Whatever happened to creativity and individual expression? It seems that Solomon may have been on to something when he said “There is nothing new under the sun.”

Everywhere I turn it seems everyone is just trying to copy something that worked well for someone else. We see this a lot with nightlife, restaurant and sales venues. It steals away the experience of the event and dilutes the idea.

Usually it doesn’t even work when someone steals the idea of an great event. Like Woodstock 2- while it was a great show, it did not hold a candle to the event it namesakes because you simply cannot recreate something coming together at the right time and the right place to the right people.

Now really each person has these little ideas for things rolling around in their brains. The huge influx of those “As Seen On TV” inventions flooding the stores is a testament to that. How hard is it really to do a little brainstorming and come up with an original idea, or at the very least a spin-off of another event with it’s own unique flair?

When you do too many copies of the same thing, no one ends up going to anything. Why? Because it’s not as exciting to say you went to something if everyone else has been to one just like it. When I did the Pizza Crawl it was a huge hit and subsequently won a Digital PR Award. But then these Crawls started popping up everywhere . Events were flying all over the place, for every kind of food you could imagine. Soon, the same people were going to the same events to eat the free food and they eventually tired out of going.

Many years ago when we held the first #pizzatweetup, many came and saw the success. Before you knew it seemed like every single night of the week there was a tweetup somewhere else. Every company, newspaper, radio/tv station, tried to have their own events and use these tweetups to promote themselves. Eventually all the tweetups died since there were only so many people in this small community down here who would go, and they ultimately got tired of the same people at the same events. Yet we still continue every now and then to have #pizzatweetup since the originals always seem to last.

I guess what I am going for here is an appeal to creativity. Things don’t even have to be extravagant to be interesting. People just have to stop copying everyone else’s ideas and come up with some of their own. We all want to visit distant places because each has it’s own appeal. There are different things to do and see and experience. If we are not careful, we could see a day when there is an Eifel tower in every major city and El Celler de Can Roca is as commonplace as Applebee’s.

That’s not to say that it isn’t ok to have some events in different areas. There is room for bringing a neat event to more than one place from time to time. Maybe If one was held in Miami and another in West Palm Beach, that might be ok, since there is a big distance in between the two cities. But to have them in every suburb of Miami is just plain overkill. It takes away from the experience and dilutes it down to a common theme.

We all want to have strong, growing communities. That is never going to happen if we end up with cookie cutter events with the same topics, at the same restaurants, with the same attendees. People need to quit doing what everyone else is doing and figure out what other people are not doing. Pay attention when someone says ‘I wish there was an event that…’

Give people a unique experience to talk about and you will bring value to yourself, your business, your area and all of those lucky enough to try it out. They are going to tell their friends and good or bad, people will be talking about it. And that’s the way to build great places and create something special. Quit diluting the experience and do something bold. And if it works out do it a few places- not everywhere.

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books i' ve written

  • Do It Yourself Online Reputation Management
  • Checked-In: How To Use Gowalla, Foursquare and Other Geo-Location Applications For Fun and Profit
  • Socially Elected: How To Win Elections Using Social Media