All posts tagged Wellington

Creative Welly Launched | Learning Out Loud

A new long-form video podcast for curious and creative humans.

Creative Welly is a new project from an old idea repurposed and reborn during the isolation of lockdown:

We curate and collide intrepid talent from the coolest most creative little capital in the world (with a few out-of-city friends as well from time-to-time).

This project is totally self-funded and wouldn’t be possible without these amazing collaborators:

All episodes are shot and edited by the wonderfully talented Jono Tucker, Empire Films. An extremely diligent and personable soul who has added a polish to the resulting video which I never could’ve achieved, thank you Jono.

Hosted at Xequals, a centrally based web development agency who provide us with a kick-ass office which totally gets kitted out for the shoot. Thank you Alex Matthews for being so gracious with your space.

This first episode represents about four to five day or pre-production experiments with lighting and seating scenarios plus editing options. The result of which is something quite different and unique.

Two further episodes are already ‘in the can’ with another two lined up for this month plus a very long list of possibles from my network here in the capital.

Each episode takes about two hours to set up (one hour to pack down), another two hours to shoot then there’s the editing time of both the video and audio. After that there’s posting the curated bios and relevant content online plus sharing out across channels.

There are also ‘hard’ and recurring costs:

WHATCOSTS (NZD)
Table (round table from thrift store)$55
Chairs (x3, comfortable and supportive)$379
Backdrop photographic paper (for style)$105
Libsyn (audio podcast hosting & distribution)$275pa
Vimeo (video hosting)$130pa
Domain + hosting$25pa
TOTAL$969

I find myself feeling so privileged to be able to start this journey and explore a new format during these challenging global times. It truly serves my purpose of ‘giving people voice’ whilst also my skill base of ‘curating’ as well.

Oh and why not YouTube? Have no intention of monetising the content and don’t like their forced adverts plus the time it takes to figure out the algorithms with the hope they choose my content over others. Vimeo is a wonderful creative community which aligns with the brand values of the intention behind the initiative.

Please let me know what you think and triple please subscribe to receive the bi-monthly episodes via Creative Welly.

Creative Ideation Workshop | Facilitating Inspiration (aka Herding Cats)

The components of effective facilitation.

Last week I attended a ‘Creative Ideation Workshop‘ organised by Wellington NZ (the city’s and region economic agency) and facilitated by Creative HQ (my attendee experience tweet thread) to:

We need to get ideas into action and we are keen to work collaboratively with you and other creative minds who are lucky to call Wellington home. We’d like to invite you to an ideas hui to brainstorm creative solutions to some of the city’s challenges following the economic impact of the Covid19 pandemic. We will take some of the best ideas generated at the hui, develop these further into tangible solutions and work to secure funding to turn them into reality.

From the original email invitation.

Was great to see so many souls respond to the call of collaboration and the energetically run afternoon session certainly generated an array of ideas based on the challenges laid down.

It was shared early on that the ideas from the session would be directed towards the City Recovery Fund (a new amount of money made available and administered through the city council which TEDxWellington recently applied for). The criteria was displayed to the participants as part of the intro:

  • contribute to the immediate recovery of the City economy;
  • enhance or protect Wellington’s position as a leader in innovation and creativity;
  • seek to use innovation and creativity to support recovery, revitalisation and job protection or creation;
  • contribute to sustainable economic outcomes; and
  • align to the WellingtonNZ promotional campaigns.

The session however missed some crucial and foundational elements to catalyse appropriate ideas (and totally appreciate the challenge of managing any group of humans coming together for the first time within the 2.5hours allocated).

What follows is a list of those elements which needed more attention and which can also assist anyone else reading when approaching creative facilitation:

Looking forward to receiving and seeing all the ideas from the sessions which was discussed as an action at the end of the session plus hearing how some of the ideas will be progressed.

