Event industry is a tough business as there is a constant competition in terms of the best programme or the most creative design. The problem is that visitors demand from event managers being more and more creative, to offer something that has never been done before, something unusual. Event planners are put into the situation where they have to do things differently. Only successful event planners think out-of-the-box, which requires innovation and creativity.
So how to improve your creativity?
2. Learn and break the rules.
Sarah Springfield, Director of the Brighton& Hove Chamber of Commerce says to learn the tried basics and then break the rules. Instead of breaking the rules from the start, it is better to get to know how to plan an event to run smoothly and safely. This will give you a leeway to be more creative. Imagine a situation where people tweet more about the fact that they had to queue an hour in the rain to get in instead of your astonishing music performance. That is why learn the rules before breaking them. Also, remember that planning the event takes plenty of time. Allocate enough time for it, so your creative ideas will not disappear under the pressure of lacking time.
2. Brainstorm with your team.
According to Tuckman’s Model of Team Development , there are four different stages of developing a team- forming, storming, norming and performing. During the storming process people tend to criticise each other’s ideas and opinions.
As a successful event planner you have to brainstorm with your team and listen to everything that may seem to be crazy or impossible. Scott Berkun advices to postpone criticism as it is a creativity killer. That is why better to gather as many information as possible and then judge them in terms of creativity and feasibility. Perhaps the herd of dancing sheep is not a good idea- but maybe the little lamb robot is!
This process of course puts everyone in under tension, and it will not always be as smooth as it appeared to be. Choosing the right idea is a difficult task but when the group works well together nothing is possible, as the ‘’several heads are better than one’’.
3. Reduce the bureaucracy.
There is nothing worse than waiting for the approval from authorities about the ideas you have come up with your team. This waiting process slows down your other projects, and instead of progressing you are getting stressed whether your ideas will pass the red tape. So knowing important health and safety, and insurance regulations will help with avoiding the bureaucracy processes of approval. As this can slow down your work and kill your creative ideas. You may start thinking that you have less time to get things done because of waiting for a permission. Event manager role is to balance the time allocation of ideas generation, and then take a responsibility for actions and ensure that the plan will get off the ground.
4. Take risks.
Taking risks sometimes allow you to do things that are not boring and are totally different from your competitors. It also happens that the first attempt of going beyond the norm will actually not work out exactly as planned. Taking risks may be career threating, however playing safe may not always bring the excitement and creativity to your event. Learning from your past mistakes and evaluating them will definitely increase chances that your future risks taken will pay off.
5. Learn to deal with stress.
It is widely known that stress can kill your mood and worsen your general health. If you are exposed for stress for a long time, then your creative thinking can be affected negatively by it as well. Have you ever wondered why people usually come up with brilliant ideas in the shower, or when they are about to fall asleep? Maybe because those are the times when we feel more relaxed and we do not think about other ‘real’ things. Stress-free attitude allows creativity and imagination to play the first role in your event planning process.
6. Believe in yourself.
Finally, believe in yourself that you are capable of inventing creative ideas. Take risks and let it happen! According to Amabile (1997) research all humans are able to produce some moderate creative work in some domain. So keep it up!
Improving my creativity will benefit in thinking-out-of-the-box. As there are many competitors in event industry, being a creative mind will make you stand out from the crowd. The more different your events are from your competitors; the more attendees you are likely to attract. Also, I assume that being a creative event manager will help you with solving problems during brainstorming process, as well as will make you able to step back, take a deep breath and look at things as a big picture, without worrying about small issues like stress. Creativity is essential for event industry as it can improve a communication within a team by inventing new solution for any issues and ways to let the steam come off everyone.