“Producers are constantly being challenged to come up with events that ‘surpass last year’s, are bigger and better and are totally different and exciting” Matthews (2008, P.19). It is therefore evident at the need for event organisers to react to customer needs in the market. This essay will introduce the concept of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship within the events sector. Key theoretical concepts around the subjects will be explored in order to form a discussion for the need of creativity within events organisations. This essay will draw upon industry examples to illustrate how the concepts can be achieved in order to gain competitive advantage. Through critical analysis, the concepts can be reviewed, and an appraisal for the scope for creativity and entrepreneurship in events and events management companies can be formed.
The first step into exploring creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship would be to investigate various definitions of the concepts. Tidd et al (2005, P.3) states that “innovation is driven by the ability to see connections, to spot opportunity and to take advantage of them”. However, it is creativity that gives that ability to conjure up the ideas and Cummings (1998) supports this. He very much describes creativity as the idea generating stage. Martins and Turblanche (2003) also supports this theory and offers a definition for the context of organisational creativity. They state that:
“…creativity can be defined as the generation of new and useful/valuable ideas for products, services, processes and procedures...” Martins and Turblanche (2003, P.66). Therefore the link between the two concepts of creativity and innovation is evident. John (2001) points out however, that innovation can only be achieved after the successful implementation of the creative idea, whether it is a solution to a problem, a new product or an improvement. Hence why encouraging innovation creates risk as the ideas may not be successful and reasons for this will be discusses further on in the essay.
Sanjeev (2005.P2) directly supports links between creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship stating that “creativity and innovation have been recognised for a long time as the cornerstones of entrepreneurship”. Ireland et al (2003, P.963) states that “strategic entrepreneurship involves simultaneous opportunity-seeking and advantage-seeking behaviours and results in superior firm performance”. (Innovation and Technology - Creating the confidence to try) suggests that entrepreneurship creates risk taking and is the ability to spot opportunities in the market. (Innovation and Technology - Risk and Reward) argues that taking risks leads to a high reward. He goes on further to discuss that in many organisations innovation is often incremental. The types of innovation and the link between organisational sizes will be analysed further on in the essay.
There is much literature discussing the many benefits of creativity and innovation and Kuczmarski (2003) states that companies aren’t being innovative enough therefore missing out on the benefits. One major benefit that authors such as Ireland et al (2003), Denton (1999), Work Foundation (2003) argue is that innovation can lead to competitive advantage. The reason for this is that creative ideas can lead to an organisation being able to improve the products or services they offer, creating a whole new and radical product and even finding ways to improve the three processes of cost, time and quality in goods and services Cummings (1999), Work Study (2003), Design Council (2008). This is an especially desired achievement in the events industry as competition is forever evident for organisations. Whitfield (2009) highlights the competition between events organisers themselves in a bid to win contracts. Denton (1999) points out often the answer to competitive advantage can be technology advancements, which suggest an element of cost. Consequently...