This post looks at 6 examples of innovation in the event industry.
Inspiration time dear readers. One of the best selling products on this blog.
Writing posts about new trends, cool events and innovative practices it's a pain in the neck. It takes months of spotting, note taking and information digestion.
Here is the result of heavy trend spotting performed over the past coupe of months...
What is it: Repair Cafes are events run by people who want to fix stuff. Attendees bring broken things and a group of volunteers fix them. The aim is to reduce waste and create a culture of recycle.
Take Away: Events with a purpose are instant winner. Getting people together to produce something, whether tangible or intangible excites attendees and press.
Where is it: Amsterdam
Spotted on: NYTimes
The Lost Lectures
What is it: Secret lectures or talks given by prominent speakers in multiple industries. The attendees get to know about the location a few days before the event.
Take Away: Surprise and secret are essential ingredients to win attendees.
Where is it: London
Spotted on: BriteUK tweet
What is it: A series of Tweetups happening since 2008. Free to attend for those working in charities or not for profits organizations. They are run by Beautiful World and sponsored by JustGiving. The objective is to exchange experiences in using social media in the not for profit sector.
Take Away: Twitter creates events communities and not for profit can seriously benefit from it.
Where is it: London
Spotted on: Mark Jennings' tweet
Nokia Kills Nokia World in Favor of Smaller Events
What is it: Nokia recently killed its main annual event in favour of a series of smaller events. It is a move that favours human friendly, invite only events over noisy mass gatherings.
Take Away: Big is not better. Shouting does not get your message across. Events can be scalable marketing tools for global brands.
Where is it: Helsinki
Spotted on: The Next Web
What is it: Conceived by the founder of TED, the WWW Conference has no presentations and no schedule. Only 66 participants. Among them Steve Wozniak, David Blaine, Matt Groening.
Take Away: Jam sessions of motivated, interesting people create killer events. Traditional formats need to be revised.
Where is it: ?
Spotted on: Researching for TED
What is it: A tech conference run by the Founders Fund. Selected attendees are flown with a private jet to Hawaii, get a personalised engraved iPad and activities include snorkelling or riding together in Jeeps rather than listening to presentations. Discussions are stimulated by cards with questions.
Take Away: Surprise your guests in every little detail, make them feel special and leverage on their skills.
Where is it: Hawaii
Spotted on: Techcrunch via Alexia Tsotsis
When it comes to inspiration, my suggestion is to handle with care. The purpose of this post is to get you thinking about what can you do differently in your event or meeting architecture.
Some of the examples may be extreme or require substantial budget. I am not suggesting to replicate. Just think about what the people who created these concepts did differently.
Turning traditional formats into something new is not an easy task and change does not mean success. That's why I invite you to keep an eye on these events and see how they'll evolve.
Photo by phunkstarr