13 tips on organizing a TEDx event

how to organize tedxTEDxGurgaon is done and over now. It brought together interesting people from all walks of life.

Just reflecting on what makes an event like TEDx successful. The idea is to help people across the world, working on their TEDx events.

1. Time: Give yourself 90 days to put together a show after you have got a license from TED. This means when you are applying to TED and want to share date of event – then – share a date 100 days from your date of applying for a license.

On the day of the event: Event timing 9:30 am – 5:30 pm, with registration staring at 8:30 am.

2. Speakers: A passionate and eager audience; and engaging speakers with ideas worth sharing contribute immensely to a successful TEDx event. Make sure that speakers know about the 18 minutes timeline. Request them to share, what they will be presenting at least 2 weeks before the day of the event. Shoot for at least 4 more confirmed speakers that your TEDx event will need. Why? Because chances are 1 or more of your speakers will cancel – for some unavoidable reason. Luckily, if all of them turn up, you can schedule a live speaker in place of a video. You see mostly more is merrier.

On the day of the event: One team member should keep time and alert speaker 3 minutes before their time is going to be up for an 18 minutes talk. For talks less than 10 minutes, you need not worry much. A talk should not be less than 5 minutes; because in such a situation it mostly finishes before it has made the desired connection with the audience.

3. TED Videos & Live Speakers: If you can, try for a mix of 70:30 (live speakers/ TED videos)

4. Test Run: Tie-up with venue to do a test run with all speaker presentations and TED videos that are part of schedule. Better if one or two local speakers can join you. This is to ensure that light, sound and projection system works fine at the venue. If the projection is being controlled from an audio-visual (AV) control room then make sure to check means for communication between backstage crew and person at AV room. It also helps you assess which are your best videos (quality-wise).

5. Community: It helps if you have experience organizing such events. If not then bring somebody on board who has done it before. You can also ask enthusiastic members of your community to volunteer. In most cases you’ll not be disappointed and will find some really talented people working with you for a worthwhile cause.

6. Website: Having a website as a placeholder of important information and also as a gateway to social network helps.

7. Social: Facebook because of its sheer reach will take your message to a wider audience fast and twitter because of its less than 140 characters nature helps communicate effectively.  Twitter’s search feature also makes it easy to track and respond to community suggestions.

8. Be a guest: Request the venue officials, to let you and one of your fellow organizers, attend a live event – to experience the facilities first hand. You can also talk to the host of this event for feedback; before you book the venue.

9. Video: Chances are that you’ll be working with various service providers (video, creative agency etc.). Good if you have worked with them earlier; otherwise be sure to check out their earlier work.

10. Free or Fee: If you are doing in a large city than better keep it fee-based; because most of the people who register will be busy people. When you keep it free people may register without being sure about attending. Keeping it fee-based makes sure that only people who are serious about attending will register. This will also ensure that your arrangement will be in line with expected attendance and not overshoot or fall short of requirement. Further, speakers will not have to talk to a half-filled hall.

11. Entertainment: If you are planning a day-long event; plan to bring in 2 entertainment acts – one during 1st half of the day and 2nd during the last part of the day. 1sts sets the tone for the day and 2nd to pep them up during the fag end of a long day.

12. Breaks: Generous breaks as advised by TED. The reason people come to these events – apart from listening to great ideas – is to make connections with fellow attendees and with the speakers. It is not possible in 15 minute tea breaks and 30 minute lunchtime. Tea breaks at 30-40 minutes and lunchtime at 60-70 minutes should work fine.

13. Food: A day long conference will have 2 usual tea breaks and a lunch. Better if you can offer morning tea with light snacks; because many of your attendees will start their day early if they are travelling some distance to reach the venue.

If you have organized a TEDx event earlier please help make this article better by sharing unique ideas that helped you in putting together your event successfully.

If you want to discuss more about TEDx or need help in planning your TEDx feel free to write to me at – mohit @ mohitpawar.com (without spaces).

You get Good Karma when you comment on this post 🙂 so take a moment to write about your TEDx event – are you still planning, organized one already or just exploring.

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