All posts tagged creative leadership

Looking For A Keystone Sponsor | Align With A Community Of Leaders And Creatives

An opportunity to amplify your brand in the NZ leadership and creativity space.

For two years, I bootstrapped the Creative Leadership NZ conference and was turning a profit from day one. Last year I took financial sponsorship for the first time (outside of a grant from the US Embassy to support the expenses of bringing over two US nationals to speak) to enable the production side of the event and record all the talks (watch them here).

For CLNZ20 (Mon 30th November & 1st December 2020), am looking for a brand who wants to connect with 200 amazing pioneers at a (three-times) sold out conference, whilst also taking the opportunity to develop related content and outreach strategies in the leadership and creativity space.

Have a whole sponsor deck ready to share with interested parties although here’s the important bit:

CLNZ20 is offering one keystone sponsor opportunity for $40,000+GST, in return for:

– 15x two-day VIP delegate places (worth $15,000)
– 2x verbal mentions at event from MC (both days)
– 3x invites to pre-event speakers meal / meetup
– 3x invites to satellite events throughout the year
– prime interaction space in venue plus 1x signage space at satellite events throughout the year
– keystone sponsor logo features:
– website*
– 2x announcements on CLNZ Linkedin private alumni group
– speaker & registration announcement email newsletters
– pre+post delegate email newsletters
– post event review video
– post event speaker videos
– event programme (with 50 words)

*will last for a year from time of signed agreement.

As detailed in last years write-up and review, the diversity and variety of organisations represented provides a tasty opportunity to amplify your brand in this arena:

Read and digest the 2017, 2018 plus 2019 reviews which includes details of all aspects of the conference.

So if you’re interested in aligning your brand with a community of leaders and creatives please do get in touch.

Creative Leadership NZ 2019 | Reflections & Insights

The continued adventure of establishing a bold event brand in NZ.

Last week was the third Creative Leadership NZ (and second time) at, NZ’s new Institute of Creativity, Te Auaha. It was another sold out affair hosting nearly two hundred humans exploring the intersection of creativity and leadership.

The feedback has been very positive with the general theme of ‘warmth’ coming through. The speakers modelled this in their talks and delivery plus openness to connect in the breakouts, as well as the eagerness of the delegates to embrace the opportunity to share their stories whilst participating in the sessions and / or conversations with others.

As with previous years (2017 and 2018), here’s my review as I continue to learn out loud:

Stats

As you can see from above, over two thirds of attendees have female names and anecdotally the average age is about thirty-five to fourty.

This year over eighty cross sector organisations and brands were represented, aiding the variety of discussions and connections made in this community of leaders. In theory, the experience and learnings will be taken back to the seven and a half thousand people managed by the delegates.

CLNZ truly bucks the trend of other leadership conferences, away from the pale, male and stale.

Speakers

What an amazing array of folks we had this year. Tried really hard to again balance the breadth of arenas in the two respected focusses of the conference and the delegate feedback has reflected that aim.

This year I put together a speaker guide which simplified communications of all the aspects of the conference whilst also outlining expectations.

Thanks to these good humans below—a pure delight to collaborate with.

David Bill (keynote / masterclass) : designing empathy at scale,
Interaction Designer, Booz Allen Hamilton

David Bill is an interaction designer. He has done research on, redesigned websites and mobile apps for, and brought service design to federal government agencies and startups.

David has a background in education and design. He taught secondary school world history and was an education technology director for two schools. As a design strategist, he redesigned classrooms, helped reimagine libraries, improved the service and customer experience at a mobile food market, and created the framework for and coached two incubator programs.

His passions are varied and lie at the intersection of design & technology, movement / wellness / mindfulness, learning, culture & society, biking, and porridge.

Emily Chang (keynote / workshop) : The Power of AND – unlocking new ideas by finding the intersection of seeming juxtapositions,
Commercial Leader / ex-SVP Marketing at Starbucks

A strategic business leader with over 20 years’ experience, Emily was most recently SVP, marketing at Starbucks. She joined Starbucks as China CMO in 2017, responsible for marketing, sales, loyalty, customer engagement, and digital flywheel (ecommerce, payments, partnerships). She helped open the first Starbucks Roastery outside of Seattle, tripled digital tender, managed the commercial side of Starbucks’ largest merger, and launching the brand’s delivery program.

Prior to Starbucks, Emily was the Chief Commercial Officer for IHG, Greater China, where she was responsible for all commercial functions across Greater China. Looking after 320+ hotels and an extended team of 5,200 Sales & Marketing members, Emily spearheaded the market share turnaround of six hotel brands.

