TED and TEDx talks have always sparked my interest. I’ve always wanted to attend a TED event.Little did I know that the first TEDx event I’d attend would be the one I helped organize. My first TEDx event was as a team member and as an attendee-through-the-wings.
I distinctly remember the first time I got to know about anything close to TEDx in college. Turns out there was. An initiative, sort of. It was in the first semester of my freshman year. I was so thrilled. I took it upon myself to find out the people who were a part of this initiative. Turns out, at that time, there were only 2 people in the entire college who were. I asked them about what’s in store for the future and they said, “Maybe a TEDx event soon enough.”
During the start of the second semester, I realized that the team of two had grown to a team consisting of our seniors and they were indeed planning to organize the first TEDx event
our college. Exciting stuff. Soon enough, a formidable team of around 42 people was formed. Though everyone in the team had a different perspective about how the event should be, the one thing that everyone wanted was a successful event.
The entire concept of TEDx is built around ideas. And everyone in the team was doing that; contributing ideas. It’s an amazing feeling, being a part of something bigger than yourself.
The theme for our event was, ‘The Mirror of Erised’. And if you are a Harry Potter fan, you might have been as excited as I was when I first heard it.
The best part about joining any club in your college is that you get to try new things. When the team was getting divided into
, I joined the Xperience team, which was responsible for bringing the entire TEDx like experience to the audience, just because I thought it sounded awesome. Being a part of the Xperience team helped me learn a valuable skill, digital design. It also helped me discover my long lost creative side.
The backbone of any TEDx event
the speakers. The people whose ideas you want to put forward in the world.
Luckily, I got to be a part of the curation team. Let me tell you a little secret, the best part of the entire organizing process was spending time with our speakers even though it meant rehearsing their talks with them day and night, over on Hangouts or in person. I still remember how every night before sleeping we would have an hour long hangout sessions with any of our speakers, and help them with their delivery, prose, etc.What left me astonished every time is that even though we were much younger than all of our speakers, they took all of our opinions into consideration without making us feel small.
Each speaker was so different from the others. Each one had their own life story, their own ideas, that had to be presented to our audience in the best possible narrative in under 18 minutes.
The night before the main show was the highlight of the event organizing days. Everything had to be in its place before 9 am on the day of the event. We had a nice team of energetic youngsters so sleep was out of the question. We went on putting up the props, the standee, the lights, everything. The stage was set. All of us were tired by 5 am. So we decided to have a quick breakfast. I think I had the strongest coffee of my life that morning since I had to be wide awake for the entire course of the event.
There’s no better feeling than seeing something you’ve worked so hard for come to life. Watching the speakers deliver the talks gave me goosebumps.
So that’s about it. All of that was my experience organizing one of the best events I’ve ever been a part of. While we did make some blunders, we took home with us a load of experience and some amazing memories. And somewhere within me, I know we gave the attendees something worthwhile to ponder upon.
I promise this year’s event will be better than last time’s. I hope to see you there. Till then, ciao!
– Samridhi Maheshwari