Rob Davidson gets the TED treatement
I recently gave my first TEDx talk, on the topic of personal branding.
TEDx Talks are a local spin-off from the TED Talks run by the TED Organisation to provide a forum for sharing deas and innovation. TED began in 1984 as a conference on Technology, Entertainment and Design, and evolved from being an annual invitation-only event in California in the 1990s to becoming ‘a global community of people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world’.
Today, TED Talks cover most topics and the website, TED.com, has grown to become a free online collection of 1,600 TED Talks viewed an average of almost two million times daily.
TEDx events are coordinated under a free licence granted by TED to independent organisers who want to create a TED-like event in their own community. In the past six years, this initiative has exploded in popularity.
More than 6,000 TEDx events have been held and are continuing at the rate of about eight every day. From TEDxSydney (which packed out the Sydney Opera House) to TEDxKibera (held in a slum near Nairobi), audiences globally have been informed and inspired.
It struck me throughout my whole experience of being recruited and processed for the TEDx event just how many rules there were, and how rigorously they were applied – from strict guidelines on the use of the TEDx logo, to the mandatory round red rug that you stand on (and definitely do not step off!) while giving the talk.
Timing is also strictly applied: the talks can last no longer than 18 minutes. I was told that my talk would begin at 15.31, and that was exactly the time showing on my watch as I walked onto the stage.
The TEDx rules protect the TEDx brand and maintain the integrity of the vision. By issuing stringent guidelines for organisers, the organisation has built up a vast amount of its own brand equity over the years, to become maybe the biggest brand our industry has to offer. Only the conference brand of the World Economic Forum comes anywhere close.
Most impressive of all, though, was the dedication of the Mykolas Romeris University students who worked hard to bring the event to Vilnius, and to make it a success. Any events management lecturer would have been proud of their students working with a global brand to organise an amazing local event with international speakers. Maybe some of our UK events management students would like to have a go?