💡 3 Life Gems From TED 2022
Let’s shift some perspectives.
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Last month, I went to TED. 🎈
And it wasn’t one of the 100-person TEDx events you spend a day at. It was the once-a-year global flagship event with 2,000 attendees that Elon and Jack Dorsey pull up to speak at.
You see, it’d been on my bucket list for quite some time. So when I got an invite from a friend to help out at TED week as an usher, I had to say yes.
Tickets were hard to come by, so I thought helping out behind the scenes would be a fun adventure. In short, it was amazing. To give you a taste of the week, I wanted to touch on some gems I took away.
Pause the F1 documentary and let’s dive in. ☕️
Community First is the Future
You’ve read the books and seen the tweets. Community this, community that.
But if I’m being honest, the biggest thing that hit me in the face while walking around TED was how powerful of a community they’ve built.
From speakers to attendees to core staff:
Everyone is bought in on the mission.
And you can see it in the energy of the crowd. Everyone’s been at dinner where you walk away inspired by new ideas. TED is like that, but on steroids.
Every main stage talk and break-out session is focused on igniting dialogues you’d never have at your workplace. And that’s magical.
Some people I met at the event have been attending for over 15 years. A quick google search shows you TED’s been around since 1984.
To stay relevant and impact-focused for that long is inspiring. And it begs you to question the work that we do daily, where it will be 10, 20, 30 years from now? Will we have customers or attendees even more excited about the work we’re doing 15 years from now?
Take that home to think about.
Takeaway: Ask yourself, “Are my staff, partners and customers bought in on the mission I strive for? Will people be coming back inspired to do work together in 15 years’ time?”
The Magic Happens Behind-the-scenes
One of the most profound things that hit me during TED week was remembering how often we forget to notice the magic behind the scenes:
And often, that’s where real inspiration lies.
Behind-the-scenes planning is responsible for the day-of perfection.
And when you see that, it put things in perspective.
The vision casting
The speaker’s curation,
The welcome committee
The on-site support teams
The food, beverage, and wellness prep
The coat check, speaker training and security setup
All of those things play a critical role in making the day-of experience a home run. But as attendees, we only see the final product.
For example, when the CEO of TED, CEO Chris Anderson interviewed Elon Musk, most people will just watch the live recording of their conversation.
But what they won’t see is:
The first idea phases of having him
The planning to get him out on time
The interview prep Chris did to make it memorable
The slide show presentation, videocasting, AV, etc
The filming, the audience prep, the moderating
The security transport and exit
The list goes on…
What made for a fantastic 1 hour part of the TED week took teams of people 100s of hours to prepare for. The work behind the scenes goes unseen but makes for an incredible experience on the main day.
I think this analogy can be applied to so many ideas we chase.
As an aside, hearing Elon talk was one of my highlights. He addressed some timely topics for our generation and I highly recommend you go check out his interview if you haven’t already.
It’s All In The Details
TED knocked it out of the park with event details.
And I assume it passes the bar for everyone that attends.
From the moment you walk in, you can feel the effort that has been put into making each detail stand out – be it the bookstores, the coffee shops, the photo booth, or the stage setup.
And I think that part of the event serves as a great reminder that it’s:
Less about what you say and more about how you make people feel.
Be it our
The way we approach things has a lot of impact. Sure our end product is just as important. But, when you aim for excellence in the tiniest of the things, people notice.
Whether it’s a clever birthday gift to a client, a genuine thank you email to a mentor, or your ability to follow up with a staff member.
I think all the small details add up to play a bigger impact than we think.
Hope you liked the recap.
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