Booz & Company just released their annual study called “The 2010 Innovation 1000: How Top Innovators Keep Winning.” They surveyed over 450 company executives worldwide who cast their votes for the top 3 companies they thought were the most innovative. Lets apply their findings to the meeting industry since they are simple, common sense approaches. Here is the list (drumroll please) in order of innovation:
  1. Apple
  2. Google
  3. 3M
  4. GE
  5. Toyota
  6. Microsoft
  7. Procter & Gamble
  8. IBM
  9. Samsung
  10. Intel

You might be thinking, “Of course, they are top innovators. They have huge budgets and are multi-billion corporations.” However, read on and see that there are lessons learned that even the smallest event meeting services organization can implement without breaking the bank.

Lessons Learned from the 10 Most Innovative CompaniesHere are the 5 lessons you can learn from the above companies who are keeping ahead of the pack:

    1. They have a detailed understanding of emerging technologies and trends. These companies are developing cutting-edge products and they are very skilled at spotting opportunities and understanding product life cycles.How about your organization and association? Are you using the latest and greatest technology in your meetings and events? Are you identifying new opportunities to use technology? What about your equipment? Is it old or state-of-the-art?


    1. They are doing an ongoing assessment of market potential. These innovative organizations are finding unmet customer needs and creating products or services to fill them. They know their customers well.What about your attendees? Do you know them so well that you know their needs and wants at your next association, corporate, or educational event? Are you providing the same programming and trade show layout you did 5 years ago? Why aren’t you changing? There are so many ways to ask the attendees what they want and need, including online communities, having surveys accessable at touch panel kiosks, and/or just reviewing and responding to tweets at the event. Listen to your attendees –  they know what they want…is anyone listening?


    1. They engage with customers to prove real-world feasibility. Innovative companies test their ideas with their clients and let the customers evaluate the market potential for the new concept.Are you testing your agenda and speakers on your attendees before the meeting or convention? You think you know what sessions the attendees want, but how sure are you? As event planners, we sometimes think we know what our audience wants, but the only sure way to know is to ask them and keep the process dynamic. Crowdsourcing seems to be a very popular way for inclusion.


    1. They launch products carefully, but quickly. This effort is also coordinated with the whole company.What about your product launching events? Are they in sync with your client’s corporate culture and is everyone on board? Are you using technology to get the word out quickly?


  1. They are focused, they know their niche. Innovators spend their time and money on “building a better mousetrap”. Booz & Company stated in their report, “As part of corporate strategy, every company needs to ask itself what business is it in and how it intends to win.”What business is your organization in? Is your vision blurred…trying to be everything to everyone? Know what kind of event meeting services your organization provides and then excel in that part of your business. I am an event planner, not a wedding or party planner. Know what you do and just make it better.
AV Event Solutions, offers innovative technology tool rentals in the California market. Check out their website or give them a call for your next meeting, event, and convention needs.