on July 21, 2016 9:55 am
If Apple had waited for people to demand a small, portable MP3 player, we’d still be waiting for that first iPod. And that’s the cool thing about disruptive innovations that change everything — they catch people by surprise.
Of course, market disruptors have been around for a long time. The introduction of the English Long Bow completely changed the course of history. The invention of kitty litter allowed millions of people to become pet owners and created a huge new pet care market — as well as thousands of Internet memes.
We live in the 4th Industrial Revolution, and our biggest disruptions are enabled by digital technologies. But just as with the invention of the Long Bow, the biggest successes will come when these new product services surprise people with a solution to a problem they couldn’t articulate.
Second screen technology is already disrupting how we engage with conference audiences. And I am excited when I think about how digital breakthroughs might combine to bring other solutions to industry problems we don’t even register. 3D printing and micro-customization. Drones with cameras and sensors that talk to beacons. Smart watches that connect your biofeedback with a virtual reality experience. The whole “Internet of Me” trend. We can combine these to make experiences better, less complicated, and more personal. And we can pull better metrics to improve our game.
That’s the beauty of design thinking. If you start with the idea of solving a thorny problem, your result will be a product or service that already has a market. The digitization of the market place has accelerated the cycle of consumer demand and abandonment. But if we stay focused on designing for the needs and wants of our audiences — instead of waiting for them to tell us what they want — we win.
Remember, no one asked for an iPod. Until they couldn’t live without it.
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on July 20, 2016 10:03 am
The Four Ingredients of a Tried-and-True Recipe Event mobile apps are a powerful way to personalize and add value to your event. But to enjoy your app’s delicious features, attendees have to actually download and use it. With so much out there vying for your attendees’ attention, this can be[...] Read More
on July 14, 2016 7:52 am
Forty years ago, Gary Trudeau published what is now a classic Doonesbury cartoon in which he poked fun at the American penchant for conspicuous consumption. In the comic, a newly adopted Vietnamese baby looks at the huge plate of food served by her American parents and thinks, “This is positively[...] Read More
on July 13, 2016 11:20 am
The content shared in this article was presented as part of the PCMA/Virtual Edge Institute Digital Event Strategist certification. Been running face-to-face events for a while? Maybe it’s time to kick it up a notch with a virtual option. Hybrid events that offer both on-site and virtual attendance options can[...] Read More
on July 12, 2016 9:26 am
Three simple steps to increase the fun factor and attendee engagement at your next brand experience It’s been less than a week since the release of Pokémon Go and it’s already taken the world by storm. If you haven’t downloaded the app and played the game (what are you waiting[...] Read More
on July 6, 2016 8:35 am
Integrity is an essential Freeman value, but I hope it’s also a personal value for each of us. I like to think we all listen to that little voice in our head that reminds us to do the right thing, even when no one is looking. You were probably taught,[...] Read More
on July 5, 2016 5:20 pm
Powerful education tactics that can be applied to your next event immediately Event marketers and meeting planners flock to PCMA’s Education Conference to get a deep dive into the strategies that are critical to influential business events. EduCon is strictly focused on educating attendees, providing them with powerful takeaways that[...] Read More
on June 28, 2016 10:42 am
A playful idea turned into a seriously big event A version of this blog originally appeared on freemanxp.com Play Fair, a two-day celebration of all things fun and family, launched this past February alongside the North American International Toy Fair, the largest toy trade show in the Western Hemisphere. The organization’s[...] Read More
on June 23, 2016 8:33 am
Are you tired of talking about Big Data yet? I suspect we all are, but it can’t be helped. We have virtual silos full of data, and until we get better at milling this glut of information down into tiny, relevant grains of truth, it won’t go away. The future[...] Read More
on June 22, 2016 10:09 am
Our resident Gen Z shares engagement tips and tricks for your next event or brand experience Written by Mackenzie Priest-Heck My generation is posed with the unique and exciting question, “How will we contribute to the world?” Having recently been on show site with Freeman, and able to observe how[...] Read More
on June 21, 2016 4:22 pm
Signage at your event needs to be more than simply informational. It has to be eye-catching, succinct, even entertaining. And too much information is just as bad as too little—striking the right balance between clutter and clean is just as important when it comes to signs. That’s why we’ve put[...] Read More
on June 20, 2016 2:20 pm
Unlock the secret of the non-attendee to increase conference attendance A version of this blog originally appeared on freemanxp.com In today’s competitive landscape, capturing and retaining the attention of event attendees is a major challenge for associations and show organizers. With so many other marketing channels in competition, it can be[...] Read More
on June 16, 2016 9:22 am
Whatever industry you happen to be in, when the conversation turns to metrics, it pretty quickly jumps to the bottom line. We wouldn’t be good business people if we didn’t care about Return on Investment. From product development to marketing, everyone wants to know that they’re getting their money’s worth.[...] Read More
on June 14, 2016 2:05 pm
Powerful personalization leads to authentic connections We caught up with B-to-B Dream Team member Kate Lechowicz of NetApp to chat about why personalization will be key to future event success, how NetApp makes events special for its customers, and who inspires her creativity. Here’s what she had to say: Q:[...] Read More
on June 9, 2016 8:27 am
A reminder that the Golden Rule applies in business as well as life. Pretty much every religion or philosophy has some version of the Golden Rule or, as it’s otherwise known, the ethics of reciprocity. Sometimes it’s not in our power to give people what they want – a raise,[...] Read More
on June 6, 2016 6:32 pm
I’ve been reflecting lately on the opportunity we have to effect change through our participation in Exhibitions Day on Capitol Hill June 7-8. This is a concerted effort by those in our industry to reach out to our representatives in Washington, D.C. and make a case for the value of[...] Read More
on June 3, 2016 2:18 pm
A Creative’s Perspective on Bruce Mau and the Value of Design Thinking A version of this blog originally appeared on freemanxp.com My introduction to Bruce Mau was when he released his Incomplete Manifesto for Growth, a 43-point program that served as a guide for creative people to think about process. As[...] Read More
on June 2, 2016 3:26 pm
Are you ready to reinvent yourself in Atlantic City? The idea of rewriting the rules and thinking outside the box is the backbone of this year’s World Education Congress (WEC) from Meeting Professionals International (MPI), held June 11 through June 14. This four-day event will focus on innovation, change, challenge,[...] Read More
on June 2, 2016 1:48 pm
People, personalization, and purpose from the captain of the B-to-B Dream Team A version of this blog originally appeared on freemanxp.com Curious to get inside the mind of B-to-B Dream Team Captain Tania Weidick? Tania recently shared with us some insights on personalization, experience, and the collaborative startup culture at Oracle.[...] Read More
on June 1, 2016 1:02 pm
10 key printing trends to be aware of at #drupa2016 A version of this blog originally appeared on freemanxp.com For years, I took print for granted. Not anymore. We live in a world of memes, mash-ups, and hybrids. Co-creation is the future and the future is now in the print industry.[...] Read More