Staying creative in a virtual events world
12th March 2021
The events world has been turned upside down by the current COVID-19 pandemic, forcing a switch to a more virtual space and highlighting the need for fostering creativity.
The concept of virtual teams has gained considerable attention with recent technological advancements. Global organisations have been evolving to virtual working environments for many years, as it allows organisations to employ the most talented and experienced people regardless of location – increasing diversity in a team can lead to new perspectives and ways of working.
However, the majority of companies have now been compelled to adapt to this style of working, due to the pandemic. Working from home (WFH) involves collaboration and teamwork between a separated workforce and emerging technologies help to facilitate such collaboration and enable teams to share knowledge and expertise.
While virtual teamworking is seen as necessary for global organisations, more so now than ever, many authors such as Jackson and Handy, argue that ‘virtuality’ requires trust relationships to make it work. It is important to consider the trust relationships that we share with our fellow employees, these are built through face to face interaction and socialisation and have been identified as essential to efficient virtual teams.
With this in mind, employers need to provide an environment for socialisation, allowing trust relationships to be built and nurtured despite the physical distance within the working environment.
Building upon these trust relationships allows employees to learn how to perform as a team, which is an essential foundation to help develop creativity and form a competitive edge. Organisations can build a common sense of collaboration through a wide range of new ideas, helping to improve employees’ drive of curiosity, to explore and unlock the mind to new ways of learning and tackling problems which overall increases employee motivation.
Creativity in Events
Creativity involves two distinct processes, thinking, imagining and new idea generation; then acting on these ideas, making them a reality and solving practical problems. Studies show that creativity is one of the most important characteristics to have as a person, in order to be successful. Not only is it about solving things in an original and innovative way, it is about collaborating and interacting with others.
Creativity in event management is especially important in the current climate. The shift to working virtually has opened up creative possibilities for event planners in nearly every field! The freedom to leverage digital tools, to cultivate physical and temporal creative space, to research and fill the ‘creative well’, and to find those places where creative innovation is needed most, (like how we communicate and stay productive in a post-covid business reality) is only the beginning of a creative boost.
The only downside about creativity in event management, is that stress can become the enemy. To be creative in event management they must try to mitigate the stress in their life in order to be able to focus their energy and keep your mind open enough to embrace your creativity. Instead of worrying about your schedule or monotonous tasks, you’ll have the energy to focus on creating an amazing experience for event attendees.
So what can you do to nurture your creativity at home?
Is this the future of events?
Due to COVID-19, digital communication has improved and people are more comfortable using video conferencing technology. Companies are re-considering reopening post lockdown, with some closing physical work spaces completely, others downsizing their office space and making the most of ‘the new normal’ that is working from home. This may be the most cost effective and sustainable way for businesses to move forward into the post pandemic world, especially with the great financial toll that Covid-19 has had on the events industry.
According to a survey from Enterprise Technology Research (ETR), by 2025, an estimated 70% of the workforce will be working remotely at least five days a month. While 2020 may be considered the year of remote work, it is just the beginning, as we see the trend continuing in 2021. The percentage of workers permanently working from home is also expected to double in 2021. So, what will the long term impact of this be on creativity, especially within the events industry. Are we already running out of ideas?