You may have caught on to the recent buzz around the term “Design Thinking”. Recently, we have noticed a lot of big brands adopting the concept, including Apple, Google, Samsung, and the like. At Red Velvet Events, we always look for new ways to push our creativity and challenge our notions of what is possible. So we started thinking…can the Design Thinking approach help us do just that?

What exactly is Design Thinking?
Basically, Design Thinking is an approach used to identify creative solutions to a range of problems. It can be loosely defined by these six steps:

1. Empathize with your audience – ask probing questions and observe their behavior.
2. Define a point of view – analyze your insights to define your audience’s needs and pain points.
3. Ideate a solution – brainstorm as many ideas as you can.
4. Prototype an idea – choose one solution and bring it to life.
5. Test your solution – present your idea to your audience and gather feedback.
6. Repeat steps 3-5 until you arrive at your ideal solution.

How can Design Thinking be applied to creative event planning?
At its core, Design Thinking serves to humanize problem solving by keeping real needs and emotions at the center of every idea. When planning an event, we need to keep our client and attendee needs and wants at the forefront of every decision. Especially when working with a new client, we need to devote a proper amount of time to truly understanding their goals, not just for the specific event but for their individual career and their brand as a whole. By keeping the bigger picture in mind, we can better define the needs we are trying to address with the event, and better suggest activations, content, and design elements.

The second half of the Design Thinking process revolves around prototyping and testing our ideas. This is not to suggest that we repeatedly mock-up full-scale events, of course, but we should take time to a) accurately visualize our decisions and b) not be scared to scrap them if they are not totally aligned with our vision. This is where having strong relationships with our partners is so important, because we need to be able to truly work alongside them to ideate their portion of the event, whether that be florals, catering, or even a registration process. Our partners do not have the same knowledge of our client and event as we do, and through Design Thinking it is clear that in order to have the best results, it is our job to bring them up to speed and work alongside them to make sure each and every touchpoint is reflective of the goals and needs we have identified.

Many of us may be Design Thinkers already without even knowing it, but having the process laid out is a great reminder to keep our audience at the heart of each touchpoint and ensure our partners are doing the same. While Design Thinking is most popular with tech firms and product developers, we think it has serious grounds to innovate the way we think as a live experience agency.

So what do you think about Design Thinking? How can you apply this process to your business?