The world is constantly introducing new things – new inventions, new technologies, new ideologies, new trends, new movements. And as they say, we must “adapt or die”… It’s safe to assume Nokia wouldn’t be a household name today if it still relied on its original pulp-and-paper product. (Unless someone could invent a pulp-and-paper cell phone!)
So how can we possibly keep up with all that’s new?
A lot relies on looking beyond yourself to those around you and beyond.
Extraordinary Events (EE) started a weekly meeting called “Triple T,” and it has lived on to be one of the most beneficial meetings imaginable.
TTT stands for Think Tank Tuesdays. It’s a time where all EE team members gather to exchange and discuss things about which they’ve seen or heard not just in the events industry, but throughout the world. What are people seeing and doing that is exciting? What is going viral and what’s not?
For instance, I went to Australia last March and came back with an overflow of incredible ideas from a series of festivals I was lucky enough to attend (thank you Novatech!) One of these ideas was Extreme Hairstyling, which consists of shaping people’s hair into all sorts of crazy creations using dye, wire, and various objects (i.e. dolls, pencils and ornaments). Pretty insane!
The team loved this idea when we discussed it in TTT, but how would we ever find a group of people that would be willing to get their hair shellaced, colored and tangled up with objects?
We began by looking at where it started … sunny, colorful Barcelona, Spain! That led to brainstorming similar U.S. cities … like sunny San Diego: home of the world famous ComicCon. The perfect audience! These people love to dress up in crazy costumes.
Then we decided that in corporate America, no one would want to sponsor this without direct benefit. So we thought about adding a booth-luring component: if guests had a ticket and got scanned (aka invited to a booth), then they could get their hair done for free. “Do you dare with your hair?”
And finally, we added the cherry on top with: ‘And why not customize the props in the hair to match the sponsoring brand?’
It all happened from one of use seeing something on the other side of the globe, and then all the team members discussing, What if…? What about…? Can we…? Is there…?
By staying connected to the world, we can better stay connected to our clients, and even be one step of ahead of them. The events industry has evolved substantially in the past 25 years. When our founder, Andrea Michaels, launched EE in 1988, she had a land-line, a fax machine and a typewriter. Today, a cell phone or computer can communicate everything. Can you imagine what the next quarter century will bring? We can no longer engage people with pretty décor and performances alone. Reality is, they’ve already seen it. So, what now? It’s all about engagement – engaging participants to do something they’ve never experienced before.
Point being: Listen and share. You will get nowhere if you try to do it all on your own.
Flo Miniscloux, recognized as the 2013 “Rising Star” by Event Solutions magazine, is the Director of Production Services for Extraordinary Events. You may reach Flo via firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Extraordinary Events, visit www.extraordinaryevents.net.