Organising TEDxBelfast 2012 – part 1

I should really document the making of TEDxBelfast this time. Last year I didn’t and now rather wish I had. Mark Finlay, Gary Burnett and I organised last year’s event. And we learned a massive amount.

In any project there is at least one element, part, moment which is crucial to the project happening.

The critical element for a TEDx event actually happening is not the speakers – although they are critical to the success – the audience – again critical to the success. It is the sponsorship. Whether in kind or in cash, the sponsors are critical to the event happening. It cost more than £5,000 (cash) to produce the last TEDxBelfast (the TEDx cash sponsorship limit is around £6300). We had 100 tickets (the TEDx limit) to sell, we didn’t sell them all. Some people thought £30 was expensive – but more than half of that went on the catering. Had it not been for the in kind, the event would have made a loss. It didn’t make a profit. We were only a few ticket sales short of breaking even.

So while the three of us have met to discuss the long list of potential speakers, theme, venue, and a whole lot more, the crucial part of the project will be finding sponsors.

I think we have the first “in kind” sponsorship – the venue – almost agreed. I think we can rely on a small amount of cash and some ‘in kind’ from another source. So the hunt is on.

If you are interested in the limitations and expectations set by TEDx, you can see it all on their web site.

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