Moving to Shanghai back in 2011, Emily built a high-performance marketing organization that established the face of Apple Retail in Asia Pacific. She first developed her Marketing expertise at Procter & Gamble, with 11 years of end-to-end business experience across all three business units and spanning everything from upstream design to retail marketing with Walmart.

Greg Broadmore (keynote interview) : leading at the intersection of cutting-edge technology and creative processes,
Studio Director, Weta Gameshop / Magic Leap

I am a human male who likes to make things up and pretend that they’re real.

Kaila Colbin (keynote / masterclass) : why courage is the new leadership skill (via Brene Brown),
Co-founder, Boma Global / CEO, Boma New Zealand, Boma Global / Boma New Zealand

She spearheaded the hugely successful SingularityU New Zealand and Australia Summits, introducing more than 2,500 people to exponential technologies and their impact on humanity. She is a certified facilitator of Brené Brown’s Dare To Lead™ programme.

Kaila is also a co-founder of the non-profit Ministry of Awesome; the Curator and Licensee for TEDxChristchurch in New Zealand and TEDxScottBase in Antarctica; Chair of the New York-based culinary school Natural Gourmet Institute; Deputy Chair of CORE Education; and Deputy Chair of ChristchurchNZ.

Her purpose in life is to be an uplifting presence.

Samantha Gadd (keynote / workshop) : nurturing brave cultures,
CEO / Director, Humankind / Kin

Samantha Gadd is Founder and Managing Director of Humankind, a business with the vision to create the best employee experiences in the world. Humankind (formerly HR Shop) was a 2015 Deloitte Fast 50 winner, and named fastest growing services business in the Wellington region in the same year.

Samantha is obsessed with Employee Experience and the difference it can have on business performance. Samantha has advised hundreds of organisations over the last 15 years on leadership, culture, performance and all things people. She is passionate about the future of work and the importance of modern leadership to attract and retain top talent. Samantha is currently focused on growing Humankind and recently launched Kin (sister company to Humankind) and building an exemplar employee experience in both organisations. In 2018 Samantha also launched the first Employee Experience Awards programme in New Zealand. Also Mum to three young boys, Samantha is experienced at blending life and work.

Sarb Johal (keynote / workshop) : Making space for creativity: Leading yourself well
Dad / Content Creator / Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Dr Sarb Johal is a Clinical Psychologist with over 30 years’ experience in research, training, clinical practice, and policy development, in both NZ and the UK.

He has a passion for storytelling, communicating sometimes difficult or unique topics to non-technical audiences. He has been a creative content creator and producer for 24 years, including; BBC World Service Radio, regular contributions on RNZ’s Nine to Noon Parenting slot, his own podcast, Who cares? What’s the Point?, and collaborating with James Nokise on RNZ’s Eating Fried Chicken in the Shower. Most recently, he has ventured on a steep learning curve on YouTube, creating two (here and here) channels, with over 150 videos in 9 months.

Sarb is dad to three young girls, enjoys TV made for kids, and wears burp stains with pride.

Savannah Peterson (interviewer / workshop) : millinial management
Founder, Savvy Millennial

Savannah Peterson is a 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30 in Consumer Technology and the Founder of Savvy Millennial. She makes the future less scary by dispelling myths and building community around new technology. Savannah is one of the judges for the New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards and an international advocate for New Zealand innovation (see her 10 reasons NZ innovation is so unique article).

Before starting Savvy Millennial, she was the Director of Innovation Strategy at Speck Design and Massive Labs. She was also previously the Director of Global Community at Shapeways, the world’s largest 3D Printing community in New York City, where she empowered and enabled the over 25,000 3D Printing businesses. She guest teaches entrepreneurship, community management and digital marketing at Stanford, NYU, UCLA, PACE and Xavier. She has been featured in/on the Today Show, the BBC, NBC, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Gizmodo, CNET, The Verge, and more.

Selina Tusitala Marsh (keynote / workshop) : the power of poetry,
Poet / Academic, NZ Poet Laureate 2017-19

Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh is of Samoan, Tuvaluan, English and French descent. She was the first Pacific Islander to graduate with a PhD in English from The University of Auckland and is now a lecturer in the English Department, specialising in Pasifika literature. Her first collection, the bestselling Fast Talking PI, won the NZSA Jessie Mackay Award for Best First Book of Poetry in 2010. Marsh represented Tuvalu at the London Olympics Poetry Parnassus event in 2012; her work has been translated into Ukrainian and Spanish and has appeared in numerous forms live in schools, museums, parks, billboards, print and online literary journals. As Commonwealth Poet (2016), she composed and performed for the Queen at Westminster Abbey. She became New Zealand’s Poet Laureate in 2017. She was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order Of Merit this year and won the Royal Society Aronui Award for outstanding contribution to Humanities.

