We recently created an Inspiration Day event in collaboration with a marketing team who truly inspired us and allowed us to inspire them. The kind of client you dream of, not because they had a big budget (they didn't), but because they were keen to do things differently and boundaries were pushed. They engaged, listened, challenged and partook throughout the creative process. The theme was Think Different, Do Different and demanded that we, as event planners, did the same.
Re-watching the eloquent Grant Blakeman speaking at TEDx on Minimalism - For a More Full Life helped to crystallise why pulling off this (relatively small) Inspiration Day event was so meaningful.
Here are our five (Blakeman inspired) reasons as to how you can Think Different, Do Different, and craft a reasonably priced, beautiful, authentic and memorable event.
#1 Abundant Choice: Less Is More Originally we were going to use a large, well known venue, which had challenges in terms of set-up and décor as well as stretching an already tight budget. But a shift in thinking and a creative leap led us to a slightly obscure venue hidden underneath the Museum of African Design in an area which, like a phoenix, has risen from the inner-city Johannesburg dust.
#2 Beautifully Curated Experiences Using The March Hare as a venue was a bit like leaping down the rabbit hole with Alice (just how we wanted it to be!). With existing décor that's very creative - a bar that is also a bookshelf, a wall of books, mismatched chairs, doors as tables, eclectically curated artwork on the walls and beautifully crockery - this was the setting that (with a little help) transported guests into a space where they could envision life in a different way.
#3 Removing Preconceptions before Experiencing Something New Because the space was not your standard “conference” venue, it meant guests could leave preconceived ideas at the door and be open to new and exciting experiences from the moment they ventured downstairs.
#4 Visualise Differently to Focus Better The speakers who shifted the guests' focal points throughout the day were coined "The Inspirer", "The Innovator" and "The Flâneur". The latter being professional trend hunter Pierre du Plessis , a local urban explorer who energised guests by speaking about taking the path less travelled and doing the unexpected.
#5 Portable Landscapes Lifting people out of the rabbit hole for lunch was inspired by the desire to share how urban landscapes are shifting. When guests emerged from below we surprised them with their own private food truck serving delectable cuisine; "street food" because it's served on the street but the same quality you'd find in a great restaurant.
Creating couture events allows us to bypass the big-budget extravaganza. A more effective way of reaching people can be about treating them a personalised experience; showing them something different that'll change their way of thinking forever, not just for a day.
About: theSQUAD Creative Events
Incredible challenges are what take us to the moon and back. theSQUAD work to outdo themselves with bigger, more authentic, lump-in-your-throat, goose-bump-inducing, pulse-raising, smile-widening, can't-believe-that-just-happened experiences. We look forward to you joining us for the ride.
Contact: Kelly McGillivray