Let’s Expand Our Creativity While We Expand Our Horizons

11th Feb, 2019

In this first letter of 2019, I would like to talk about innovation and creativity.

The simplest definition of creativity is: 

The ability to create something new. Naturally, not everything is said, there is a lot more to it.

While it’s often regarded to talent, people who create something new do proclaim that it is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Creativity is a big challenge for most. Conditions have to be created to bring creativity to life. For some people that is seclusion, for others it is boredom and for others, it is 'the A-ha! moment' – The moment of inspiration – which can come from anywhere and surprise you anytime!

The neighbourhood where I live has been inhabited by quite a few writers. Maurice Baron Gilliams (1900-1982) is a less well-known Flemish writer and poet, whose commemorative stone writes: 'the unrest gives wings to the imagination'. Boredom has already brought many people to creative thoughts (and solutions). It is also said that children who receive everything from their parents no longer develop imagination.

So, what about our industry? 

The most used word in our field is 'Meetings' (a hollowed-out concept) and the second word that occurs infinitely in the meetings industry is 'creativity'. I’ve attended innumerous sessions on ‘creativity’ in the congress world over all these years, and I’d like to comment that there is little creativity in the meetings industry in general. A keynote speaker occasionally manages to wake us up during presentations. Some conference organisers experiment with cosy corners to give networking more character, but in general, everything remains old and familiar.

Still, there are initiatives that have attracted my attention. The people behind Meetology deserve a mention for their creative approach in conveying messages differently – walking the path of liveliness and humour, fed by scientific research on behaviour during meetings. SoolNua consultancy group gets my appreciation too. Launched in January 2014 with the tagline "another viewpoint for meetings and events". Their name literally means new perspective, new viewpoint, new vision and outlook - Sool is an anglicised version of súil, the word in Gaeilge (the Irish language) for eye. Nua is Gaeilge for ‘new’, and together it means ‘new eye’ with all the intended metaphorical connotations.

In 2019, I greedily look forward to other examples of 'New'.

Marcel A.M. Vissers

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