Image credit – Wikipedia CC BY 4.0

Topaz Litman Adizes (keynote / masterclass) : courageous conversations,
Founder / Creative Director, The Skin Deep / {THE AND}

Topaz Adizes is an award winning Writer, Director & Experience designer. His films have been selected to Cannes (BOY), Sundance (Trece Años, Laredo Texas, {THE AND} Marcela & Rock), IDFA, SXSW, Cinéma Du Réel, and other festivals around the world.

His interactive documentary {THE AND} won the Emmy for New Approaches to Documentary 2015 as well as the World Press Photo award for Best Interactive Documentary 2015. {THE AND} was also a viral sensation reaching #1 on Reddit and Buzzfeed and experienced by over 70 million users, featured on the CBS Morning show and Good Morning America and selected to numerous international digital storytelling competitions.

Trent Yeo (keynote / workshop) : how sustainability ignites creative thinking,
Co-founder / Director, ZipTrek Ecotours

I am a happy generalist. Happy to be generally in this space.

A very proud New Zealand resident. I grew up in Australia as a Chinese Malaysian Australian, spent a reasonable amount of time in Asia and have New Zealand business partners that are Canadian…to get a diverse view of the world.

My primary role was establishing Ziptrek NZ with a view that sustainability in tourism is both a responsibility and a characteristic that we must value. Earth is really a good planet and travel within it should be one of the most powerful forces for good.

As I generalist away I am a board member Tourism Industry Aotearoa, founding trustee of Startup Queenstown Lakes, retired TEDx organiser, sustainability broken record and active participant in all things new and shiny.

DK (Master of Ceremonies)
Creative Producer / Speaker Coach

As a Creative Producer, DK crafts delicious learning experiences for clients and is the TEDxWellington / TEDxWellingtonWomen licensee, plus the founder of the Creative Leadership NZ conference. He’s also a Speaker Coach, working with CEO’s and senior executives plus a random ex-All Black and Dame thrown into the mix. Previously, DK founded Mediasnackers and through it has over a decade of working in the social media space consulting / delivering training on five continents and to a cross-sector range of clients from UNICEF, Gates Foundation, BBC, Ubisoft, Hasbro plus spent time as a social media manager for a national education company in NZ. He also established Collider, a city-wide programme focussed on transforming Wellington into an internationally recognised Smart Capital (with 200 events in 14 months with over 5000 attendees averaging quality rating of 4.2 and above (out of 5)). DK loves ‽’s.

As an aside, one of the overseas speakers pulled out with three weeks to go before the event due to a board meeting timing change which they had to be at. This added thousands to the costs with all the flight changes which had to be made. A fun little hurdle to get over although after a couple of days of panic it all came good.

Sponsors / Partners

This year was the first time CLNZ took cash sponsorship. The Institute Of Management New Zealand (IMNZ) was the founding sponsor and with that got featured heavily in all promotions, received a bunch of VIP passes to share to staff and clients plus also had the opportunity to run an interaction to engage with the delegates. The monies received enabled some additions to the conference (see below in ‘extra costs’).

The second sponsor was for our technical side of the event and enabled the recording of the main keynote talks for the first time (which will be released in the new year). NW Group stepped into this role and looking forward to releasing the videos early next year of the main keynotes.

The other partners contributed either cut-rate services and / or free plus financial grant support for specific speakers.

Finances / Extra Costs

As with previous conferences CLNZ19 was profitable and very pleased to again increase the profit margin from last years event.

All speakers were remunerated financially plus many of them had their expenses covered. When a significant promotional support didn’t transpire I had two invest in a third party agency to assist in the marketing and sales. Other costs included:

  • Reprint of event brochure due to design error (click the above for pdf version);
  • Banner for arrivals and video backdrop;
  • Massage therapists for interactions;
  • Carpet tiles to make speaker rug;
  • Recording / editing of all keynote talks.

Over half a dozen folks registered who then didn’t pay / attend which equated to over four thousand potential profit lost so next year will have to think how to manage this.

