Design Thinking: where problems become opportunities, ideas transform into solutions and unforgettable experiences that linger in the hearts and minds of attendees. 

Imagine a colourful kaleidoscope where diverse thoughts and experiences converge, creating a mesmerising pattern of possibilities. Design Thinking is the ultimate innovation jam session. It’s like conducting a symphony of ideas, turning every brief into a vibrant kaleidoscope of solutions that is focused entirely on the end-user.

Design Thinking is a dynamic process of turning challenges into triumphs, where creativity and empathy dance to compose a melody of groundbreaking ideas and unforgettable moments; It’s also the art of navigating through this kaleidoscope, turning the ordinary into the extraordinary by infusing a human touch into every stroke of creativity.

What is Design Thinking and why is it invaluable for event organisers

Design Thinking is a problem-solving and innovation methodology that originated in the field of product design, but has since found widespread application in various industries, including event planning and management. For event organisers, it has become crucial because it helps in creating more engaging and successful events by prioritising the needs and preferences of their attendees.

In essence, Design Thinking for events is a holistic approach, seamlessly blending creativity, empathy, and user-centric design to transform events into memorable experiences that do more than deliver on the event objective.

Design Thinking is invaluable for event organisers because it brings a user-focused, creative, and integrated approach to the event planning process, ultimately resulting in more engaging, memorable, and successful events.

Design Thinking is a process that puts understanding the end-users (in this case, event attendees) and their needs at the forefront of design and decision-making. It incorporates a multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving and innovation, combining elements of empathy, ideation, and prototyping to create solutions that are both effective and user-focused.

Key principles of Design Thinking

  • Gain a deep understanding of the needs, desires, and challenges of the people you are designing for, which, in the context of event planning, are the attendees.
  • Clearly define the problem or challenge you’re trying to solve. This step is crucial for ensuring that everyone involved is aligned on the goal.
  • Generate a wide range of creative solutions and ideas for addressing the defined problem.
  • Create tangible representations or mock-ups of potential solutions to test and refine.
  • Collect feedback from users (event attendees) through the prototype and make improvements based on their input.
Design Thinking

Key principles of Design Thinking

Enhanced Attendee Experience

Through Design Thinking, event organisers can create more engaging and memorable experiences for attendees by understanding their needs and preferences and tailoring event design, content, and interactions accordingly.

Innovation and Creativity

Design Thinking fosters out-of-the-box thinking and creative problem-solving, leading to fresh and innovative event concepts and activities.

Efficient Problem Solving

By accurately defining the problem and involving stakeholders in ideation and testing, Design Thinking leads to more effective solutions, reducing the risk of costly mistakes during the event.

User-Centered Approach

Design Thinking places attendees at the core of the event planning process, enabling organisers to create events that resonate with their target audience.

5 steps to applying Design Thinking in event planning


Conduct surveys, interviews, and observations to gain insights into attendee needs and preferences.


Clearly outline the problem or opportunity based on the information collected.


Brainstorm with a diverse team to generate a wide range of ideas for event concepts and experiences.


Create mock-ups or prototypes of event elements, such as agendas, activities, and spaces.


Gather feedback from potential attendees and make adjustments to the event plan based on their input.

Examples of Design Thinking in action

Encore applies design thinking to every event we produce. Read about the work our team have done for Amway China’s New Zealand Odyssey.


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