1. We Are All Designers

How Design Thinking Will Transform the Events Industry

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7jyUYFtRq4&w=560&h=315]


Our industry is on the verge of massive change. The idea that we can simply keep doing what we did, even three or four years ago, is just not plausible. We have the incredible opportunity, and the obligation, to innovate.

At CEIR Predict, I was thrilled to moderate a conversation with Freeman’s newly appointed chief design officer and author Bruce Mau that unveiled how design thinking is helping us prepare to lead the massive change ahead of our industry.

But what is design thinking, exactly? Design thinking is a proven method of producing desired outcomes and managing disruption by applying design principles to affect and transform the world around us. Whether the outcome is a performance metric, a system, or an experience, design is the method for envisioning the result and systematically executing our vision.

How design thinking can transform our business

Design thinking is an essential part of how Freeman is reinventing the attendee experience from the ground up—to keep events at the forefront of marketing in the face of a rapid change.


Using design thinking when creating brand experiences lets us take advantage of the disruptions and changes in audience behaviors and turn them into opportunities to create deeper and more meaningful connections. For example, we recognized that smartphones were distracting attendees during keynotes and breakout sessions. We applied design-thinking methodology to address this problem, and now use second-screen technology to create an entirely new way to experience an event and boost engagement, rather than compete for attendee attention.

Design thinking equals scalable success

Any aspect of global business can be improved through this flexible approach, because design principles always apply. Design thinking makes our entire industry scalable, letting us think bigger and define larger areas of opportunity to connect with our audiences beyond the show floor, keeping our events constantly relevant and top of mind and engaging the next generation of attendees on their level.

In the coming months, you’ll be hearing more about how we are using design thinking at Freeman, and how it can positively impact your own events.