For some of us on calendar-year budgets, it’s that time when we’re looking at where we went over and where we have a bit left over. We’ve pulled together our top 10 buys, should you find yourself with any budget left over in 2015 for things that will help support successful engagements in 2016.
1. Document stands: These stands are great for providing table-top information at a World Café. We have many, in many different sizes. Make documents double-sided; put a theme on the front and key questions on the back. They are a staple in our facilitation kits.
2. Getty Images (Royalty Free): With photo releases and securing permissions for photo use, it can be hard to actually show real people engaging, meeting, and connecting – whatever the image you might need to promote your engagement. If you have a sense of some of the images you might need, plan ahead and buy some now for 2016.
3. Markers, pinboards, kits and so much more: We love Neulands. Need a mobile wall for graphic recording? They’ve got several from which to choose. Tired of bad markers? They’ve got the Cadillac of markers. Their products are awesome, and once you take a look at their website you’ll realize that one of the best things about facilitation is the super-cool supplies that support your great process design!
4. Pre-loaded coffee cards: There are those people who go above and beyond to help with an engagement – could be a facilities person, caterer, or staff person who gives a little extra of themselves. Why not pre-purchase coffee gift cards (best is a local coffee shop) in 2015, to thank great folks in 2016?
5. Sticky flipcharts: Shockingly expensive, but they make life so much easier: We love sticky flipcharts. They are a relative luxury, but will make it easier to transcribe input and document what was said. Plus, they are easy to display and won’t damage walls!
6. Clipboards: Planning to attend any community events and ask for input in 2016? Stock up on clipboards now and save yourself the misery of stealing every single one in the office the day before.
7. Roller bins: Not using a carry-on suitcase? No worries. Buy a few of these and you can put all your engagement supplies into a few easy-to-transport roller bins. They fold – brilliant!
8. Video capture software: Think your organization might be in the news, or want to show a video at an engagement event? Video capture software might be a life saver. We’ve used Movavi, but there are many affordable options out there.
9. Professional development: If you can pay in 2015 for professional development in 2016, why not? See our list of suggestions on yesterday’s blog.
10. Customized giveaways: Do you have branded notepads, pens or other materials? We go through tons. Never get caught without supplies – order and pay for them now, and use them in 2016.