‘If we want a new normal, we’re going to have to create it ourselves’
Speakers from aerospace, art, design & event technology explore extreme innovation on July’s IMEX Buzz Day
Collaboration and innovation are the watchwords of IMEX’s Buzz Day this July – an afternoon of free education on the company’s new virtual platform, IMEX BuzzHub.
Under the banner Extreme Innovation – What is it and why does it matter? experts from Airbus, Smyle, the GCB and creative agencies will explain how they have pushed boundaries to deliver change and create new value for their industry.
Also – in an industry first – the IMEX Group is collaborating with Swapcard to deliver crossover sessions. Attendees of both Swapcard’s Evolve Homecoming event: The Big Industry Comeback and IMEX’s Buzz Day will be able to access co-located content including a keynote by Arianna Huffington.
Both event tribes are invited to come together at the event’s close at Gather Buzz Fest hosted on virtual platform Gather.Town. This avatar-led nod to 80’s video games was a huge hit during an IMEX try-out last month.
Extreme innovation - beginning with Airbus
The leader of Airbus’ innovation lab launches Buzz Day on 7 July. Christophe Debard is the leader of ProtoSpace Toulouse, a lab dedicated to innovation in Airbus. He also founded Airbus’ Humanity Lab - an initiative that enables Airbus employees to participate in projects which directly impact areas including disability, health, education and the environment. The programme was created out of Christophe’s personal experience of disability.
Being resourceful and collaborating to drive innovation is a theme that runs throughout the day’s breakout sessions. Robert Dunsmore, who leads one of the sessions, explains: “Be brave. If we want a new normal, we’re going to have to create it ourselves!” Creative consultant Robert is partnering with Frankie Boyle, a UK based visual artist with over a decade of experience in the arts, entertainment and events sectors. Frankie specialises in using light for storytelling and to create a sensory experience: ‘Light is a language’, she says. Frankie will share her research into the importance of light to wellbeing, its intrinsic role in our cognitive processes, mental health and subconscious in daily life.
The GCB will provide their perspective as creators of the new ‘Response Room’. This open innovation platform encourages global meeting planners, organisers, suppliers, and event participants to gather and jointly develop innovative business models, products or services.
‘What are you going to take out of this crisis?’ asks Matt Margetson, Founder & Innovation Director at Smyle, in his session. He will look at how brands have sought counsel from the creative industry to stay relevant and communicate with their audiences in ever more engaging ways. Having rapidly remodelled the company to pioneer virtual experiences, Matt leads his team in seeking out the best thinking and latest technologies.
Industry first – IMEX and Evolve tribes meet
In a first for the industry, the IMEX Group is collaborating with Swapcard to stream simultaneous content. Attendees of Buzz Day and Evolve’s Homecoming can access a special crossover session on how to build a culture of innovation.
Strategic advisor Cris Beswick, who will deliver the session, explains: “The need for purpose-led, creative leadership and building a culture of innovation has never been higher on the strategic agenda.” Recognised globally as a thought leader on innovation strategy, leadership and culture, Cris has helped some of the world’s most ambitious CEOs, leaders, companies and governments solve their most complex innovation challenges. He will draw on this experience and share some of the advice from his bestselling book ‘Building a Culture of Innovation’.
The hive of activity then continues with the opportunity for Buzz Day and Swapcard’s Evolve communities to hang out together on Gather.Town during Gather Buzz Fest. Described by one participant as “feeling as though you’ve jumped into your computer screen with a room full of people who’ve done the same”, Gather.Town combines simple avatars with an 80s gaming vibe to create a digital world that’s fun, fast and friendly.
Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, explains: “Innovation is the only way to create meaningful change and build forwards better. At IMEX we always strive to push creative boundaries and experiment on behalf of the industry. Allowing our ‘BuzzHubbers’ a glimpse into the Evolve community and the opportunity to hang out – virtually – at Gather Buzz Fest on Gather.Town is an experiment we feel both tribes will value and appreciate. We’re delighted to be leading in this spirit of collaboration, not competition.”
Julien Bouvier, Evolve Events Director and Event Strategist at Swapcard, adds: “Both IMEX and Swapcard have been delivering monthly content to their digital audiences and the idea to share content came to both teams in a flash of inspiration! The Evolve and BuzzHub communities are both prime examples of event organisers moving to a 365-day engagement model. Not only does it increase the global reach of each audience, but the communities provide a space for safe knowledge sharing and transparency between brand and client.”
The IMEX Buzz Day takes place on 7 July and registration is free. The full day of learning is co-located with the Evolve Homecoming: The Big Industry Comeback.
The IMEX BuzzHub runs until September delivering human connections, business value and tailored content on the ‘Road to Mandalay Bay’ in the run up to IMEX America, 9 – 11 November, and Smart Monday, powered by MPI on 8 November.