Sam McNeill, one of the planet’s most in demand MCs and facilitators – having hosted over 400 team building workshops, gala awards evenings and product launches – is a guest speaker at The Meetings Show 2018.
Songwriting and meetings and events may seem like they’re worlds apart, but creativity and innovation are key to both. Sam McNeill, General Manager for UK & Europe of SongDivision, will be appearing at The Meetings Show 2018 to use the songwriting process to demonstrate the qualities needed to create a culture of innovation. H&E North caught up with Sam ahead of the show to find out more…
Why is innovation so important in meetings and events?
The very definition of innovation is to make improvements or a positive change in something already established by introducing new methods, ideas or products. Meetings and events have been taking place for centuries so we all know that they work and have value. What doesn’t work is doing same thing year-in, year-out, and expecting better results, or in most cases, increased ROI. So being innovative without reinventing the wheel and introducing fresh concepts and ideas to your meeting or event is, in my opinion, the key to success.
Songwriting seems quite different to the world of meetings and events. In what ways do the two areas crossover?
SongDivision operates around the sole belief that life is better with music! When you look at the science-based research around the power songwriting and performance has to engage, energise and motivate large groups of people, while communicating a message or objective, integrating music into your event in whatever capacity is actually a no-brainer.
Do you think listening is a skill that’s focused on enough in the corporate world?
Personally, I think listening is a skill that needs improvement the world over, not just in the corporate world. One thing that we focus on heavily is the idea that successful musicians and songwriters are those that are great communicators. The better we are able to listen to the needs of our clients, colleagues and suppliers, the more likely we are able to create a better work environment. SongDivision believes that music and song creation are the best mediums to achieve this.
What do you think are the biggest barriers to people expressing their creativity?
The majority of people we work with seem to have this inherent belief that they simply aren’t creative, which is a complete misconception. In my session at The Meetings Show, I will explore the idea that creativity is as easy as one simple idea and a ‘yes’ mentality. Once people get on board with the concept that they are in a safe environment where everyone’s ideas have value, the creative juices actually start flowing very easily and something quite magical begins to happen.
What will meetings and events professionals gain by attending your session?
Attendees will gain a better understanding of how easy it can be to implement simple ideas and changes into their work and events that will make them so much more unique, engaging and unforgettable. Isn’t that the number one goal in the industry?
If you had one top tip for event planners and meetings professionals, what would it be?
Just to trust each other more. There are so many talented and experienced people in the MICE world. I don’t tell planners, AV technicians and the like how to do their job, because they are the experts and I trust them to deliver the best possible outcome based on the objectives of the event. Likewise, I hope that they trust SongDivision to deliver incredible experiences that leave lasting memories, because it is something we have been doing successfully for 15 years.