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The events industry needs more creative thinkers according to new study of MICE professionals

May 5, 2015 MICE No Comments Print Print Email Email

Just 39 per cent of event planners are creative thinkers despite the majority believing they have a creative approach to their work, according to new research released today by London & Partners, the official convention bureau for London, in partnership with MICEBOOK.com.

The research, which was developed to mark the launch of the London Convention Bureau’s Love the Event, Love the Experience campaign, also reveals that while 53 per cent of event professionals feel under pressure to deliver innovative and pioneering events to stay at the forefront of the industry, less than a third of respondents say that risk-taking is encouraged by their organisation. When questioned about how they foster creativity within their businesses, just 34 per cent said that they were allowed free time to think, but only 32 per cent agreed that creative excellence is rewarded by their organisations.

Over 400 event planners were invited to put their brains to the test to gain insight into whether the planning of events is dominated by rational left-brained or emotional right-brained thinkers. With under 40 per cent of respondents shown to be right-brain thinkers, the study highlights that global event planners must push themselves to embed creativity within their workplaces in order to deliver bold, dynamic events.

Tracy Halliwell, Director of Business Tourism & Major Events at London & Partners, underlines the importance of bridging the gap between rational and emotional skill-sets in event-planning: “Ours is an industry within which logic and in-depth planning are absolutely critical to successful outcomes. Creativity and innovation are growing ever more important as clients demand event activations that set them apart from their competitors and deliver enduring memories for consumers. The experience itself is now what drives the event, but it’s only by combining pioneering ideas with concrete solutions that we can truly surprise and delight.”

The right-brain/left-brain theory originated in the work of Roger W. Sperry, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1981. According to his theory, each side of the brain controls different types of thinking. A person who is “left-brained” is often said to be more logical, analytical, and objective, while a person who is “right-brained” is said to be more intuitive, thoughtful, and imaginative.

Commenting on the importance of creativity to events, Leonard Sommer, Chief Creative Officer at SOMMER+SOMMER, the creative agency that developed the 30-Second Brain Test, says: “An event without an extraordinary experience certainly has less impact as memory systems in the brain are not fully activated. To ensure an event leaves a lasting brand impression, event planners need to incorporate unique emotional experiences, both to make them memorable and to help overarching messages resonate”.

Focusing on what constrains creativity within the event industry, two-thirds of those surveyed blamed lack of time with another 53 per cent blaming budget limitations. However, three-quarters of those surveyed believe that their team members are free to deliver creative ideas and almost half said that within their businesses, ideas are not judged at an early stage.

Matthew Margetson, Creative Director at creative events agency Smyle, says: “Event companies must constantly go beyond their client’s expectations to deliver cutting-edge activations. Creativity comes from a state of mind within a business; from clients who welcome fresh thinking, from giving staff the time to be creative, and from striving to push the boundaries of our industry. A rational approach is absolutely key to successful event outcomes, but carving out time to think creatively will reap rewards for events both large and small.”

Chetan Shah, Founder and CEO of MICEBOOK.com, adds: “Whilst time-constraints and restricted budgets can sometimes hinder creativity, a balance is always needed between the creative and the logical. Great teams bring together a mix of personalities, approaches to work and creative or logical attributes. Whether someone is left or right-brained, their attributes and strengths should be encouraged and nurtured, to ensure their events are spectacular, both rationally and emotionally.”

Inspired by the fact that event planners need to combine both left and right-brain thinking to do their job effectively, London & Partners Love the Event, Love the Experience campaign was developed. It is based on the insight that many of the top 50 convention bureaus focus on the rational benefits of hosting an event within their destination, and that few genuinely promote the emotional, creative aspect.

Tracy Halliwell adds: “Event planners will always consider the rational factors when organising an event, but they are also human so emotion will also influence their choices. Love the Event, Love the Experience uses this insight to provide planners with the tools they need to deliver the logical, rational side of an event, whilst also showcasing the innovation within London which can deliver world-leading events that can really wow audiences.”

London & Partners will host a Creative Thinking session on stand F400 at IMEX Frankfurt at 3pm on Tuesday 19 May 2015.

Take the 30-Second Brain Test and watch a short campaign film showcasing London’s vibrant event offer at conventionbureau.london.

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