How to Get the Creative Juices Flowing for your Next Event

Sometimes you can find yourself in a rut, not knowing where to turn for inspiration for your next event – whether it be creative ideas for a dinner, trade show booth, email template, or social media campaign.

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All event tasks have meaning behind them and should flow in a cohesive blend and have one powerful meaning behind them. But, where do you get creative ideas from? Is there one specific place event planners should turn to when trying to spark those creative juices?

Event planners tend to work in so many ways – none of us are the same, which makes us all unique, fun, awesome people! The best part about being an event planner is coming up with ideas, and asking other planners out there where they draw upon their ideas. Here are a few ways you can start out getting those brains churning, either on your own, or as a team!

No Planning Session is a Bad One!

Start out by brainstorming. Whether you’re an event planner who works solo, or a team at a corporation, brainstorm ideas for events you have coming up. What areas do you need help on?

Have you decided on a theme for your trade show booth for the year? If not, that’s a great place to start, because typically booths are the mecca or hub for everything happening around you. Make sure your theme makes sense, and has an overall purpose to your brand. Be fun, creative, and go above and beyond with the theme. Most trade show booths tend to make people YAWN, so think outside of the box – in what ways does your brand stand out? Does your product reach a particular audience that you may want to mention or call out in the booth? Maybe bring an element of excitement to your booth that you can continue to do for all events you do year-round, such as a fun bar, or smoothie machine. Most trade show audiences love to stop by booths that are not only visually appealing, BUT tell a story and make sense. By this, you must have other elements in your booth that answer 1) what you do 2) how you do it 3) how you can help the attendees.

Become BFFs With Your Design Team!

The creative team(s) you work with are called creative in their titles for a reason. Lean on them for some inspiration when coming up with design needs for your next event. What design elements do you need? Make a list, and set a meeting with your designers. There will always be key marketing materials that will need designing for any event – these include collateral pieces, product brochures, trade show booths, giveaway signs, lanyards, website updates, social media banners, email templates, etc – the list is endless! The most important factor here is to make sure all of these items are cohesive and get done on time. Designers can get very busy, and get requests from all departments, so be sure you stick to their timeline, and your event calendar timeline when assigning design tasks.

Keep Your Ideas In One Place!

As you continue to draw ideas together for your event, look for event apps or online tools where you can collectively store ideas together with your team. A few great online tools you can use to track tasks are JIRA and Trello. Here you can share ideas, resources, and provide peers with feedback on your event strategies. Keeping all of your projects and tasks in one place is a great idea, and super easy for everyone working on the event.

Find Inspiration On Your Own!

As an event planner, it’s important we all stay up-to-date on the “in” crowd of the event world.  What DO attendees like at events today? Do some online research on event blogs, Pinterest boards, social hashtags, community forums, LinkedIn groups and start asking your fellow planners what fun ideas they have seen that have been a hit! Also be sure to ask what ideas have been total bombs. It’s a great idea for all of us to keep these juices flowing, and stay on top of event trends every quarter. If one idea worked for some of us, it may not work for the rest of us – sometimes this could be due to regional ideas, or seasonal ideas. Keep in mind we don’t all have access to the same vendors, venues, etc, but we can always take the germ of an idea and develop them into a fun idea of our own!

In Conclusion

Don’t be afraid to take risks to stand out from the crowd. Reach out to your peers and co-workers when you have hit a hard spot, and can’t seem to find the inspiration you’re looking for when trying to push your event to that next awesome step you want to get it to. We’ve all been in that old rut at some point, and may get there again, so never feel ashamed to ask for help!

About The Author
Holly Barker
Holly Barker is a Digital Native with a passion to help shape events and brands through storytelling, creativity and digital magic. She has over 10 years of experience consisting of social media marketing, events and promotional management, digital marketing, and brand development. Follow Holly at @holsk.
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Julius Solaris
Editor, Julius Solaris

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