All posts tagged 2019

TEDxWellington 2019 Review | A Chance Which Paid Off

My eighth TEDx event as licensee.

Am still reeling from the TEDache which comes from running a TEDx event, although, still smiling.

Everything we tried this year worked, even though we had no cash sponsor and had to cut the livestream option plus be very creative with the budget, all whilst going from a 1,000 speaker venue to 200 (as currently St James Theatre is undergoing earthquake restrengthening).

There’s a full write-up of the whole event on tedxwellington.com but here are the choice cuts relating to the experience (we’re still waiting on the final videos of the talks to be edited):

  • treasure hunts: with the first clue being handed out by our MC’s, this interaction provided an opportunity to gamify building connections between delegates. There were five clues that enabled the team participating to journey through the space, experiencing ‘chance’ encounters with TEDxWellington team members and the installations around the venue;
  • photobooth: creating digital takeaways to share through social channels;
  • head / neck / shoulders massage: because sometimes you need help in getting those ideas into your brain plus to shake off the emotions a little from the challenging talks of the previous session;
  • speaker stations: allocated spots for delegates to both find and connect with the speakers to dive deeper into their shared idea;
  • toilet interactions (yes that’s right): on the back of the cubicle doors we had a matrix of the speakers with an opportunity to mark how the talk made them feel.
  • silent disco: again utilising the colours related to the wristbands so that participants were grooving to tunes by ‘chance’.

Check out all the event photos on our Flickr stream.

The lessons learned from previous years were hard learned but oh so precious:

  • keep the leadership team small
  • outline (via ‘job descriptions’) the specific expectations for each role plus interview for these key positions
  • highlight this is not volunteering but actioneering (professionalism and quality is key).

Again, none of the above would’ve been possible without a dedicated group of humans (volunteers, leadership team, speakers alike plus our partners), devouting their free time / products for nothing (or a reduced rate) but feeding on the hope generator that is TEDx:

Related post: TEDxWellington 2019 Details Announced | Chance Is A Fine Thing

People Are Awesome | The Hope Generator That Is TEDx

The innate goodness of humans.

Last night was the first of five TEDxWellington speaker coaching sessions with these people:

Being surrounded by impressive souls (full bios) was a much needed reminder of the innate brilliance of humans doing superb things (from an initiative to track human rights violations to how to build homes so that the materials can be reused, a programme to teach mindfulness to children to new technology to help diagnose breast health, from ethically built sensors to monitor the health of your home to an ongoing project which cleans our underwater environment, from teaching communities to cook on a budget to an evolving body positive programme for females, from championing the use of menstrual cups for system change to rethinking our criminal justice system).

To feel that warmness of hope and genuine awe seems rare these days in the global gloom which blasts through the news and our other media channels.

Devoting time to remind oneself that the world is not what the media tells you is a must for our mental health. So thank you TEDx for continuing to offer opportunities which lightens the soul.

Deadline for ticket registration ends soon.

ADDENDUM 21.8.19 Here’s a short video from the day of me talking about the above, full reflections here:

TEDxWellington 2019 Details Announced | Chance Is A Fine Thing

Back in the TEDx groove!

Ticket registrations are open for this years TEDxWellington event.

As the theme launch video illustrates above, our theme has informed our ticketing approach this year as every one of our previous events have sold out and we receive many communications from folks who missed out. Add to that, TEDxWellington is going from a 1,000 person event down to a 200 as our 2017 venue is still closed for earthquake restrengthening, so, a ‘lottery’ system for the tickets is the fairest approach to take.

We will also extend the theme into the interactions on the day.

This year, 75% of our speaker applicants were female which is reflected in the final line-up of impressive talent:

So if you’re Wellington-based or in the area around the 11th August, please do take a chance and register for a ticket, plus, if you can assist in disseminating the offer through your networks that would really be ace also!

C2 Montréal 2019 | Unpacking An Experience

C2 Montréal (C2) is a multi-award winning and highly produced event which impresses the brain and delights the senses.

From the stimulating interactions to the superbly built rooms / spaces, it positions itself as the most forward-thinking business event in the world although it’s more like a theme-park for corporate folks.

