360 Live Media
360 Live Media is an event strategy and digital marketing agency in Washington, D.C. serving association, professional society, and not-for-profit conferences.
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So You Say You Want Innovation…

In a 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 2020?
  • 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.


Now that we’re in Q4 consider allocating any “use it or lose it” 2019 budget to a 2020 innovation budget.


What a great year 2020 will be if you start now and begin your innovation journey!

Don Neal Headshot

A marketing thought leader, speaker, teacher, and advisor, Don Neal brings his Madison Avenue experience to help organizations see their opportunities in a new light. He is passionate about helping organizations accelerate the trajectory of their success.

Don Neal
Founder & CEO
360 Live Media

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