Have you heard people say they’re a right-brain or left-brain thinker? Right-brained thinkers tend to be creative and instinctual, left-brainers more analytical and logical. That’s how “Beauty and the Brains,” from the minds of Christy Lamagna and James Rota, was born. James’ creativity and vision mesh with Christy’s logistics focus and strategic thinking to bring a well-rounded approach to their events. These columns are designed to highlight both sides of the planning process.
From the Brain: The only constant in life is change. Planners not only have to embrace change, we have to run toward it because we’re constantly tasked with creating something “different” and “cutting edge.”
There aren’t enough hours in the day as it is. So how do we make time for staying current on industry trends? Half the challenge is feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of another thing to do and giving up before you start. Keep in mind that the goal is to be up to date, not an overnight expert, so tackle this in bite-size pieces, and you’ll be up to speed in no time.
Dedicate 15 minutes a day to education. For me, the first thing in the morning makes the most sense. A few days a week you can read publications; on others, skim industry websites. There are so many sites packed with information that 15 minutes will be more time than you need to get a top-level idea of what’s happening in current events, hotels coming online or the latest in giveaways.
Make the process easier by signing up for newsletters and creating a rule in Microsoft Outlook to have them delivered to a folder marked “Industry Information.” No surfing needed. The information is delivered to you and doesn’t clog your inbox.
Schedule a “lunch and learn.” Assign an industry publication to everyone in your department. Their job is to read it and report back on what’s worth knowing. Each week one person presents the highlights over lunch. It’s a great way to share time with the team and gain info, not to mention finally making time for lunch. Work alone? Schedule your own lunch and learn and read while you eat.
Use travel time wisely. Read an industry magazine while you’re at the gate, stuck on the tarmac or in flight. Fold pages of interest and put them in a clip file. You can read them during your 15 minutes of learning.
From the Beauty: I work intuitively, so my eyes are always open. I look for change indicators that can transform the industry in a few ways. I believe the economy directly affects all things, so I look to industry leaders in beauty and fashion, interior design and the multibillion-dollar entertainment industry to draw conclusions on upcoming trends.
I can see color trends change by watching the windows at prestige retailers. I look at fashion and home decorating magazines for shapes and remodels, and blockbuster movies and Broadway shows for ideas on set design and animation.
I network and follow bloggers who have the ability to see ordinary objects and turn them into something extraordinary. I attend industry trade shows to see how technology is driving change and for new “toys” I can integrate into my designs.
I rarely look at the competition for guidance; copying an idea is never as exciting as giving birth to one. My advice is to become a trailblazer by keeping your eyes open and looking for the change indicators in your everyday life that will bring the most impact to your next meeting. Make your mark, lead and the industry will follow. Be a visionary!
Until next time, remember that smart is beautiful. To continue the conversation visit us at www.dazzlesme.com
Next: MBEC 32.08 — Make decisions