Getting the most out of your TEDx Salem experience

By Jay Shenai, September 24, 2015

We’re only two weeks away from TEDx Salem 2015! If you still haven’t bought your tickets, don’t worry, there’s still time to get them here, but hurry!

As for everyone else already coming down to the Salem Convention Center on October 3, and also for those unsure what to expect, check out these 10 tips (re-posted) on how to get the most out of your TED experience.


10. Take notes! Bring a small note­book or tap out a few quick notes on your smart­phone. You’re going to be exposed to so many ideas and insights in one day, and you def­i­nitely want to remem­ber those moments that made you smile, made you think or just jumped out at you. Take a moment, either dur­ing the event or at the end of the day, to jot down the insights you gained.

9. But be present in the moment. We love that you want to Tweet and Insta­gram through­out TEDxSalem, and we encour­age you to do so. But don’t get too wrapped up in your phone that you miss on a poignant moment dur­ing a con­ver­sa­tion or a TED talk!

8. And be open-minded. Some of the ideas worth shar­ing may be a lit­tle shock­ing. Some might be a lit­tle con­tro­ver­sial, or entirely new to you. Don’t write off a TED talk if you find your­self bristling at it, or if you don’t under­stand it. Have an open mind and con­sider new ideas!

7. First in the door, last out the build­ing. Get there early. You can find your seat, chat up the per­son next to you, get com­fort­able with the the­ater and see what other good­ies we’ll be offer­ing through­out the day (last year, par­tic­i­pants had the oppor­tu­nity to pur­chase books writ­ten by our speak­ers, or get some awe­some TEDxSalem swag). Stay the whole day and leave late. Lis­ten to every sin­gle talk, do the break­out ses­sions, ask a mil­lion ques­tions. By the end of the day, you won’t want to leave!

6. Bring some­thing to share. It can be some­thing tan­gi­ble like your busi­ness card, or some­thing that’s not, like a thought-provoking ques­tion or even just a great book you’ve read recently.

5. Do your research! We love a good sur­prise, and we hope some of the top­ics and thoughts our speak­ers will share with you will be delight­fully sur­pris­ing. But there’s some­thing to be said for get­ting excited about your favorite speaker ahead of time! Take a moment to famil­iar­ize your­self with every­one who will be talk­ing this year. Revisit last year’s speak­ers to get in the spirit of TED! Or visit the offi­cial TED blog for more engag­ing TED talks and choose a few favorites.

4. Net­work, net­work, net­work! TEDxSalem is not a pas­sive or iso­lated expe­ri­ence. You are in the beau­ti­ful Elsi­nore The­ater with hun­dreds of peo­ple just as excited about new ideas as you are! Talk to every­one. Intro­duce your­self. Don’t ask what they do for a liv­ing; ask what they’re pas­sion­ate about. Make friends, get con­tacts, dis­cuss the TED talks with them. Force your­self a lit­tle out of your com­fort zone and chat up a stranger.

3. Our vol­un­teers are a resource! They are the heart, soul and back­bone of TEDxSalem, and they are there to make your expe­ri­ence extra­or­di­nary. If you need any­thing at all, don’t hes­i­tate to ask them!

2. Be sure to par­tic­i­pate in the break­out ses­sions. The high­light of TEDxSalem is our speak­ers, but there’s so much more that goes on through­out the day. If you really want to make the most of your time, don’t shy away from sit­ting in on the break­out ses­sions and shar­ing your own ideas. It’s all about mak­ing you think.

1. Immerse your­self in the spirit of TED! TED is a non­profit orga­ni­za­tion devoted to spread­ing ideas, usu­ally in the form of short, pow­er­ful talks. It began in 1984 as a con­fer­ence where tech­nol­ogy, enter­tain­ment and design con­verged (hence the name) and now cov­ers almost all top­ics, includ­ing sci­ence, busi­ness and global issues. Keep all of this in mind as you approach Oct. 3. The day is devoted to shar­ing ideas!


TEDxSalem is an all-day event. Tickets are $40 for stu­dents and $50 for the gen­eral pub­lic and include talks, enter­tain­ment, par­tic­i­pa­tion in recess breaks, hands-on activ­i­ties between ses­sions, plus food through­out the day (break­fast, coffee/tea/water, snacks and lunch), a gift bag and a few other good­ies. Find your tick­ets here.