Image credit: Two Cats, Blue and Yellow (1912), Franz Marc (German, 1880–1916)

Launching Soon | Creative Welly : Courageous Conversations With Bold Humans

A new long-form, conversational project to tickle your neural pathways.

Revealed only in retrospect these past couple of years, is a thematic thread through my past projects / experiences of ‘giving people voice’ (which has become my spoken purpose plus evidenced in both my producing and coaching roles).

Creative Welly is a mash-up-manifestation of this and my hunger for curating good people:

We curate and collide intrepid talent from the coolest most creative little capital in the world (with a few out-of-city friends as well from time-to-time).

A few years ago I bought up a bunch of domains relating to ‘creativity’ and ‘Wellington’ with the intention of bringing together groups of people to explore the future of the city. After pitching it to a few educational plus civic institutions looking for collaboration and hosts there was no appetite.

A recent retainer contract with a client to see me through till the end of the year, has freed up the head-and-energy-space to revisit and reboot the concept.

A combination of devouring hours long-form and conversational content on the web (whether that’s podcasts, interviews and / or debates) these past few months during lockdown catalysed a seed of an idea for what to do.

Within a space of a week a superb collaborative team was formed. After seeking video advice from pal, Jono Tucker, founder of Empire Films and producer of many review videos for TEDxWellington and Creative Leadership, he offered to collaborate. The shooting location is kindly donated by Xequals through Alex Matthews, another pal who is on the TEDxWellington leadership team.

Last week we ran a few shooting, lighting and audio tests:

Enabling us to play with variations on editing looks from the footage which will give the episodes a unique look. The aim is to share the first episode at the end of this month with a target of releasing two a month in the first year.

Oh and the business model, well:

  1. Sponsorship
  2. Membership
  3. Donations
  4. Affiliate links
  5. Paid content
  6. Selling branded merchandise
  7. Selling tickets to live shows
  8. Our own time and money.

Truly humbled to be in a position not to care as what’s important for me is offering something which enlightens, connects and excites, so it’s another pro-bono project and experiment in celebrating humanity through conversation.

Please do head over to Creative Welly and subscribe to receive email notifications of the episodes (or grab the RSS if you’re kicking it old school). Audio subscription options will be available in the coming weeks.

#18 June 2020 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

Time to surf the information superhighway for treats and things.

READ

Why an Amazon executive resigned over company’s ‘chickenshit’ firings of employee activists (stop buying from Amazon).

A flood of coronavirus apps are tracking us – now it’s time to keep track of them.

Our lives are now run by ‘Persuasion Engineers‘ – shudder!

How Facebook could use Giphy to collect your data.

Another Apple whistleblower goes public over lack of action – “I am extremely concerned that big tech companies are basically wiretapping entire populations…”

WATCH

EXPLORE

Your illustration dances to the music.

The spoken articles list of Wikipedia.

A curated timeline of COVID pandemic events related to Wellington city here in NZ.

The British Museum has added 1.9 million images free to use for anyone under a Creative Commons 4.0 license.

Free video conferencing background images of empty sets from the BBC Archive.

Play with Mikutap – great for bored kids / kidults alike.

Blush: Create, mix, and customize illustrations made by artists around the world – then use them commercial free.

AutoDraw which converts rough scribbles and doodles into beautiful, symmetrical icons/clipart that you can download for free.

Check out this platform which make acapellas from any song or this one which remove vocals from any song.

thisworddoesnotexist.com creates words which does not exist using AI.

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.
Image credit: By en:Charles Burton Barberhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gelert.jpg, Public Domain, Link.

#15 March 2020 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

A bunch of wild and wonderful things to spend your time on.

READ

Another face-collecting AI company hosting three billion images hacked (this one scrapped their database from Facebook so nothing to worry about really).

How Amazon tracks all that you read.

About a mystery radio signal from deep space appears to be following a 16-day cycle.

Some deep truths here about the lack of ethic consideration in technology advancements.

