Attendees of all stripes flock to it. Brands can’t wait to get a piece of it. And the world can’t seem to get enough of it. “It,” of course, is TED, the fast-growing event platform that’s shaking up the typical conference format and showing event marketers the value of co-creating content with consumers. EM takes you inside the phenomenon that just won’t stop.
Welcome to an event format that turns the whole “meeting” concept on its head. One that limits speakers to 18 minutes instead of the usual 45. One that engages attendees in curated brand experiences rather than an exhibit booth. A meeting where dinner party conversation replaces the traditional panel discussion and attendees are encouraged to step up and teach the industry experts a thing or two. An event that has spawned spinoffs and grassroots initiatives where questions find answers, thoughts become action and social networking drives change.
Welcome to TED, the Technology, Entertainment and Design extravaganza where ideas reign and conversation abounds. Former president Bill Clinton has been a speaker, as has Bill Gates and Sir Richard Branson. Attendees generally include academics, entertainers, research and development people, venture capitalists, lawyers, architects, doctors and even the occasional starlet or two. Its $7,500 ticket is the hottest thing in Long Beach, where the event takes place to sell-out crowds each year. A second annual flagship conference, TEDGlobal in Edinburgh, takes place during the summer and boasts a similar cachet. People come for the inspiration that results from sitting in the same room with artists, philosophers and scientists, or for their own personal reasons. Maybe even just to be able to say they were there.
EM was there in Harlem, Palm Springs and at Yale University in New Haven, CT to bring you an insider’s peek. Click the link to download the whole story.