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Creating a an Unforgettable Experience by Brad Lomenick, director of Catalyst

Basic Overview: These are my notes from a breakout session from 2012 at the NYCL Conference in Atlanta. Brad discussed the 10 creative core values that govern his team as they plan the Catalyst conference.  The two things he asks him team to bring to the creative meetings are: 1. Your creative ideas and 2. Your sense of discernment. People need to contribute both with ideas and debate ideas.

1. It is not about us!

His team is to position themselves with palms up and hands open.

No one should have clenched fists on ideas of the past, present, or future.

2. It is about uniting leaders, not dividing them.

Structured as a community and collaborative effort.

Not about individuals but ideals.

World thinks the church culture does not unite well. They are here to disprove that idea.

Nothing is more valuable than unity in leadership.

Start with the idea of generosity. Sharing is big in society today. Social Media is the leader in this area.

Be defined by what you are for and not what you are against.

Remember it is about the larger win; not personal gain. Give all away that you learn or achieve.

3. The event must be about the experience.

Content is consumable, out there everywhere, and is typically free.

People care about the collective experience, not the content of the event.

Value all the five senses and not simply auditory and visual.

What will they leave talking about beyond the message (if they are even talking about the message anyway)?

4. Make it Personality-less.

Don’t build the experience around just one personality. (Explained the transition from John Maxwell to the team approach to Catalyst.)

Events should not be about who, but about what and why – what will I learn and why will it help me in my daily life or work.

This society is about the tribe, the brand, not just one personality.

Design with the communal nature in mind.

Even if the event is more or less personality based, learn to continue to celebrate the entire team to balance it out.

5. Create a big vision and challenge your tribe to buy-in.

The overall goals are about dreaming big and creating inspiring movement.

Think bigger than expected but do not dismiss reality as a part of the equation.

Don’t let reality keep you from dreaming, but let it help you when it comes to actual and possible execution of the dream.

6. Authenticity must be valued since we are all humans.

This generation sees a fake a mile away.

Be you, but do it creatively. Don’t force who you are not.

Be with your people. Get the pulse and feel of their lives.

No leader is such a big deal that he cannot connect with his followers.

Be real and be reachable.

7. Causes and Social Movements are the new norm.

Social Media is king. Innovation is a tweet away.

This generation is about social justice.

The Kony video is a great example.

Create connection through social media as much as you can to foster online communities and forums to spread your ideas and values.

Go to the people, don’t fight to bring them to you – social media is key here.

8. Honor the sages and mentors before you.

This is often forgotten in the younger generation of leaders.

Invite the seasoned leaders to be a part of the creative process.

Creativity is not limited to only younger people.

Have them speak, let them give input, honor their voice in what you do.

This is an area you have to be intentional, because it is not natural.

9. Create a product that you love!

If you do not love your own event, why would anyone else?

If you do not want to come to your event or want to invite others to your event, you have a major disconnect.

Create in a manner that gets you excited about your own event.

This needs to play a major role in planning.

10. Set a standard that scares you.

Excellence is the standard.

To be different is the standard.

Something that has yet to be done but needs to be done.

Make it hard to top your best moments.

These standards will shock you out of the normalcy trap and scare you (in a good way).