DIY

As with the first two years, did a lot myself, including: speaker curation, PR content (like the example above, here are the rest of them: David Bill, Emily Chang, Kaila Colbin, Greg Broadmore, Samantha Gadd, Sarb Johal, Savannah Peterson, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Topaz Adizes, Trent Yeo.), event design, partner / sponsor negotiation / management, website manager, majority of marketing and sales, delegate invoicing, event management, MC’ing etc.

Even though we sold out the week before, definitely need help in the area of ‘Sales’ as have no interest in this area (so feel free to reach out if you can assist for 2020).

Interactions

The video above played when delegates arrived into the main theatre and was crowdsourced from the registration process. It served to prime the audience and get them situated into the subject matter of the conference.

The massage therapists I have seen and done in previous events so was a lovely addition to this years offering and was constantly utilised.

Our main sponsor IMNZ installed a Christmas tree and invited delegates to write a future message to themselves along the lines of the event theme of ‘nurturing courage’:

At the opening of the second day, I ran an exercise exploring where delegates ‘stand’ on certain topics and get them in the interactive and exploration mindset for the masterclasses:

Lessons / Future

Last year the three future aims for the 2019 event were to gain sponsorship (tick), record videos (tick), build an ongoing community opportunity (ongoing).

For 2020, the focus will be on:

  • Building out the interactions both in the main theatre and break out spaces to promote connection through conversation;
  • Been approached to explore hosting the event in Auckland by an attendee who is from a major institution up there so will explore that;
  • Further financial sponsorship which amplifies the conference values and offer.

Due to the positive feedback specifically relating to the venue have already booked in next years event which will be Monday 30th November & 1st December 2020, put it in your diaries now!

Photos – Day One & Two

So did you attend and if so how was it for you? Are you a creative producer who can answer some of the challenges I have above? Any other observations for me?

Related posts: 2018 Event plus 2017 Event
Mark Brand + DK

Opportunity Through Diversability | Mark Brand, Sandbox Session #1

Mark Brand + DK

“We have to see the ability, not the problem.”

Last week, the ‘Sandbox Sessions’ was launched (exclusive and intimate gatherings for the CLNZ community to gain insights and inspiration from impressive creative leaders) featuring my pal Mark Brand.

Watch this:

nowthisnews mark brand

It was a beautiful reminder of the transformative opportunities in societal challenges plus the power of designing through the lens of inclusion and from a place of courage.

These smaller experiences heightens the emotional impact as well as accelerates openness and personal connections as the CLNZ community continues to thrive (there has been nothing but positive feedback from the participants of the event and there will be a few more before the next event in December).

Big thanks for PwC Wellington for hosting us.

Image credit

Creative Leadership NZ 2018 | Reflections & Insights

Building a community of creative leaders.

My little conference, Creative Leadership NZ 2018, was last week. The second year in a new venue, NZ’s new Institute of Creativity, Te Auaha:

The mission is to build a network of pioneers who share the ability to respond to change, identify opportunities and act on them to better shape our collective creative future here in New Zealand and beyond.


To continue the process of learning out loud, here’s my review:

Stats

It was another sold out event with nearly 200 leaders attending from 85 entities (most represented above – in 2017 there were 150 leaders from 70 cross-sector organisations).

One third came from outside the Wellington region (in 2017 it was only 15%) and nearly two thirds have female names (similar to last year which was 65%). It’s also interesting to note the reach in terms of how many humans the delegates accumulatively lead: 7,295 (an average of 40 per delegate).

2017 Learnings

Taking the feedback from last years event, the intention was to create more reflection time and space to connect. Therefore we had nine speakers rather than the thirteen in 2017, simplified the workshop offerings and added in generous time for morning / afternoon tea and lunch (plus networking at the end of both days – click the above image to download the full event brochure).

What was amazing this year was having five volunteers / event assistants (last year I had two plus some venue staff). Was also more vocal about the aim of the conference beyond the usual learnings and networking, this was about building a conscious and hungry community of leaders who are seeking out creative insights, literacies and skills sets.

Speakers Curation

Probably one of my favourite parts of this process is finding / choosing / liaising with the speakers. Nearly all of the speakers I had a previous relationship with so the focus was ensuring diversity and nuance to compliment the ‘intersections’ theme.

All but one of the speakers were paid for their time and involvement plus all expenses were covered. This is a continued attempt to shift the culture in NZ of paying for talent at events (which is not the usual). Each speaker got a plus one also.

