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DOCKSIDE JOURNAL ENTRY / November 13, 2018

Inside the TEDxSeattle Attendee Experience

TEDxSeattle returns to McCaw Hall on November 17, with a “Tall Order” of ideas worth sharing.  

A slate of compelling local speakers is sure to spark thoughtful discussions and connect people in meaningful ways. That’s why we were thrilled to continue our partnership with TEDxSeattle to help expand the reach and effectiveness of this event.

We hope we’ll see you there.

Not sure what to expect? SHW Senior Director of Client Programs Lorie Thomas and Marketing Coordinator Christina Leonidas were first-timers in 2017. Lorie worked with the volunteer planning group, and Christina attended as an audience member. As this year’s “Tall Order” event gets closer, these two SHW team members provide a glimpse into their first-time experiences.

At the End of the Day, It’s All About Creating a Community

As a first-time attendee, it’s striking to see how others are willing to dig in and create a deeper connection.

In the morning when the two hosts urged the audience to exchange thoughts on speaker topics, there was some hesitation. But by the afternoon, the audience was eager to share thoughts with their neighbors, creating a community of personal connections.

Why the change? TEDxSeattle is about ideas. Each presenter is coached by the speaker team to form their talk around their unique idea, and lead with personal experience. Over the course of the day, speaker after speaker revealed personal things about themselves. That openness is contagious.

The volunteers behind the scenes are a big part of creating that community, as well. Like all TEDx events, TEDxSeattle is run entirely by volunteers. The passion from the event’s volunteer organizers truly shows in the end product.

Don’t Be Afraid to Embrace the Theme

TEDxSeattle provides a full day of experiences: the talks, discussion forums, and sponsor activities. Encouraging interaction around the theme throughout the day is how TEDxSeattle builds community.  In 2017, attendees talked about “Changing Places.” Attendees were encouraged to explore the topic – and could even record their own TED talk at a pop-up booth during breaks.

That theme also served as a good ice-breaker for those who came solo. Name tags included answers to questions asked by hosts, to prompt discussions over coffee in the lobby or during meal breaks. We can’t wait to see how this year’s theme, “Tall Order,” comes to life on November 17.  

The TEDxSeattle Experience

TEDxSeattle is more than a bunch of talks. It’s a whole experience.

Sure, watching individual TEDxSeattle talks online is a great way to get a taste of what the event is about and learn something new, but attending the event live is a much different—and more exciting—experience. Each new conversation or talk throughout the day gives insight into an aspect of the Seattle community, but those ideas also come together to form a bigger picture.

Leading up to the event, the planning team continually evaluates the speaker order to create a dynamic ebb and flow to the content, so that each talk leads seamlessly into another. Because of that careful planning, the event was like a great book: it told a cohesive story with each piece, and left us hungry for more when it ended.

Visit the TEDxSeattle website to learn more about the event, view information on the speakers, or buy tickets to this year’s event.