Details for the St. Louis Idea Market

It is time for the second St. Louis Idea Market, set for October 17, 2006.  The Market will again take place at the fabulous Lucas School House at the corner of Allen and Gravois in the Soulard area of St. Louis (Map).

The St. Louis Idea Market is an opportunity for you to meet, interact, and brainstorm with some of the most interesting and creative folks in the St. Louis area.  This month’s focus is on CREATIVITY and PLAY:  the big post-it note questions, the “idea speed dating,” and the conversations will all focus on bringing more creativity into your work and personal life, and leveraging that creativity to do amazing things. 

Now, for the who, what, where, when and why:

Who Should Come:  If you are an entrepreneur, business person, blogger, speaker, consultant, designer, webmaster, writer, artist, salesperson, technologist, or _____________, you’ll enjoy the Idea Market.  I only ask that you be passionate about sharing ideas and helping others.  Everything else will take care of itself.

What We Will Do:  Well, there really is no “Agenda,” because the Idea Market is the kind of place where people can bring their business problems, issues, questions, and (of course) ideas and share them with other innovative, creative, and generous folks.  Think of the Idea Market as a sort of a “beta test” for a new type of networking/brainstorming social club that just happens to take place at a private happy hour in a cool, hip place. 

When We Will Do It:

5:30 – 6:00  Bar Opens, Attendees Arrive, Initial Brainstorming.  In the last several LexThink!(R) events and private retreats I’ve done, we’ve posted provocative questions on large Post-It Notes all around the facility.  When attendees arrive, they’ll be given a marker and a pad of smaller, half-page Post-It’s and asked to walk around and contribute their thoughts and answer the questions posted.   This works wonders to get the creative juices flowing and opens up attendees to sharing other ideas the rest of the event.

6:00 – 6:45  Introductions.  Idea Speed-Dating.  We’ll have our own version of speed dating: Attendees will have forty-five minutes (broken up in much smaller chunks) to meet as many other attendees as possible and answer questions ranging from their favorite idea, to their ideal super power.  This is a really fun way to “network” without having the same “Hi, my name is Matt, here’s what I do” conversation over and over.  This was clearly the favorite part for many of the August event.

6:45 – 7:15  Open Space Problem Solving.  If any attendees are facing a particularly vexing business problem, and would like to tap the creative power of the group, now’s the time.  Attendees can announce the problem (or post it on the wall) and any others who’d like to help can break up into small discussion groups to brainstorm solutions.  Alternatively, anyone with a topic they’d like to discuss can also announce it here and interested people can join the discussion. 

7:15 – 8:15  Open Space Idea Sharing.  This is just like the Open Space Problem Solving session, except we’ll focus on new ideas.

8:15 – 8:45.  The Idea Market’s Greatest Hits:  We’ll share with the entire group the best ideas, greatest tips, and most interesting conversations from the evening.  We may even play musical chairs or a game of Twister.  ;-)

8:45  Unreasonable Request Time.  One of the most compelling ideas I’ve stumbled across while blogging is Lisa Haneberg’s Unreasonable Requests.  In short, we often have things we’d like to ask others for, but are afraid to ask.  I’m going to ask everyone to write down an unreasonable request, post it on the wall with their name and phone number, and anyone who wants to grant the request can do so.  Because the requests are, by definition, “unreasonable,” I don’t expect many to be granted — so everyone who gets one granted will be totally surprised.

8:45 – ??.??  Cocktails on the Patio (or elsewhere).  We’ll stick around the School House as long as they’ll let us, but anyone who wants to continue their discussions after we’re politely asked to leave can do so at one of about 30 Soulard bars/restaurants that are within walking distance.

The Food/The Drink:  I’m looking for a sponsor for the food.  The School House will have a full cash bar open for the duration of the event.

The Cost:  FREE. 

The Space:  The Lucas School House is one of the coolest spaces I’ve found in St. Louis.  It is a hybrid space, with plenty of space for discussion, along with a stage and state-of-the-art audio/video capabilities.  There’s also wifi, of course. Here are some pictures of the downstairs and upstairs spaces.

0004      0055

Did I mention there’s a full bar? 

How To Attend:  If you’ve e-mailed me before, I hope I’ve sent you a link to sign up at a site I’ve set up for the event.  If you’d like to come, and haven’t gotten an e-mail from me, you can sign up here.

Any Questions?  E-mail me at or call my cell phone at 618–407–3241.

We look forward to meeting all of you.

2 Responses to Details for the St. Louis Idea Market
  1. Gill Wagner
    October 3, 2006 | 3:10 pm

    I had the profound pleasure of experiencing Matt’s first-ever Open Idea Market about two months ago, and it is not possible for me to recommend this strongly enough.

    I also sponsored the event that time — basically paid for the food. This event is attended by St. Louis area thought leaders. So if tapping into a massive pool of creativity excites you, sponsor the Oct. 17 event and Matt will make sure you get hooked up with the best and brightest. (Best marketing money I spent so far this year.)


  2. Zane
    October 6, 2006 | 3:47 pm

    Matt! This is a GREAT idea. For those of you wondering…Matt has the knack, ok the brain power, to organize thought-leaders from an incredibly wide range of passions, businesses, artist media…and get them to talk and share ideas and break each others’ boundaries…and have a great and fun time doing it.

    He’s fearless. He’s one of my favorite people…and I haven’t kept up with recently…sigh

    But now…we’ll catch up. Congrats on this new endeavor. I know it’ll be a wonderful success. I don’t think I’ll be able to attend. one never knows…but it’s doubtful.

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