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Lessons learned at TEDGlobal 2014: South!

by Mark French
Lessons learned at TEDGlobal

Earlier this month, I attended TEDGlobal 2014: South! in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and came away with observations and thoughts about TED and its relevance for your association. If you find it of interest, I would welcome the chance to start a conversation about applying TED principals to your next event.

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TEDGlobal brought together over 1,000 attendees from around the world. The event took place in a special, purpose-built conference center on Copacabana Beach!

It certainly engaged me and was without a doubt one of the best planned and produced events I’ve ever attended.

As you know, Leading Authorities works with associations to create events and communications platforms that help associations tell their stories, build their brands, and engage members. We do this by helping associations design, program, and produce great events. TED provides a great framework for really doing it well.

Here’s what I noticed about TEDGlobal:

  • The pre-event communications was terrific, preparing me for my TED experience and ensuring I received the maximum return for my time at the conference.
  • No long lines at registration. In fact, I felt like a rock star being greeted by TED reps at the hotel entrance and being whisked through a highly-efficient registration process.
  • Lots of interesting things to see from a special exhibit by Procter & Gamble on clean water ...

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... to an interactive display by Citi about the future of human progress.

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  • A culture of people introducing themselves to each other. No such thing as a stranger at TED!
  • Good, interesting looking food. And in small enough portions to easily consume.

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  • Lots of opportunities to interact with speakers.
  • Comfortable seating in the general sessions ... better than any other event I’ve attended!
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  • A visual feast at general sessions that kept the pace of the events moving fast!
  • Entertainment at every general session, which created exciting, common experiences for every attendee.
  • An event with a well developed theme broken into chapters that delivered a coherent story for attendees.
  • Quality opportunities for networking.
  • Apps that helped people meaningfully connect with each other.
  • Well-rehearsed, compelling energetic speeches and interviews.
See a list of TED speakers represented by Leading Authorities.

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Leading Authorities is involved in almost 2,000 events each year. We get out to events like TED, SXSW, and other best-of-class conferences. Our goal is to identify the "best of the best" in meetings and share these experiences with our clients with an eye for designing and producing truly GREAT events!


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If you are interested in taking your event to the next level, we would welcome a conversation. We are prepared to conduct a briefing for you on "The Meeting of the Future," and to provide insights on today’s best meeting ideas and formats. Drop me a note and we would be pleased to follow up.

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