+ What is a Stakeholder Lab?

A Stakeholder Lab is Overlap’s specially designed Focus Group. Rather than simply asking questions for feedback purposes, our Stakeholder Labs are aimed at gathering rich insight from participants through a series of strategic and facilitated exercises, including seeking to understand their experience and generating new ideas.

Stakeholders Labs are 1-2-hour sessions with various activities that are designed to allow participants to explore a question more deeply. There is often a mix of solo, small and large group activities, designed to leverage each individuals worldview and the knowledge of the whole group.

+ Why are we using a Stakeholder Labs for this project?

Stakeholder Labs are a mid-level research technique. They allow for deeper engagement than short-burst interviews but not as deep as ethnographic research. Stakeholder Labs also leverage the different views and voices from different segments of your community. The lab activities and facilitated discussions provide participants the opportunity to explore needs and share ideas in a creative, but practical way.

+ How do Stakeholder Labs work?

The Overlap team will design the sessions, complete with participant worksheets and/or workbooks. We will facilitate each 1-2-hour sessions, while also synthesizing the data gathered throughout. Each session is intended for 10-20 participants—we deliberately keep these groups small so that discussion remains focused. There may be specific numbers depending on your organization and the stakeholders we are engaging.

+ What locations are best for Stakeholder Labs?

Potential venues for Stakeholder Labs would require tables that can comfortably seat groups of 3 to 4 people, as there is a collaborative group activity. We also recommend supplying participants with light refreshments like coffee and a snack.

Stakeholder Labs require a voluntary commitment of time from the participants, so invitations should be sent well in advance. It is easy to keep track of attendance through free registration software such as Eventbrite.

+ Who should come to my Stakeholder Lab?

Overlap will work with your team to identify the key stakeholders you want to engage. We often group these based on demographics or industry. For example: youth, organizations you’d like to collaborate with, or those who are non-patrons of your organization/service.

+ What should my invitation say?

We find that the more simple and clear your invitation language is the greater number off attendees will come.

To download an example of a Stakeholder Lab invitation please click here.

+ What kind of support should we expect from Overlap?

Overlap will provide:

  1. Materials and worksheets needed to run the session
  2. Help in identifying stakeholders to engage
  3. Facilitate the lab
  4. Suggestions for targeting the lab invitation to your stakeholders

+ What kind of support does Overlap expect from you?

  1. Identified stakeholder groups to target lab participants
  2. Invite Stakeholder Lab participants
  3. Locate and book the meeting room/location
  4. Coffee, Tea, and refreshments for participants