[Lessons Learned] TEDActive Organization

Random Observation/Comment #504: TEDactive is like an adult summer camp. I never even went to summer camp, but I’m sure it didn’t have an open bar.

see lemons tedactive

I’m going to state an obvious fact here: TEDactive was a well-oiled machine that thought of almost everything for your attending comfort and enjoyment. It goes without saying that this isn’t their first rodeo show, but sometimes it is yours and there’s tons to learn from attending one of these massive conferences.

For all the TEDx organizers, I think we can all learn from their execution:

  1. TEDConnect – incredible mini social network for all attendees helping with scheduling and connecting
  2. Facebook group and community with tips and tricks from the crowd
  3. Warm welcome from TEDactive alumni and comfort from other TEDactive first timers
  4. Facebook group early networking – it’s what you make of it
  5. Very early and succinct weekly communication (T-6 weeks)
  6. Method of signing up early to group activities and conference schedules
  7. TEDactive badges as great conversation starters and also awesome security passes
  8. Great preparation suggestions on packing from the conference and commented by group members
  9. Daily personalized emails when close to and during the conference for almost everything
  10. Very fast and easy registration with iPads and fast fuzzy name search
  11. Personalized welcomes during check in – the registration at the front digitally informs those in the back to bring the printed badges to you when you reach the next area (photos help here)
  12. Extremely well organized communication and events
  13. Gift bags of awesome with UPS shipping for gift bags
  14. Fun group networking events that are not explicitly called networking events
  15. Digital lost and found
  16. Extremely friendly staff all around who are very helpful and knowledgeable
  17. Lots of caffeine options
  18. Gift exchange between TEDx’ers
  19. Common spaces to just relax and connect with like minded people
  20. Freedom – we’re not forced to attend every session, but it’s clear where things are
  21. Categorization and sub themes – sessions are broken out into different subjects so you can attend
  22. Zero tech viewing in main space with open tech and whispers in middle space, and open wandering in far space
  23. Creative smaller breakout groups – TEDactive salon and creative zones are great when they’re also hosted and organized by attendees
  24. Social Media pushes through fun group activities
  25. Provides easy ways to help with the bigger cause
  26. While partnerships are there, they aren’t blatantly flaunted and it’s very tasteful
  27. Consistent branding with creative ways to show clear information – I loved the tower with 5 sides that had a calendar view of events for the week on each side
  28. Promoting comfort and independence – it was clear that it’s not a suit and tie event. We’re here to be ourselves and be comfortable. I also loved the meditation room.
  29. Amazing staff and excellent job with being very helpful
  30. A focus on stories and the attendees – yes, there are speeches, but I feel like the conference was less about the talks and more about the people coming together

While there were issues with technology, scheduling, or logistics, I think the whole group of volunteers were extremely flexible and adaptable to all the issues. As a TEDx’er putting together something for 200 people within a company for 3 hours, I can’t even imagine the collaboration and delegation required for 2,000 people over 7 days.

Props to you all and thank you so much for an incredible experience!

~See Lemons Learn from TEDactive