How 1,000 is now a 100 in terms of what is needed as a fan base to sustain oneself.

WATCH

EXPLORE

Those nice people from The Smithsonian Institute have just released 2.8 million images free to access and use.

150,000 botanical and animal illustrations available for free download from Biodiversity Heritage Library.

This great example of environmental storytelling & journalism from Norway.

A brimming online database of old book illustrations.

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.
Image credit: mine, sunset colours over Welly.

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: Creative Leadership NZ 2017 | Reflections & Insights plus Speaking with Purpose 2017 | Reflections On Running A Successful Conference

TEDxWellington 2019 Review | A Chance Which Paid Off

My eighth TEDx event as licensee.

Am still reeling from the TEDache which comes from running a TEDx event, although, still smiling.

Everything we tried this year worked, even though we had no cash sponsor and had to cut the livestream option plus be very creative with the budget, all whilst going from a 1,000 speaker venue to 200 (as currently St James Theatre is undergoing earthquake restrengthening).

There’s a full write-up of the whole event on tedxwellington.com but here are the choice cuts relating to the experience (we’re still waiting on the final videos of the talks to be edited):

  • treasure hunts: with the first clue being handed out by our MC’s, this interaction provided an opportunity to gamify building connections between delegates. There were five clues that enabled the team participating to journey through the space, experiencing ‘chance’ encounters with TEDxWellington team members and the installations around the venue;
  • photobooth: creating digital takeaways to share through social channels;
  • head / neck / shoulders massage: because sometimes you need help in getting those ideas into your brain plus to shake off the emotions a little from the challenging talks of the previous session;
  • speaker stations: allocated spots for delegates to both find and connect with the speakers to dive deeper into their shared idea;
  • toilet interactions (yes that’s right): on the back of the cubicle doors we had a matrix of the speakers with an opportunity to mark how the talk made them feel.
  • silent disco: again utilising the colours related to the wristbands so that participants were grooving to tunes by ‘chance’.

Check out all the event photos on our Flickr stream.

The lessons learned from previous years were hard learned but oh so precious:

  • keep the leadership team small
  • outline (via ‘job descriptions’) the specific expectations for each role plus interview for these key positions
  • highlight this is not volunteering but actioneering (professionalism and quality is key).

Again, none of the above would’ve been possible without a dedicated group of humans (volunteers, leadership team, speakers alike plus our partners), devouting their free time / products for nothing (or a reduced rate) but feeding on the hope generator that is TEDx:

Related post: TEDxWellington 2019 Details Announced | Chance Is A Fine Thing

TEDxWellington 2019 Details Announced | Chance Is A Fine Thing

Back in the TEDx groove!

Ticket registrations are open for this years TEDxWellington event.

As the theme launch video illustrates above, our theme has informed our ticketing approach this year as every one of our previous events have sold out and we receive many communications from folks who missed out. Add to that, TEDxWellington is going from a 1,000 person event down to a 200 as our 2017 venue is still closed for earthquake restrengthening, so, a ‘lottery’ system for the tickets is the fairest approach to take.

We will also extend the theme into the interactions on the day.

This year, 75% of our speaker applicants were female which is reflected in the final line-up of impressive talent:

So if you’re Wellington-based or in the area around the 11th August, please do take a chance and register for a ticket, plus, if you can assist in disseminating the offer through your networks that would really be ace also!

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.

Coming Soon | CLNZ18

A two day conference connecting visionary humans into a creative community to learn how to solve contemporary challenges.

Here we go again:

CLNZ18 brings together CEOs, senior executives, emerging leaders, experts, and aspiring entrepreneurs, for two days, to access experience, insight and new processes to realise their own projects and potential.

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 future here in New Zealand and beyond.

Sign up to receive the announcement details on July 10th and grab the early bird rate plus other registration categories (like good bird and group options).

Related post: Creative Leadership NZ 2017 | Reflections & Insights