"Ideas worth spreading" -- with that tag line, a brand called TED, which delivers all its TED talks free online, has become one of the sought-after events, creating an unequivocal aspiration for attendees.Lara Stein, Licencing Director of TEDx and Lakshmi Prathury, curator of TED India and now founder of INK conferences (a TED partner event) along with TEDx India ambassadors Ram Sahasranam (Vice President, INK conferences) and Kiruba Shankar (TEDxChennai curator) convened the first TEDx workshop in India at IIT-Madras a day before the second TEDxChennai. Lara Stein grants TEDx licences globally to applicants after evaluating them on various counts. This workshop generated a lot of interest among prospective TEDx organizers including TEDx SRM, TEDxVIT, TEDx Coimbatore, and a possible TEDx at Singapore. Anusha Mahesh, curator of TEDx Coimbatore, who successfully completed TEDxChange event on 29 September also presented her experiences on successfully doing a good TEDx event. TEDxCoimbatore is slated for November 21, 2010.
TED extends to TEDx
Lara started her presentation with how TED conference was held first in 1984. Chris Anderson took over TED in 2002 and in 2006, TED made a remarkable decision – to provide all TED talks free online. Still TED continues to be an aspirational brand for all those who want to attend it. TED hosts two annual conferences – one at Long Beach, California and another at Oxford, England, called TED Global. The tickets cost a fortune and Lara explained that this kind of money was needed to conduct the event as well as upload videos free online. Lakshmi Prathury said the Rs. 1 lakh per ticket for TED India is a seed capital for the cause of TED.
TED then wanted to take the event to the next level. When several communities expressed interest in hosting a local TED event, the TED organizers created a new event called TEDx where x = independently organized TED event. University of Southern California was the first hosts of the TEDx event. Today, 1400 TEDx events have been held or expected to be held world over in 95 countries in 45 languages. India has a significant share of TEDx events. In India, just in 11 months, 81 licences have been issued, out of which 41 TEDx events have already been held. The remaining are waiting to be held soon.
Two videos were shown to the attendees - June Cohen on effective speakers, Ronda Carnegie on sponsorship. After June Cohen's video, an animated discussion followed on how to choose good speakers and how to cap their talk effectively at 18 minutes. Lakshmi Prathury said that organizers should not go in for only VIPs but should choose good speakers amongst the common people you know. For example, Pranav Mistry and Devdutt Patnaik became popular after their TED India talks. Anusha narrated her experience of choosing 13 students for a three-minute slot in TEDxChange Coimbatore. Each student turned out to be fantastic. Ram Sahasranam said the speakers should prepare effectively before delivering their talk and they usually love a stage rehearsal before the event. Laura stressed upon the importance of keeping the 18 minute rule. Kiruba explained how events like Petcha-Kutcha, IdeaCamp, and media resources (newspapers and magazines) can help bring good speakers.
Tweet: Tell something new; emotions; tell a story; be personal - tips for good #TED talk.
Choose partners, not sponsors
Ronda Carnegie's video showcased various innovative partnerships at TED events. For example, GE partnered TED event with a White Board for ideas. Laura answered questions from the audience on various rules that should be followed. She said that only TEDx logo should be on stage and no other logos. But the partner logos can be displayed on the web page. Kiruba said instead of asking for money, convert the interested people into partners. For example, Purple Stream, an energetic startup, was roped in as a TEDxChennai partner for live streaming. Laura also shed light on how innovatively partnerships could be stuck. Laura also insisted that partners could be made part of the conversations at TEDx instead of being just partners.
Tweet: TV Stations are #commercial>> but TED is not commercial [So TV channels are not ideal TEDx partners and live streaming should show the speech in full, said Laura, and not part of it.]
Tweet: Sponsor can never pitch into stage !!
Tweet: What you can and can't offer to Sponsors --http://www.ted.com/pages/view/id/378
Future of TEDx
TED is built on the ideas worth spreading. Ideas from diverse disciplines help us with decisions, said Lakshmi Prathury who has attended TED since 1984. She said quality education is free and that's what TED has been doing all along and will continue to do. Laura said TED is engaged in thinking how TED can be made useful to children.
Tweet: Exposing a person to a different discipline is important. People learn this way
INK -- Innovation and Knowledge plus Those Untold Stories
TED India organizers are bringing The INK conference this year. This is a TED partner event and all ideas from this conference will be moved to an INKubator. The audience show spontaneous reaction in funding some good ideas. INKubator will bring the innovator of ideas and these funding interests together.
—Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy, chief evangelist, YourStory reports from Chennai
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