In a recent study by the Event Marketing Institute, over 80% of event producers said innovation is either extremely or very important. Ok, now what?
If there ever was a topic with more heat than light, this is it. A few reasons we don’t see more innovation in the world of events. Innovation = risk, cost, disruption, change, imagination, and . . . well, the list is long.
In the seminal book, The Innovator’s Dilemma, Clayton Christensen said that businesses or organizations will reject innovations based on the fact that customers cannot currently use them, thus allowing these ideas with great potential to go to waste. He goes into great detail about the way in which “successful” companies adhered to customer needs, adopted new technologies and took rivals into consideration but still ended up losing dominance in their market.
Understandable, right? So, if innovation is very important to you, your organization and your event, what are you doing about it? A few questions to see what kind of grade to give yourself:
- How much funding have we allocated to innovation in 2015?
- How do we recognize and reward innovation?
- How do we quantify the value of innovation?
- Do we celebrate innovation at our event, and if so, how?
- Does our event have programming, dedicated trade show floor space or awards dedicated to innovation?
- Who have we brought in from the outside to help us look at our business in a new way?
- Does our organization have a culture that invites innovation and tolerates failure?
These are just a few thoughts to get the conversation started.
When it comes to real innovation, we usually change because we feel the heat, not because we see the light. But it would be better to make the changes when you are strong, doing well and to look for the light. Feeling the heat leads to higher costs, more risks and doing everything faster than you’d like.
Welcome the light.