A proper white paper session (you know getting all your ideas, questions, strategies, goals, objectives, drawings, doodles, schematics, and crazy ideas that seem totally brilliant when they're scrawled all big and spontaneously up on the white sheet, but then seem maybe a little less realistic when typed out in the notes later) requires the following:
1. white paper
2. a good marker
Preferably different colors for different categories of information – and also handy if one person gets tired of writing and makes someone else write, they can say "you know, I prefer blue," but really it's because the purple marker the other person had been using is all sweaty.
2b. marker side note
Beware this black one... it's the Third Degree "crack marker." All you have to do is pop the cap, and anyone within twenty feet will get high. So, depending on who is in your white paper sessions (creative department or media department, lets say) the crack marker may or may not be welcome. Those crazy media gals.
3. a thought leader.
Someone's got to be the ringmaster. Today it's our all around leader, Roy. See... he does stuff! We even made him write. (With the purple marker, wink, wink.)
4. actual ideas
This may require some help from required item number 5., below
5. A ginormous __[ fill in the blank here ]____ drink
Whatever your poison, be it from Sonic, Starbucks or a gentleman named Jack Daniels. Although his white paper sessions usually result in us having to reschedule a new white paper session.
6. completely focused, energized and engaged participants
What?! That's what we look like when we're completely focused, energized and engaged.
Seriously. If I try to force everyone to look engaged they look like this. Yeah, kind of fake, right? It's when we look all serious and grim when we're really thinking. Plus, Roy get's annoyed because I'm worried more about posing the blog photo than contributing ideas to the white paper session.
So when the hour's up what do you get? A lot of really great ideas, some executable – okay, some not. But it's an exercise we do almost every week for one client or another. Now the designated person (today that's Hallie) just has to go make it all make sense and... make it happen.