6 Events Pushing the Boundaries of Creativity

Keynote, coffee break, breakout session, lunch, panel, dinner – the usual lineup at an event. But simply repeating that same pattern over and over makes the experience less enjoyable. As eventprofs, our clients are looking to us to help create events that will stand out and keep attendees buzzing long after the event concludes.

If creativity, innovation, and out-of-the-ordinary is what you are looking for, then you’ve come to the right place. We have done our research and found some events that are pushing the boundaries of expectations to give attendees a memorable experience. By daring to be different, these events are standing out from the crowd and making lasting impressions.

We’ve compiled a list of a variety of creative events, ranging from an interactive expo on the grounds of a world-famous film studio, to radically-inclusive festivals bringing together eclectic people from around the world, to invite-only masterminds taking the idea of a business membership to the next level. These events are thinking outside the box to engage participants and leave them wanting more.

6 Events Pushing the Boundaries of Creativity

AT&T Shape Tech & Entertainment Expo

July 14-15, 2017
Los Angeles, CA

This event brought the worlds of entertainment and technology together at the famous Warner Bros. studios for two days of A-list speakers, contests, and a showcase of the latest technology that will have an impact on the entertainment industry. Attendees were able to get a hands-on experience with the newest innovations in virtual and augmented reality, 5G connectivity, and emerging technologies that will change the landscape for digital storytelling and content creation. The event also sought to cultivate young talent with the AT&T Creator Camp where kids interested in film production participated in several interactive workshops to learn skills in film editing, stop-motion animation, and storyboarding, amongst others.

Why It’s Different
In addition to all the exhibits and interactive workshops featured at the event, the most unique aspect was the Create-a-Thon – a competition where aspiring filmmakers were tasked with creating a short film over the weekend of the event. Contestants had to submit their scripts and storyboards prior to the event, then 40 finalist teams got the opportunity to make their film a reality using resources from the world-renowned Warner Bros. studios. All of the finalist submissions and contest winners can be found here.

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Envision Festival

February 22-25, 2018
Costa Rica

Since its inception in 2011, Envision Festival has brought attendees to Rancho de la Merced in Uvita, a tropical locale on the edge of the Costa Rican rainforest for four days of music, art, yoga, meditation, sustainability, and collaboration. Attendees camp out in a number of alternative accommodations that utilize the environment such as treehouses and bungalows.

Why It’s Different
Creators of the event emphasize permaculture, or the philosophy of living and working harmoniously with nature. This philosophy permeates all aspects of event from the locally-sourced food and building materials for the venue, to the workshops that focus on spirituality and natural healing remedies. In the center of everything is The Village, a vibrant space where attendees gather for educational workshops, dancing, and watching, as well as participating in live-art installations.

Afrika Burn

April 23-29
Tankwa, South Africa

Afrika Burn is a regional manifestation of the Burning Man Festival, and brings participants together every year to create music, artwork, and performances in the middle of the South African desert. The event encourages attendees to “let their imaginations go where they will” — there are no scheduled workshops or demonstrations. Some attendees create theme camps which serve as smaller villages and knowledge centers where they are free to host any activities that are welcoming and encourage collaboration between participants.

Why It’s Different
For 11 months of the year, Tankwa Town is an uninhabited, gravel plain. Volunteers and attendees literally rebuild the town for each event, giving that year’s participants the opportunity to create their own unique space from a clean slate. Another unique aspect of the event is decommodification, making the event free from any sponsorships, advertising, or money exchange of any kind. Attendees are strongly encouraged to give gifts to others, without expecting anything in return.

Nowhere

July 3-8, 2018
Spain

Nowhere is another regional version of Burning Man, but based in Europe. Every year, participants assemble in the mountains of northern Spain to create a safe haven of music, art, performances, and exchange of ideas with a diverse, international audience. The spirit of the event is heavily rooted in the 10 core principles of Nowhere, which are guidelines for how the participants should conduct themselves at the event.

Why It’s Different
As the name suggests, the festival takes place in the middle of nowhere, and participants work together to recreate the different structures needed every year. Similar to Afrika Burn, there is no structure or agenda for workshops or seminars – what happens at each event is solely up to the participants. People are able to create their own ‘barrios’ where they can host performances, workshops, serve food, or any other activities they wish.

#CreateGood

October 4-8
New York, NY

Brought to you by Brit + Co, the media company aiming to inspire and bolster the creative spirit for women, #CreateGood sought to create a unique event with the ultimate goal of empowering women. Over 10,000 attendees converged on NewYork’s SoHo district, where the event combined a series of interactive experiences, workshops, speakers, and live performances. Notable guests like fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff, singer/songwriter Jewel, and actress Sarah Michelle Gellar shared their stories and tips for success to inspire attendees.

Why It’s Different
This event displayed some serious girl power. There were a plethora of activities and interesting things to do at every turn. The sponsors of the event really integrated into the concept well with their activations. A few of the best examples were the Lyft Arcade which featured games like skeeball and Pac-Man, Bumble provided makeup refreshes throughout the event, and one of the biggest hits – Sorel’s ‘shoe-fie’ squares.

Black Label Mastermind

Quarterly
Varying locations

The Black Label Mastermind happens four times a year, featuring 40 entrepreneurs specializing in e-commerce. Black Label is for business owners doing between $5-10 million in yearly revenue, and is by invitation-only. These members come together at these quarterly meetings to make new deals, learn best practices, and get inspired by others. Everyone is required to participate in the workshops, sharing both their successes and failures so that everyone will learn from their experiences.

Why It’s Different
This isn’t just a meeting of the minds to exchange ideas, being a member of the Black Label Mastermind affords additional resources and training. Also, members can make use of vendors and manufacturers of other members to create volume discounts and economies of scale. In addition, Black Label itself has access to exclusive products and training courses that members can take advantage of.

Barbell Mastermind Retreat

Hollywood, CA

Barbell Mastermind is a collection of entrepreneurs and innovators in the fitness industry who come together to share ideas about growing their business and improving the fitness industry as a whole. The retreat always takes place at a fabulous hotel or resort, and participants engage in three days of thought-provoking and interactive workshops, roundtable discussions, and presentations. After the business is finished during the day, guests can enjoy many other activities such as sailing, hot-air ballooning, or indoor skydiving.

Why It’s Different
The Barbell Mastermind Retreat is by invitation-only. Guests are welcome to the event, but only if they are accompanied by an active member. Barbell does not allow any spectators, all members and guests alike must actively participate! The retreat was created by Barbell Logic, a company that consults with gym owners to teach them skills in marketing and customer service that will help grow their business.

In Conclusion

If you are tired of the same run-of-the-mill concepts from the events you have been attending, and you are ready for something different, consider some of the events on this list. Having an open-mind and willingness to try something new will allow you to interact with people from different walks of life, learn new information, and have experiences that you will never forget.

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Julius Solaris
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