Public Relations
Bay Hirschfeld, Innovation Director