Chapman University hosts an annual TEDx event, and this year, TEDxChapmanU will be on Thursday, August 20, 2015 from 1 – 5:30 p.m. in the Chapman auditorium. If you know nothing about TED talks, I encourage you to check out a few of my favorites about a guerilla gardener, creativity in schools, and injustice.

And this one …

Over the past three years, I have received countless questions about the design, planning, and execution of a TEDx event. Here are 10 things you may or may not (but should!) know.

1. Maintain the original spirit and purpose of TED

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks. TED is focused on a multidisciplinary approach to spread ideas and change attitudes around the world.

2. 18 minutes, that’s it

No talk is supposed to be over 18 minutes. Now, you might think that 18 minutes isn’t a lot of time, but statistics show that the average attention span of most adults is about 5 minutes. So 18 minutes is pushing it.

3. TED runs the show

Everything (and I mean everything) must be approved by the TED organization. You really shouldn’t plan anything or make a move without their approval. Everything from logos to social media, PR to speakers needs to be approved. No really, they all need to be approved.

4. One night day only

TEDx events cannot be more than one day. We chose to host TEDxChapmanU during a half day.

5. Pre-recorded videos must be shown

A minimum of two official, pre-recorded TED Talks must be shown at events which are less than half a day in length.

6. Tickets prices are locked in

You are not allowed to seek tickets to raise money. TED wants to keep these kinds of things in check. Tickets must always be under $100.

7. Speakers are not allowed to be paid

All speakers must donate their time to share their ideas.

8. Community-driven names

TEDx events are community-driven and named after the local area it serves. All TEDx event names follow the same convention: a name beginning with TEDx, followed by a location-based descriptor such as the name of a city, neighborhood, or in our case, our University … thus TEDxChapmanU!

9. You can totally have sponsors

… but there is a list of unacceptable sponsors. Under no conditions will TED allow companies or organizations who deal in weapons/ammunition, tobacco/cigarettes, or adult-oriented products/services to sponsor.

10. The TEDx experience connects ideas to conversations

The TEDx experience brings big ideas to your local community to spark connection and deep conversation. A vibrant mixture of online and live content – both TED Talks videos and in-person talks – captures the essence of a TEDx event.

There you have it. Ten things that you may or may not have already known about TED or TEDxChapmanU.


Article updated: 8/12/2015