The business of creativity – what we took away from EVCOMference 2023

Blog Thought leadership
Our team attended EVCOM’s annual conference that explores key topics in the corporate events and film industry, with a focus on creativity this year. We all know creativity is key when producing events but clients are looking more than ever for the wow factor. So, how do we start thinking in more creative ways? 

Thanks to apps like Tik Tok, users can scroll through millions of creative ideas, but does this continuous consumption lead to more creative thinking? Human attention span has decreased from 12 seconds to 8.25 in 15 years, meaning we have less patience for exploring new ideas in different places. When imposter syndrome and burnout are very real, it may seem impossible to come up with ideas that will stand out among the rise of viral content.

The keynote address on great ideas (and where to find them) by Richard Holman, particularly stood out to us. He focused on the need to step out of your comfort zone and think differently because if you’re always looking in obvious places, you’ll end up with the same ideas. Putting this into practice seems to be particularly hard though and to be creative we must go against some common misconceptions, here’s a few of the tips he shared:

  • Quality over quantity is a myth when creating. It’s rare that we end up in a creative flow, but when we do it means all our happy hormones are released! Focus on getting all your ideas down rather than worrying if one of them isn’t quite right as creating and analysing are two very different things. Analytic thinking is conscious whereas spontaneous thinking is unconscious and unpredictable, leading to out of the box ideas. 
  • Accidents can be happy. Famous film director, Orson Wells, said the greatest things in movies are divine accidents and his definition of a film director is someone who presides over accidents. This can also an important life lesson as having a different perspective on mistakes’ can help you adapt better and find solutions, which can be greater than you ever could have envisioned. 
  • Push yourself out of your comfort zone! When we don’t know where to start, an easy way to get creative is to contemplate what the worst idea for this brief could be. This is exactly how an iconic Volkswagen advert was born, with a creative answering that a funeral would be the worst situation for the ad.
  • We do our best thinking when we are not thinking. If you’re struggling to think of an idea or feeling burnout, take some time away from the question and step into the real world where inspiration can strike from anywhere. It is especially beneficial to be flexible, work in different spaces and with different people.

Another interesting idea from keynote speaker, David Bodanis, is that we should be opening the space for creative ideas to be shared. Everyone thinks in different ways and has different insights, and he says there are two different people in the world, those who play tennis and golf (not literally). There are those who solve problems and work best by bouncing around ideas in a group, and those who need some time alone to think it through. This means being flexible with different ways of working.

Inspired by industry insights, our events team is always finding new ways to develop their creativity. If you need some help planning innovative and engaging events, get in touch.