Our Managing Partner, Dustin Westling, just came back from Japan, and while he could talk all day about the friendly culture, beauty and innovation he experienced, one moment really stood out. Visiting the CUPNOODLES Museum stuck in the part of Dustin’s brain that is always thinking about events, even on vacation.
Yep, we’re talking about the same salty, delicious CUPNOODLES that keep generations of college students fed. The museum celebrates the innovation and creative spirit of its creator, Momofuku Ando, “The Father of Instant Ramen.”
A surprise to most of us, CUPNOODLES was born as a remedy for the food shortage in Japan following the Second World War. Ando saw a need for pantry-friendly ramen and dedicated himself to thinking about the dish in new and creative ways–and we all know what happened next.
The museum is a delightful visual and tactile romp through the history of his inventions and a testament to Ando’s tenacious spirit. Among oversized noodle installations and a factory where you make your own CUPNOODLE package, you’ll find quotes sharing Ando’s positive outlook, the little shed behind his home where he tested endless noodle recipes, and the 6 Principles of Creativity he leaves as his legacy.
The 6 Principles of Creativity may seem simple on the surface, but they encourage playfulness and tenacity. Two things that can get ditched when we get busy. We got inspired and thought about how our industry can apply each of the six, relating, for the first time on our blog, instant noodles with events.
1. Discover something completely new
Seek things that the world has never seen but would be nice to have.
What does that look like for your events? Explore innovative concepts. Don’t be afraid to experiment with fresh themes, formats, and technologies that haven’t been widely used in the industry.
As event profs, we are always thinking about how to create unique and engaging experiences. Step outside the box when you imagine the possibilities for virtual reality, augmented reality, or interactive elements that have the power to take your events to the next level.
2. Find hints in all sorts of places
There are inspirations that spark new ideas all around you, just waiting to be found.
If you’re looking for inspiration, head to the fantastic industry events and conferences available to us. The networking you’ll do and the opportunity to learn from others is a jackpot of new ideas.
Call it browsing the depths of YouTube or call it cross-industry research, but taking a deep dive into a new-to-you topic can spark something unexpected. Look outside the event industry into art, science, technology, and culture to find new things you can bring back to your events.
3. Nurturing an idea
An invention isn’t for just one person; have everyone use it.
One of our favourite words is collaboration. Involve your team and stakeholders in the process as you brainstorm ideas and plan your event. Opening up the table and inviting multiple perspectives allows you to nurture an idea from many perspectives and helps break through those moments when you’ve hit a creative wall.
And when it comes to new ideas, make time to test and refine. Pilot that new activation at a smaller event to gather valuable feedback and make improvements. That way, you can polish your idea before taking it on the road.
4. Look at things from every angle
Investigate every perspective.
Look at your event through a new lens by putting yourself in your stakeholders’ shoes. Consider the perspectives of your event attendees, sponsors, speakers, and vendors, and you’ll find yourself taking a well-rounded approach as you solidify your plans. An impactful perspective is someone who has never attended your event before. How can we attract them? How do we make them feel comfortable, welcome and excited?
Plus, evaluate your plans from Mother Earth’s perspective. Think eco-friendly, exploring sustainable and green practices and asking yourself how you can incorporate them to make your guests and the planet happy.
5. Don’t just go with the status quo
Question those things in life considered the usual way of doing things.
Traditional event norms are there to be challenged. Don’t be afraid to question established event practices–there’s so much to be discovered when you’re willing to sidestep from conventional thinking. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel at every event; small changes go a long way. Tweak and refine what is working, and don’t be afraid to drop what isn’t.
If one thing can take an event to the next level, it’s grabbing your guests’ attention with an emerging trend they weren’t expecting. Stay updated with industry trends and embrace innovative technologies, like event apps, AI, or hybrid event models that can really bring the wow factor.
6. Never give up
Even if you fail the first and second times, keep trying.
Two words that describe great event profs are persistence and adaptability. If an event idea or approach doesn’t work initially, don’t toss it. Grab some feedback and data, and find the angle where you can adapt and refine your strategy.
And the tough love we’ve all had to face? Learn from failures. Use those moments where you wish you’d done things differently to your advantage and come out the other side smarter. It’s key to continually improving your event planning skills and strategies.
Momofuku had a saying that “Human beings are noodle beings.” Beyond a global love for his recipes, one thing that unites us all is the need to gather and connect. We are eager to apply these six directives to our events and bring people together in new and meaningful ways. Now, if you’ll excuse us, our noodles are ready.
Thinking of a career in events? This part’s for you.
We know you’re eager to get out there and make your mark. As you prepare to take those ideas bouncing around in your head and spin them into events, make a point of forming habits that encourage your creativity and innovation.
Here’s your homework: pick even one of the six principles and put it into practice. Maybe you tumble down a YouTube rabbit hole and learn about some new AI that is begging to be used in events, or maybe you get tickets to your first industry conference. It’s the start of forming a mindset that actively seeks inspiration from all around you, setting you on track to dream up innovative and memorable events. Whatever you get up to, we’d love to hear about it. Drop us a line!