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How to future-proof your events

Speakers Corner sits down with Caleb Storkey, keynote speaker and award-winning author, to discuss future-proofing events and the importance of fostering a creative culture in the events industry.


Speakers Corner: We like to think we’re a diverse, creative bunch, us event folk. But how do we harness the creativity across our teams to create better events?

Caleb: There are many ways to unlock the creativity within your team, but first, you need an Amazing IDEA: Inspired Development, Engaged Audience. The Amazing IDEA Model works across different industries, but for creating better events, to start with, you need to build a culture of creativity in your team through a clear and repeatable process.

Inspiration comes through Collaboration LABS, and the Learning, Awareness, Brainstorming & Sharing good communication models can bring. Although there isn’t time to talk through the whole process here, I love working to combine logic and emotion and utilise the Head, Heart and Body as our core intelligence centres.

This enables communication in a business that resonates with all personality types, flattens down the hierarchy, quickly moves past creativity blockers and is able to capture, harvest and analyse the best ideas.

You spoke about the role of a chief mindset officer? Is this a standalone role, or is this a responsibility everyone in the team should undertake?

Yes, the chief mindset officer is the new CMO. Sadly, over recent years, we’ve developed a distrust towards marketing and technology. With the advancements of algorithms and artificial intelligence, we are putting a premium on good personal thinking. As a result, the CMO could be outsourced to others, but we’d be wise not to. In the age of disruption we need to be ready for disruption, both as individuals and as businesses.

The mindsets explored in my book Futureproof illustrate the need for leaders to embrace Collaboration, Responsibility and Meaningfulness (CRM). When it comes to engaging our teams, customers and partners, we need to know how to collaborate well. We need to take responsibility for our learning, branding, security and ethics.

This requires intentionality, a good strategy and implementation plan. Finally, if we don’t understand our personal and business purpose, we’re not going to find teams resonating behind Amazing IDEAs. What are our businesses triple bottom line, and the impact our work has on our People, the Planet and Profit? All of this starts with good thinking; the thinking of a Chief Mindset Officer.

What are the technology challenges we currently face?

Put do we adapt or die? Technology is moving at such speed that unless we understand how to innovate, we will get left behind and in some cases face extinction. Is your job at risk of being replaced by technology or robots? Is there going to be a major disruptor in your industry? Do you know what technology you need to implement in your organisation?

Whether it’s AI or big data, security or cloud, quantum computing or 5G, one of the big challenges that businesses face is moving too little, too late. The thinking behind the book Futureproof was to provide an overview of the 12 most disruptive technologies, so leaders no longer need to guess what’s important to their sector and business.

When running workshops, delivering keynotes or exploring digital transformation projects, we need to help businesses quickly understand the most current important technology for their sector.

So, you spent some time wandering through the show and talking to delegates. What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to any events professional looking to generate more creativity in their teams?

Create the right framework, process and experiences to enable creativity to become an everyday part of your business culture. If you don’t have the expertise in place to make this happen, don’t put it off, but instead, bring external expertise in quickly. It’s no longer survival of the fittest, it’s survival of the fastest. Every extra day you’ve established a creative culture, will lead to a reduction in staff turnover, an increase in customer satisfaction, and a growing reputation as an outstanding organisation.

As author Jim Collins outlines, we want to see companies go from being good businesses to great businesses. That’s both a creative and a meaningful goal that I find myself personally, and consistently, committed to.