|A little help from our friends...
During a leadership retreat a few years back, there were a dozen or so of us sitting in a circle with a very large bowl of fruit in the centre. We were asked to describe what we saw from where we were sitting. As we moved around the room, it quickly became clear that each of us had a different vantage point to describing the contents of the bowl. Some views overlapped but I could not see the jack fruit or the lychees while my view included the papaya, grapes, a sliver of apple and the top of a banana. Together we identified all of the bowl's contents. Had this experience been a solo adventure, there would have most certainly been missing pieces.
That 'takeaway' has stayed with me ever since. In the age of finding any answer in a few key strokes, we quickly learn that there are multiple answers for our questions. It is my feeling that we are in the most collaborative time of our history. Knowledge is certainly power but so often we don't have the 'entire picture'. The impact of the internet and the collaborative means of the content have most certainly not yet reached their potential which is very exciting.
As many of you know, I love anything related to the TED conferences. A few days ago the organization gave away the first $1 million dollar TED prize. In order to win, the recipient must be working on an idea to 'spark' world change. The money is then invested into their wish for the world. Sugata Mitra, an educational researcher, has been fascinated with how children learn and teach themselves. Here is the link to what contains a kernel of inspiration to all of us who work on educational streams for conferences. It is a most interesting collaborative project to learn about how we learn. www.ted.com/prize
Collaboration and working together to bring about the answers is the foundation of our world of meetings. The work that we do everyday engages many stakeholders to come together for an advantageous result. Ms. Brown, my kindergarten teacher would be proud to know that I still enjoy playing well with others.
Heads in Beds, written by Jacob Tomsky is an interesting read. I just finished the book and appreciated an honest account of what it is like on his side of the front desk. Would love to hear your thoughts! email@example.com
101 Tips: Rules for Delegates
To take from my most favourite conference organizer's rule book, here are the TED conference attendee rules. It is also worth noting that you must apply to attend one of their conferences and the basic attendance fee is $7500. Delegates know why they attend and are committed to learn and possibly change the world. How inspiring is that?! We can only hope that our conferences change the lives of our delegates who attend.
1. Arrive Early
We encourage you to arrive on Monday, the day before the first speaker sessions begin. Arriving early means you'll be able to join activities and events such as TEDYou. And on Monday night, we hope you'll join us for get-to-know-you cocktails and the Welcome Party.
2. Stay until the very end
We recommend you plan to stay through the final two sessions and farewell party on Friday—until at least 3 p.m. TEDActive is an unusual conference in that our attendees stay for its entirety—every session and special event, right up through the Farewell Lunch on closing day.
3. Book your hotel room
We've secured special rates at our conference home. Be sure to reserve well in advance, and use the TEDActive link when booking your room. (Note: Rooms sell out quickly; we cannot guarantee availability.)
4. Clear your calendar
No, really. To help you get the most out of TEDActive, we ask that you lend us your brain. Ignore your email. Switch off your phone. Don't take meetings. TEDActive is an immersive experience, and you won't want to miss a moment.
5. Don't go home
We strongly urge you to book a room at our conference home, even if you live within commuting distance. Save yourself the stress and envelop yourself in our cocoon for the duration.
6. Talk to strangers
TEDActive is teeming with amazing people. As a result, chance encounters at TEDActive often lead to new ideas, projects, perspectives, companies … They're as essential to the experience as the stage program itself.
7. Eat. Drink. Sleep.
TEDActive runs full throttle for four and a half days. You'll enjoy it more if you pace yourself: drink plenty of water, grab light healthy snacks at the social spaces, go easy on alcohol, and get as much sleep as is humanly possible. The TEDActive staff depends on multivitamins, energy bars, water and, O.K., plenty of coffee. We recommend it.
8. Don't miss a thing
Watch every session. Go to every event. The best TEDActive moments happen when you least expect them. It's invariably the unknown speakers who wow the crowd. Watching every session helps you avoid disappointment, and ensures you take in each key moment as it happens. Social events, too, are there for a reason. So resist the temptation to sneak back to your room, and give yourself a complete TEDActive experience.
9. Leave your laptop in your room. And your cell phone in your bag
The simulcast merits your full attention, and laptops and cell phones are a big distraction—not just for you, but for everyone around you. To preserve an immersive experience, we don't allow cell phone use in the Grand Ballroom. Blogging is permitted from the back row, and is welcomed in the social spaces. Laptop use is O.K. most places in Palm Springs.
10. Devour the program guide
Our schedule is so crammed, we don't have time for long speaker introductions. Read it online when it debuts, and arrive ready to dive deeper.
11. Experience the social spaces
Check out the amazing social spaces we've put together in Palm Springs—laptop-friendly simulcast lounges with exhibits, attractions, and cafés.
12. Let us help you
Our staff will do their best to answer any questions and solve any problems, from logistics queries to laptop breakdowns. Pre-conference, contact us via email. On site, visit our information desk near registration or ask anyone wearing a staff or TED Host badge.
13. Blog with us. Or ... not
If you plan to blog, take photos, or Twitter, use these tags: #TED, #TED2013, #TEDActive. But do not feel at all obligated to live-blog or lifecast from TEDActive. TEDActive is best experienced in the moment (see Item 1)