It’s long been on my list to attend and with five others from New Zealand, we got to mix with 7,000+ others for the three days (day one, day two, day three C2 write-ups):

Quick Appreciation

HUGE thanks to C2 for giving a discount ticket price to attract a kiwi delegation which were coming farther than most. Truly helped with making the opportunity accessible.

Also, deep gratitude to the High Commission of Canada in New Zealand who were fantastic supporting partners by:

Thank you Francis.

Highlights

The Braindate layer facilitates connections between attendees via a simple app interface. Here you can post ideas and areas of work you’re interested in for others to find and then request a 30mins meeting with you. A specific area in the event was created just for this (top right in map below):

Everyone I met was a delight and mostly interested in some public speaking advice.

Lanyards wasn’t just a name-tag but a tool for many things: they light up when a session you have chosen is starting, they can be touched together with someone you met to exchange details (which is then stored in a digital contacts list easy to download afterwards) plus it’s a digital wallet to enable you to pay for things throughout the conference.

The variety of food / refreshments was impressive, being served by either food trucks or offerings built directly into the arena itself. Scanning around it looks like many were local suppliers as well which is a great way to build community.

The couple of interactive sessions I got to experience were superb. From the blindfolded ‘in the dark’ session which highlighted deliciously the challenge of team interaction and communication, through to the ‘breaking down the divide’ visual treat which grouped souls into lighted areas for conversations by answering certain questions on a screen (a more digital version of an exercise I sometimes do in my work with clients, see below):

The showcase interviews with Will.I.Am and Spike Lee were fantastic. Both brought with them a different bank of vocabulary and experience plus both interviewers were great. Other delights was the interview with CEO of Acer plus learning about how Canada are leading the world in legal cannabis policies.

The overall calibre of conversations and general feel of the conference was delightful. It felt relaxed, friendly and ignited curiosity at every turn.

Feedback

The obvious challenge with events at this scale is access. Attendees could only choose one workshop and lab experience each day (which was booked via the app a week before). Some who were a little late in deciding simply couldn’t get into anything from the conversations I had. And even though there were opportunities to line up to get into sessions you hadn’t booked, from my observations very few got in. More experiences was missed rather than gained from this however I totally appreciate the challenge of serving 7,000+ attendees.

The content of the talks and masterclasses which I did see was ok. The audience for events like this are ‘elite’ and therefore the pitch and tone should reflect in terms of sharing tangible ideas, deliverable insights, applicable models, learned failings etc. or maybe I missed the ones which did.

Was surprised attendees had to pay for all food & drinks via the lanyard (free coffee was supplied by a sponsor I think). Again in conversations with others there was a shared expectation it would be included in the ticket price.

And finally, the Klik app wasn’t integrated neatly with the Braindates (as it opened up in a browser rather than the app itself). This wouldn’t have been such an issue although the wifi there was a little erratic at times. Also, there were no ways to connect to the speakers through the app unlike the delegates. The app was a superb greener solution to a printed agenda although it meant a whole lot of the delegates were either walking or sat with their head down in the tablet glow.

Epilogue

C2 Montréal is a superb experience for those looking to explore a cacophony of offerings in one event. Visually it’s stunning and was definitely highly crafted.

The trip also created an opportunity to connect the Kiwi delegation into the HATCH community at an evening dinner. Lots of conversations and impressive connections followed. A perfect illustration of what the overall trip was all about: creating the space and trusting good humans to add value to each other.

TEDxWellington 2019 Announced | Here We Go Again

Still learning and hungry to get better.

Last night we announced this years TEDxWellington event along with opening the call for speakers and performers.

This will be my eighth as licensee (2x TEDxWellingtonWomen, 2x TEDxTeAro, 3x TEDxWellington) and have mentored other events in the city (Women and Youth plus University) plus other new licensees in other parts of the country, although I’m still learning so much and find it incredibly challenging.

After taking a break last year it’s good to be thinking with a TEDx lens again and serving my fundamental why: to give people voice (not just those on the stage but also my fellow volunteers who work their bits off to bring the event to life and allowing them space to grow into action).

Please do share this opportunity to those across the region who might have an “idea worth spreading”, with thanks.