In 2010, Daniel Lamarre (CEO, Cirque du Soleil) longed for a new kind of business conference. One where business leaders from all walks of life might come together to explore, discuss and design best options to inspire creativity and innovation within their own companies. Lamarre shared his dream with Sid Lee, a creative services firm based in Montreal and the rest is history.
C2 = Commerce + Creativity
2012 marked the first C2-MTL conference with a powerhouse lineup of creatives on board, including Francis Ford Coppola, Michael Eisner and Guy Laliberte. For 2013, they moved C2-MTL to an edgier Montreal venue (Arsenal, former century-old shipbuilding facility) and invited more innovation champions, including Philippe Starck, Bobbi Brown and for the big crescendo finish, Sir Richard Branson. This video provides a glimpse at Day One of this year’s conference, plus Lamarre adds another layer to his C2-MTL vision.
Beyond the stellar speakers and programming, there’s a steady buzz that permeates every corner of C2-MTL. The peer-to-peer conversation meter is off the charts, so I’ve been observing, interviewing and inspecting up a storm. I don’t have all the answers, but I’ve managed to uncover a few smart ideas we can borrow from the C2-MTL playbook. As I write this post, there’s still one more day to take in. Stay tuned for a follow-up post where I’ll deconstruct these elements.
Partnerships As A Path To Better?
C2-MTL is curated by Sid Lee, in collaboration with founding partner Cirque du Soleil, content partner Fast Company and technology partner Intel. No doubt, that’s a powerful foursome, but it makes me wonder if we’re leveraging partnerships as effectively as we could be.
As you scan your own industry landscape, are there potential partners who share your vision for a spectacular conference experience? Would these partners be willing to step up and commit time, talent and resources to deliver on that promise? What would it take to replicate the C2-MTL success model in your space?