The UK creative industries contribute £84.1 billion to the economy and are growing almost twice as quickly as the rest of the economy. For businesses in this market, there is an increased focus on productivity and efficiency — particularly as deadlines and budgets become tighter.
So how can those working in the creative industries ensure they are able to deliver on their projects, on time and within budget but without losing any creativity?
Technology and collaboration
Technology is often the answer. While it can’t help you be more creative, it can support the process by making the lives of creatives much easier. For example, when developing a marketing campaign for a new product or producing a television show, one of the most important aspects of the process is collaborating with teams of people to brainstorm ideas, and shape them into scripts, shows, features and stories.
It is here that technology has a significant part to play: not just in the hardware and software that is needed for creatives to complete day-to-day tasks, but in the way that they engage with each other, share those ideas and bring them to fruition. More often than not this happens in a meeting room environment where multiple people need to share the presentation screen — sometimes simultaneously. Usually this means all meeting participants need to use cables to connect, which presents a challenge as not everyone uses the same type of device or the same operating system. The result is that IT is called to sort out these connection issues, wasting precious time and putting the brakes on the creative process.
Ideally what is needed is a wireless collaboration system; one that allows meeting participants to connect via USB for laptops and an app for tablets and smartphones. The system should also easily cater for different device manufacturers and operating systems, whether that is iOS, Windows or Android.
Once the problem of connecting is out of the way, the presentation device should be easy to set up for first-time users, as well as user friendly, intuitive and speedy overall. Of course having multiple people able to share the screen at the same time would be particularly beneficial, especially when brainstorming ideas or presenting concepts to a wider team, or in a pitching situation. In a pitch, for example, the idea and vision has to be communicated clearly and with clarity, and the first pitfall may come if the information on a laptop or smart device cannot be shared easily. Technology alone is clearly not enough; users also need it to be fail-safe. In practice this would mean streamlining the sharing process and connecting different types of devices to a shared screen.
In the creative industries, where visuals are so important, any audio, video or graphic elements must be represented in the same way as they are viewed on individual screens. As a result, the supporting collaboration technology has to be able to translate this onto the shared screen in a simple and effective way — again, without the use of cables, adaptors or help from IT in getting the audio heard or the screen resolution right.
Technology may not make marketers, designers or writers more creative, but it can definitely support the process by making their day-to-day tasks easier and providing a platform that enables productivity and efficiency. In this case, collaboration technology makes sure that creatives can be just that – creative without worrying about the intricacies of cabling, interoperability and operation.
By Jan Willem Brands, VP collaboration, Barco