Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

April 28 2014

Where Do BIG IDEAS Come From?

By Carolyn Clark

I'm no Steve Jobs, but over the years, I have collaborated with a number of innovative strategist, designers and entrepreneurs. Through my vast, and what some would call job hopping experience, I have found five common factors that inspire both the left and the right brained and ultimately lead to BIG IDEAS:

Ponder and focus.

While these together may sound counter-intuitive, the pondering clears the clutter and allows one to concentrate and truly focus. One of the most creative art directors I ever worked with had a huge TV in his office – always blaring – it was his white noise and it helped him focus his ideas. Everyone has their own white noise.

Pure collaboration.

Magic occurs when you’re on a team with no egos; when each member has their respected talents and uniquely bends to a different beat. The team becomes an unstoppable BIG IDEAS factory.


Steve Jobs is known for this quote, "Picasso had a saying -- 'good artists copy; great artists steal' -- and we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas." Jobs didn't invent the digital music player or the phone – his BIG IDEAS was to reconceive the context in which we use them.


Simple truth, it feels good; really good. Competition can be combustible and ignite a storm of BIG IDEAS.

Doing what you love to do.

Steve Jobs is infamous for saying, "The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle.” Love and BIG IDEAS go together like PB&J.

Let’s use our collective talents to bring new BIG IDEAS to the meetings industry.

Here’s a few our team came up with:

  • Utilize intelligent glass to build the next generation of meeting rooms
  • Create webisodes that follows industry professionals around as they do their job – all the pieces and parts – the people they encounter – make this a riff to Meeting Means Business – The Best Jobs You Never Knew Existed
  • Create a vehicle to collect PWC’s stats in real time and have a public running contributions display [similar to the National Debt display] that constantly informs political leaders and the public of the meetings industry’s contribution to the GDP, taxes and indirect spending

Can your team best us? If so, you could become an industry legend and win a brainstorming session with Dallas Mavericks owner, Shark Tank innovator and entrepreneur, Mark Cuban. Write down your BIG IDEA here.

Come on… Let’s idea rumble.

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