What I learnt from TEDx
…is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form
of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less).TED began in 1984
as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design
converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science
to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages.
Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas
in communities around the world. (TED.com)
TEDx, events (like TEDxGarneauWomen) are TED events in individual countries! The “x” stands for independently organized. Neither Lori or I had ever produced a TEDx event before, or had worked with such a large global brand, but the opportunity to work with such a large forward thinking company was truly a pleasure and learning experience. When you become a licensee for a TEDx event you receive all the documentation that you will need to host the event. If you’ve ever seen the TEDx documentation it’s exhaustive: reviews, checklists, documents, subdocuments and rules of TEDx. My initial thought was, “are they crazy?” Everything from the naming of your event to positioning of the speaker on stage. They have regulations for the photographer, the speaker, the costs of tickets and the lighting. Every “i” is dotted, every “t” is crossed. But this exhaustive and painfully thorough documentation is how they ensure that a TEDx talk in New York is the same tone as Mozambique. Here are my takeaways that are applicable to any business or organization because I believe TED’s workings are based on the basic principle your brand is everything.
Branding Branding Branding
The red letters, the font, it’s how we recognize that an event is a TEDx event and those 4 red letters have a recognition around the world. It’s why when you work with TED to organize a TEDx event, they’re extremely particular about the placement and the distinction between your individually organized event, and “TED” as a whole. TEDx licenses are selected by way of an application process. All approved to host a TEDx event need to be free of Corporate affiliation. This means that you are not allowed in any way shape or form are allowed to slant your feelings of a particular topic project projected into the event. In essence, a licensee holder must the same values as the TED organization and believe in the ideas of spreading ideas in the community. How does this relate to your business? Your business needs a set of values of what you and your believe in and what you’re trying to accomplish. This is VITAL for your brand. You then have solid base for the rest of your business. Whether it’s to hire like-minded employees or subcontractors, or make decisions on your businesses future based on your values. Actionable goal: Define your goals and mission statement. This value and mission statement with be always something to go back to when you’re unsure of your companies goal.
Document Document Document
TED has everything documented, and when I say “everything” I mean literally EVERYTHING. This is great from a organizers point of view because there’s no unwavering uncertainty or what to do next. We’re not re-inventing the wheel here, we wanted to create a TEDx event. From the font to use, to what every stage should look like, down to the sponsors slides (three seconds) TED has organized every last detail. What this gives the organizer is the ability to re-create a TEDx event that has the same feel around the world. Actionable goal: Write down all the steps that you do in a day and add to it. Every time you complete a task, write down every step. This may seem laborious and awful, but when you’re ready to expand and hire, you’ll be grateful that you have a document to hand some one on how to complete specific tasks, and a reference for yourself as well. If you want jobs to be completed in a manner that is consistent with your brand. Write it down. There are many other takeaways from my TEDx experience, many of which are about the amazing and supportive people living in our community, and that despite hosting an event in Edmonton on a night that it’s colder than Mars (for real) people will still come .