During his presentation, Lamarre said his understanding of creativity meshed with the definition offered by Richard Gill and Pablo Spiller in the California Management Review: “The ability to make or otherwise bring into existence something new, whether a new solution to a problem, a new method or device or a new artistic object or forum.”
Lamarre underscored that the need for creativity in live events has never been greater as we recover from shutdowns forced by the pandemic.
The baristas at Destination Canada’s activation on the Promenade got creative with their latte art during Convening Leaders.
“In 48 hours, Cirque du Soliel moved from $1 billion in revenues to zero revenue,” Lamarre told the audience. “From 44 shows to no show. The reason we have been able to survive is because of the strength of the brand. But that brand has been built by creativity, by innovation. But it’s not unique to Cirque du Soliel, because that is what you do, too. Your challenge every day is to surprise people [by coming up] with new ideas.”
He encouraged the audience to find the people who will bring their brand to the next level — who will help them reinvent their business going forward.
It would seem that Convening Leaders was the first stop for Lamarre in a year in which he hopes to speak to many audiences about tapping into their creativity. In a recent Forbes article, Lamarre said that he aims to become “an evangelist for creativity. Now, I want to travel the world and challenge people to be more creative.” Lamarre’s new book, Balancing Acts: Unleashing the Power of Creativity in Your Life and Work, was released this month.
Summing up their conversation, Sturk-Nadeau said that he “spoke of the power of thinking creatively and challenging the status quo. As we work together, we all need to adopt this mindset of dreaming bigger — because we know that what we do today will have an enormous impact in the years to come. The past year has taught us that we can’t predict what lies ahead. But we do know that, by working together to tell powerful stories of our diverse destinations and championing the value of face-to-face meetings and events, we can fuel the success of business events.”
Chantal Sturk-Nadeau and Daniel Lamarre talk about the history of the innovative live event company Cirque du Soleil and some of the lessons he has learned.
Thinking Like an Athlete
After returning from Convening Leaders, Sturk-Nadeau shared the following takeaways from the event with her team at Destination Canada, using a sports framework:
Have a game plan— but always be ready to pivot. Athletes know that unexpected moves can force them to shift their strategies at a moment’s notice. Our industry is no different. We’ve experienced plenty of curveballs over the last two years, with each one highlighting the importance of being agile.
Play to your unique strengths. Every athlete has a strength — and diversified skillsets is what makes a team shine. There’s no such thing as a team filled only with homerun hitters or spikers; complementary skills are key. In the business events world, it’s never been more important to surround ourselves with experts who have unique perspectives, skills, and backgrounds. Embracing a mentality that views our diversity as a strength will be paramount for the future of business events.
It takes a team to win. Success in sports hinges on teamwork, and the same is true for our industry. A strong recovery relies on every single one of us coming together to create a better future.
Michelle Russell is editor in chief at Convene.