Every year I look forward to the AMA Conference. I love meeting all the amazing people who work in the same sectors as me, committed to finding better ways to connect more people, more deeply with the work of their incredible organisations. I like to keep smart company!
This year in Newcastle I’m honoured to have been invited to run the second annual* Big Marketing Challenge. And I’ve been asked to share my thoughts on what you can expect if you participate in this session.
Cards on the table, I don’t 100% know the answer to this. Because this is the one session that is absolutely and entirely down to you. You’ll be in small groups and I’ll set you a challenge (a big marketing one at that) but I’m not telling you what that is yet. What you do with it is up to you.
The problem with regular planning processes is that they often privilege the things we already do. We’re creative, we have ideas, so we’ll think of ways to do things more effectively or a bit more efficiently. But we don’t always grant ourselves enough time and space to stop and imagine what we might do if we looked afresh at the big questions and approached things totally differently. So, for the Big Marketing Challenge you’re invited to ditch the ‘copy and paste’ from all previous campaigns and think differently. The more imaginative, the more audacious, furthest from the obvious the better. You can take risks safe in the knowledge this is a pretend scenario, working for a pretend organisation, so you really can’t break anything.
Last year’s delegates were frankly awesome, so the bar is set high. Granted, a couple of the resultant schemes may have been far-fetched (and potentially illegal) but the creative process was valuable and the underpinning ideas sound. There were things from every group that could be taken back to real life work. And it was fun.
I can promise a safe environment for creative problem solving and peer ideas sharing. I will even promise prizes. They’ll be awarded for creativity of the final idea and the journey you take to get there. The winner is likely to be a group who collaborates positively. There could be more than one winner.
Maya Angelou said “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” So my tip is to rush to sign up for this session to nurture and cultivate your creativity, take inspiration from your wonderful peers, and have a lot of fun in the process.
*If I call it “annual” they’ll have to have one next year, right?
9 — 11 July 2019