Journal of a Creative Strategist - David Twyman, Events Creative Director, FCM Meetings & Events


trent laird

What is a creative strategist?

Simply put, it’s a person charged with the responsibility of taking a client’s brief and finding a creative solution to help deliver their desired message or outcome to an audience. So, my role is to think outside of the box to provide creative tools to our clients so they can connect with their audience to present a message, change a perspective or inspire an action.

David Twyman

What do you do in terms of your role within FCM Meetings & Events?

Mine is a chameleon-type role, sitting within the creative services team with producers, strategists and creative directors – but also working with the digital developers and designers within the team. I will attend the initial client briefing, then work with the creative team to find the best solution to the problem. My background is creative and production, so problem solving is a natural part of my DNA.

Creating a successful event is not just about using words or visuals, it’s also about creating an emotional connection. I look to find an element that connects to the audience on a personal level, by utilising the different senses that tap into the different learning styles that people have.

Ultimately, for each meeting or event I need to find fresh inspiration to tell a story that connects the dots for the audience. For me, it’s important to look outside the event space and business world for ideas - including theatre, music, art, tech and pop culture references.

David’s recent creative inspirations...

sxsw sydney

South by Southwest (SXSW), Sydney

In October last year the inaugural Sydney SXSW was held and I was like ‘sign me up!!’ What I experienced was a mind-bending week of amazing presentations and experiences hosted by some of the world’s leading creatives, innovators and thinkers. One of my personal highlights was a presentation by The Picture of Dorian Gray artistic director, Kip Williams (did I mention I’m a big fan?!!!).

The best thing was taking a deep dive and just immersing myself in such a diverse range of topics, people and opinions – and making unexpected discoveries along the way while finding inspiration all around me. It reaffirmed by belief that ideas and inspiration can come from anywhere including gaming, music and just being open to play - and giving yourself, and your mind, permission to be less serious. It’s important to have fun with ideas and different ways of presenting a message, because as adults we have lost the ability to play.

Being surrounded by all of the creative ideas that collided at SXSW, has already impacted my work and my thinking. It was inspiring to be exposed to so many different mediums and I’m super excited about bringing new ideas to the opportunities that lie head. In my role it is so important to continually improve through learning. At M&E we’re always changing and evolving, and it’s an ongoing process. Tech and people are always changing. Society is constantly changing. And we must continuously evolve too!


graffiti on wall

Urban (R)evolution Art Exhibition, Lisbon Portugal

I was fortunate to travel to Lisbon last year for a site inspection ahead of this year’s Flight Centre Global Gathering. While in town I saw an amazing art exhibition celebrating the city’s diverse graffiti and street art scene. The immersive design of the exhibition itself captured the youthful energy of Lisbon’s street art and its often political messages. The venue also embraced large spaces and dimensions to display the art in a clever and immersive way. For example, from a distance some of the street art looked like the traditional tiles found on Lisbon buildings, but up close you realise the shapes and patterns are in fact modern art.

For me, playing with spatial awareness is a very valid and effective way to create an emotional connection when designing an event. It’s an important experiential component that can influence how people feel and it can also change their mindset. I strongly feel that it’s essential to curate every step of a meeting or event, from beginning to end. From the way the audience interacts with the invitation, to what I want people to feel when they walk into a space or room. Music, sound, space and lighting all play a big role to help evoke the emotion I want attendees to feel.

As the creative director of the upcoming Global Gathering, this exhibit informed by thinking about the character of Lisbon which is something I want to embed in the event. And like the creators of the city’s bold and radical street art, I like to help create change for my client and my audience by exposing them to fresh new ideas.


couple in theatre clapping their hands, enjoying the moment

The Picture of Dorian Gray, Sydney Theatre Company

This amazing production by Artistic Director Kip Williams, totally reimagined this century old, Oscar Wilde play for a contemporary audience. It was inspiring to see how the director took a high risk, but ultimately high reward, approach to using technology to totally reinvent the traditional theatre format.

I loved that I could draw parallels with the work I do, which is about constantly finding new ways of presenting ideas and thoughts. By incorporating pre-recorded video and live footage on screens with the live stage performance, the solo actor could shape shift into different characters.

Events like these provide valuable inspiration and I often get ideas from analysing the production style and the way the messaging is delivered. I initially trained in theatre design at NIDA, so for me this brave interpretation was especially inspiring. I love being exposed to new genres that demonstrate different ways to integrate video content, movement and live performance.

I’m also always looking at new ways to include the ‘wow’ factor that clients, and audiences, want. And this production really inspired me to continue to push the envelope to change ourselves, our clients and the way we do things at M&E.

Let us be your inspiration

With David being just one of the brilliant creative minds at FCM M&E, it’s easy to see that we offer so much more than event management. With our creative event strategy focus, our team will elevate your meeting or event – from the first conversation, right through to the flight home and beyond.

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