Welcome to September! We are in the final countdown until TEDxSalem 2014 and we could not be more excited!
We’ve told you all about our wonderful speaker lineup; we’ve given you some food for thought over the summer; we’ve even told you all your need-to-know information for the day of the event. But as you’re getting ready for this year’s conference, here’s some tips on how to really maximize your experience and make sure you get the most out of the day!
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 Sept. 13. The day is devoted to sharing ideas!