Guide 101: Organising a TEDx Event in College

Kiran Bedi, Bhuvan Bam, Shashi Tharoor and Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, all these ultra-successful personalities in their respective professional domains share one thing in common. Guess what? No, it isn’t popularity! But, a simple one they are all TEDx speakers. Yes! and their TEDx talks on Youtube boasts views in millions. TED is short for Technology Entertainment and Design conferences. Usually, the duration varies from 3 – 18 minutes (you don’t want the audience to sleep or boo you away from the stage)

Difference between TED and TEDx

Most of us often take TED and TEDx as the same but there exists a definite difference between the two. The former is organised on a global scale by the TED organisation themselves whereas the latter, is privately organised on a local level with an aim to provide the audience with TEDx like experience and outlook.

So, it isn’t wrong to say that ‘x’ factor in a TEDx event are the organisers. If you are keen on organising a TEDx event, begin with applying for a license on TED.com 

The process usually takes about four to six months and once you are successful in getting the license and looking up for ways to organise the event, we have chalked out few major pointers which will guide you while organising the event and making sure its a successful one!

Theme

The first and foremost thing is to come up with a theme for your TEDx event. Remember how back in good old school days, there used to be a theme for fancy dress competition? Likewise, you have to pick a theme, for instance, the day on which your event is slated is International Games Day then you can set the theme revolving around various sports and select the panel as well as create your marketing strategy around the same.

Venue

The venue has to be selected very carefully as it will directly influence the audience’s experience. So, the venue needs to be easily accessible, should comply with required accommodation capacity and most importantly, should be within the budget plan. The venue should be equipped with proper facilities like projectors, audio system, restrooms and enough space to showcase sponsors material, etc. The chosen place will set the tone for your event and don’t go for a place which is easy to get lost in. Many of the organisers suggest that in order to cut down on venue cost, one should try to land a venue sponsor and save some bucks which can be further utilised towards other stuff.

Finance

Well as most of us are familiar with the saying, “Nothing in this world comes for free” same goes for organising an event like TEDx Talk. You have to rake in the moolah and it isn’t exactly a cake walk. You can begin with a blueprint regarding the audience expenditure estimates and after having an idea about the expenses start chasing sponsors. Yes! sponsors, unless you are Bill Gates or your last name, is Ambani. Make a list of potential sponsors who might be interested in associating with the event and are ready to dig into their pockets and hand you over a six-figure cheque. Establish contact with the sponsors, stay formal (stay away from slangs, fake accents and don’t be a grammar assassin), be armed with essential numbers and right arguments to convince them why it is profitable for them to be a sponsor.

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Also, check out this blog to learn more ways to land sponsorships.

Speakers

No, speakers here don’t refer to black ugly audio boxes but the people or personalities who are going to share their ideas, research and experiences with the audience. Try to have a diverse range of speakers and make sure their ideas, materials or research perfectly aligns with the theme of the event. Make sure to run a thorough background check on speakers to keep the frauds away. Begin by sending invites to potential speakers and try to bring in some known faces as speakers so that the event is easy to promote and looks more authentic. In case, you receive requests from people to be a speaker, set up a selection committee and then finalise the candidates who can fit in. Most of the organisers keep speakers in loop and review their speech material to ensure that the talks which are to be delivered don’t compromise with the standards set for the event.

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Marketing

No event these days is complete without marketing. In order to promote and spread the word about your TEDx event, you need to outline your target audience and once this step is taken care of start chalking out creative ways and strategy through which you can promote the event. If you are short on budget, then make social media your best friend. In a college scenario, you can get volunteers from marketing and management course to handle this crucial task. Also, you can promote the event through the social media reach of the decided speakers.

A majority of  TEDx organisers while sharing their experience of organising the event considered marketing as one of the most crucial elements in guaranteeing the success of the event. Many of them suggested influence marketing and strong media partnerships as the possible way of effectively reaching out to the target audience. Another side of marketing which is often ignored by debutant organisers is the selling of tickets. Most of them go for the conventional route of selling them i.e., offline way, instead of partnering with online platforms like The College Fever which gives you the opportunity to sell tickets online months before the event and that too, to a large audience.

Videography

Last but not the least, don’t forget to videotape the entire event. Who doesn’t want a million views on their TEDx Talk? And please, do it using the professional equipment because nobody these days is interested in watching videos in peanut quality, especially, in the era where mobile phones are equipped with powerful 16 and 20MP cameras.

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If you are thinking of organising your very first TEDx event, try to start small and be in the audience of as many TEDx events as you can and closely observe the intricacies of organising a TEDx event.

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P.S. Don’t forget to enjoy and learn from the universe of TEDx.