Thank you Aaron, ButterscotchJo, Melissa, Paula, Paul, Peter, Te Aroha, Tim full bios here.

Finances

As with the first event last year:

  • this was privately funded venture and delivered under the Creative Welly initiative;
  • financial grant support was secured again from the US Embassy and Australian High Commission who provided funds to cover the expenses for Aaron, Butterscotch and Tim (respectively);
  • further partner support came from Wellington Chocolate Factory who offered gift packs for the speakers / facilitators, MOJO in providing coffee / tea refreshments for both days for all breaks (plus an espresso coffee from downstairs in their cafe), QT Wellington Hotel donated rooms for our overseas guests (with a reduced cost for others), and finally a small but appreciated discount from our caterers, The Lab.

Overall, the event profit doubled from 2017, a result of applying learnings, smaller venue cost and having less speakers to pay.

Extra Costs

Audio and visual (AV services), catering and venue hire are always chunky fixed costs, and this year, there was the addition of some ‘CLNZ’ letters to ensure the stage looked great.

There was also the speakers / partners meal the night before plus everyone who attended got given a printed brochure / agenda, notebook, pen and badge (plus espresso coffee voucher for the cafe downstairs – see ‘partners’):

Other costs were the bar tab for the networking drinks at the end of the first day, We Do (for photography) and Empire Films (for the review video).

DIY

Again with last year, as a solopreneur all aspects of the event are produced by me, which includes:

  • website design / copy;
  • speakers curation / negotiation / support;
  • budgeting;
  • invoicing delegate registrations;
  • partner / venue / catering liaison etc.

The design of the brochure / agenda was a trade with a local supplier for a couple of delegate spots.

Marketing & Sales

As with last year I produced these little ‘teasers’ as way of promoting the talent on offer. Here are all the Linkedin versions: Aaron, Jo, Melissa, Paula, Paul, Te Aroha, Tim.

Other activities were time intensive  in terms of taking time to reach out specifically to folks in my network although it yielded results. The event details got featured in about half a dozen email newsletters of other networks which definitely raised the profile as well.

My interest definitely lies in crafting and curating the experience rather than promoting and selling it. 

Interactions

As the focus was on creating a community through conversation and connection, there were no exhibits or distracting activities other than one: at the beginning of the event the delegates were asked to write down a creative or leadership challenge they are currently dealing with. These were collected in and stuck on one of the walls which became the ‘wall of wisdom’ where throughout the rest of the event, others added their responses to the questions posed.

Also, during the final reflection session delegates were asked to write a ‘letter to self’ – these will be posted early in the new year as a reminder of the experience and commitment they made to themselves.

Learnings

This year I decided to MC the event. Was very overwhelmed and will be doing things differently in 2019 to ensure the pace is kept solid whilst freeing me up from most of those duties.

As it was the first time in the venue there are lots of opportunities to hone the experience from dressing the spaces and ensuring the flow of delegates are positive. Still gathering delegate feedback although wonderful to see some offering their insights and creative reflections:

Photos – Day One

Photos – Day Two

Future

Am going to be working on three things to ensure legacy:

  • sponsorship – looking for one major financial sponsor whose brand values align with CLNZ;
  • videos – capture and editing of main keynotes will allow further reach (which the sponsorship will allow);
  • ongoing community opportunities – already working on a February satellite event (invites will only be available to CLNZ delegates to continue to build the community).

Onwards to Creative Leadership NZ 2019!

Related posts: Creative Leadership NZ 2017 | Reflections & Insights plus Creative Leadership NZ 2018 | Reflections & Insights.

Three Little Words Which Spark Creativity | Foundational Thinking Of Creatives

i don't know neil degrasse tyson

Every creative act starts with an act of vulnerability evidenced by three little words:

I.
Don’t.
Know.

Many state the above as line in the sand, a closing down of conversation, a refusal to explore further.

Others get excited, and lean forwards, hungry for adventure, ready to fail forwards.

These are the creatives!

Whether it be composing an orchestral piece in 10minutes from nothing:

Collaborating on a dance piece when you can’t speak each others language:

Drawing blind to spark an abstract drawing piece:

…this is the imaginative mindset at work.

When mixed with curated ideas and experience plus audacity and mad curiousity, its forms the most delicious path to potential.

Whether you’re starting a business, leading a team, beginning at a new organisation, figuring out the next steps in life, or shaping a city-wide initiative to infuse a city with creative literacies

…saying “I don’t know” more often is a rallying cry to creative action.