Expert Panels: Building Immersive Team Learning Experiences

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Our Thoughts
  • by Jessup Smith

At SEEK our work hinges on finding specific people to speak into our clients’ learning objectives. This typically comes to life in the form of consumer research, but it can also manifest as a crafted experience in which we invite experts and influencers to speak into the category landscape and objectives.

Sometimes the ask comes in for us to identify, connect and meet with hyper-specific and expert personalities, or what we like to call, “unicorns.” Regardless of the challenge, we don’t shy away from unicorn hunting - it’s an opportunity for us to do something unheard of and be truly effective for our clients… and it’s a fun way to push past whatever is influencing and inundating the market.

These experts, influencers and other unicorns have spent tons of time on these specific topics - they’ve had time to sift through years of data and trends and can offer a breadth of insight into the spaces you seek depth in. You’ll gain direction, know what to watch out for and be able to better focus any subsequent research.

Their unique perspectives allow our clients to ground themselves better in who they serve as well as expand their thinking on the category or topic. In the end, our curated selection of people and experiences create greater and more immediate impact than a traditional research study and report.

How we SEEK out these “Unicorns”:

  1. DIVERGE - From a list of initial descriptors we expand outward and consider the entire potential context. This helps us determine the approach we take to identifying them in reality. We build out what this person’s life looks like; what they do, how they interact with others, their hobbies, favorite cocktail, author, vacation spot, etc.
  2. SEARCH & IDENTIFY - We scour the landscape near and far via an exhausting number of avenues; social networks, publications, organizations, tumblrs, community pages, reddit communities, podcasts, etc. (really, this list could go on forever…)
  3. SELECT - Maybe we’ve identified three, maybe as many as 30 potential people we believe to be a fit. This “fit” is based on their presence on social media, work they’ve published, or experiences they’ve had or created. (Again, another potentially inexhaustible list as these people are frequently prolific makers, creators or influencers.)
  4. CONNECT - This step can be incredibly daunting. Your client may have an unattainable wishlist or those you’ve identified feel too far out of reach, but beginning a conversation with an enticing hook is the only way to reel in someone from a “cold” contact.
  5. DESIGN - Creating an experience is the final and most crucial step - it must be novel and based in the objectives your client wants to hone in on for their business goals. At SEEK, we collaborate and customize to best ground our teams in the landscape that we’re pursuing learnings. This heightens the impact of the research to follow as well as fosters a deeper connection between brands and people.

Ultimately, this specialized recruit will bring life to an experience we design for them (and our clients) to participate in. We’ve built panels of influential women from a variety of industries to speak into the current socio-political landscape of feminism, held Town Halls in community hotbeds, and done immersive excursions that include alternative group fitness classes, co-creation workshops with puppeteers and comedians among many others.

If breaking ground in a new territory is part of success in your journey, these hand-crafted experiences with expert recruits could prove integral to your route there.