Workshop Style Pitches – Pitch in a Day (PIAD)

Workshop pitches are not an entirely new concept but still not frequently used.

This is a useful process for really understanding how an agency works and thinks and develops their ideas in an immersive way with the client actively involved.  It gives clients a really strong indication of the culture and capabilities of an agency, and whether you are compatible.  The best workshop pitches have the client and the agency team brainstorming together. However, clients can instead step back from the brainstorming and observe the agency whilst they work.

Pitch in a Day

The PIAD would take place in a workshop format. The clients would spend the day with the agency team, briefing them in the morning and actively participating in the session to understand the dynamics of the team, working processes and creative and strategic approaches – the agency would then present their ideas back at the end of the day.

One consideration for this approach is that the client would need to commit one day per agency for the pitch, which means up to 4 days.

PIAD works very well in a No Pitch, Pitch situation.

Process for a PIAD pitch:

  • Creation of brief
    – The upfront requirement needs to be absolutely clear as the process is much shorter and the agency may need more direction
    – Manage your stakeholders expectations in terms of what this type of pitch can deliver (i.e. not a fully worked solution)
  • Identification of long list of agencies
    As this element is of even more importance, it may require specialist input or support from someone who has intimate knowledge of the market
  • Gathering credentials (RFI)
    Essential to establish capabilities
  • Shortlisting
    Ensure decision maker is involved
  • Chemistry meetings
    Set up NDA
  • Workshop Session – 1 day at each agency
    – Pitch Briefing on arrival – select a meaty business problem that needs a creative solution
    – Roll up your sleeves, client & agency dive into an immersive session to work on developing the solution together.
    – Actual agency team and senior client stakeholders only should be present
  • Decision and appointment happens as soon as the client has spent a day with all of the agencies involved and has managed to review all of the evaluation criteria.

Estimated Timeframe: Timings for this process vary depending on how many agencies are involved and whether it’s a competitive or No Pitch, Pitch, but suffice to say that the entire process can be very quick indeed, but the up front preparation work is absolutely essential, as if the brief isn’t fully thought out, the workshop could be a disaster!