Last week, CreativeMornings Cincinnati hosted its inaugural event, becoming chapter 46 of 49 worldwide. Founded by Tina Roth Eisenberg (@swissmiss) in September 2009, CreativeMornings was launched “to be an accessible, inspiring morning event for people to meet.” The global theme for March events was “reuse.”

The Talk

From the space at the new 21c Museum Hotel to the farmer’s market-sourced breakfast, the tone for Cincinnati’s first event was set for creativity. An audience of agency professionals, independent designers, local entrepreneurs and city thought leaders gathered to hear Bill Donabedian, co-founder of the MidPoint Music Festival and founder of the Bunbury Music Festival.

During his 20-minute talk, Bill shared the four-step approach that has guided his success in the business and music communities:

  • Repurpose: Thinking across industries can give old ideas new life for your business. The beverage industry’s tasting/scoring method inspired the band judging process at MidPoint; while the sailing industry’s approach to communal sharing of equipment informed how festival assets were stored.
  • Reapply: The idea of what a business could be in the long-term should drive you, not the immediate results. Most music festivals take a loss the first year, break even the second and only start to make money in the third year.
  • Reevaluate: Social media and data present big opportunities to understand how to best engage your audience – before, during and after the main event.
  • Refine: Bill lives by a launch-and-learn motto, saying, “The biggest luxury you have is time to innovate your business.”

Powerhouse’s Favorite Takeaways

  • Trends: Bill partners with music trendspotters to identify and secure bands before they hit it big, helping him secure the band fun. for Bunbury 2013 before the band won their first Grammy.
  • Analytics: Data informed the set-up of Bunbury 2012. Feedback on that event, plus ecommerce checkout questions on why 2013 attendees bought tickets, will make 2013 and future festivals even better.
  • Influencer Marketing: From his time with the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC) to his most recent ventures, Bill has connected with influential Cincinnatians who believe in his vision and want to be a part of bringing it to life. By being loyal to the cause, versus just Bill as a person, these experts can lead from their passion and inspire others to help.

The closing Q&A launched the most interesting discussion of the day: the huge opportunity to unite Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky’s creative and business communities to further the region’s rebirth.

With accolades rolling in for the metro’s support of entrepreneurship, tourism appeal (congrats to our client, Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism Network) and urban development, natives and transplants talked about the important role each of us play in making sure the community is a vibrant place for entrepreneurs, creatives and professionals for many years to come.

We’re looking forward to taking part in more great conversation at future CreativeMornings Cincinnati events. Keep an eye out for the posters we’re printing for this year’s programming, too!

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