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Discuss the note to the TED community on the withdrawal of the TEDxWestHollywood license.

For discussion: http://blog.ted.com/2013/04/01/a-note-to-the-ted-community-on-the-withdrawal-of-the-tedxwesthollywood-license

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    Apr 5 2013: What do mean by "then again?" Are you kidding with an implication that spunky me might get other donations in two weeks, given to me without TED's involvement? Voices that speak for TED have an infuriating insensitivity. Unless you are thinking TED could give me the money it lost for me. Now there's an idea about which I have a lot of will. Maybe you'd help me find a way.
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      Apr 5 2013: it is not the problem that your are in trouble without ted support. the problem is that you got ted support. it is the normal state of affairs that you can't find enough support. it was an error that for a time you got. that error is now corrected. ted owes you an apology, not for cancelling the support, but rather, for mistakenly promising you support earlier. that much is true.
      • Apr 5 2013: It is a change of policy by TED.
      • Apr 5 2013: They had long enough to sort this out. Of course it is related to the debacle with the Sheldrake and Hancock talks.
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        Apr 5 2013: "ted owes you an apology, not for cancelling the support, but rather, for mistakenly promising you support earlier." That would be a much more honorable stance by TED, accompanied by reimbursing me my expenses and paying for delivering an event that was a year in the making as a function of them mistakenly endorsing it.
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      Apr 5 2013: Suzanne, many other event organizers have struggled and overcome obstacles that are as great as you face in terms of finding sponsors. Every organizer deals with the potential loss of sponsorship at the last minute or due to a wide range of foreseeable and unpredictable circumstances. The reason organizers receive credit for the success of their events is because they overcome the challenges you are now facing. Speakers too have to overcome challenges to do well, and some of those are linked with the strengths of the organizing team which needs to distribute the load to make it manageable and to work together constructively. I have invited speakers who have been hesitant to participate in my event because they had had past encounters with low quality organized events which had serious techical, organizational, sponsorship, or management problems. As an organizer, blaming external factors is insufficient, instead, you need to be smart and resourceful and prove your value to your speakers by solving the problems you face with your supporters and your team of volunteers.
      • Apr 5 2013: But TED says it's only pulled a license in one other case. Is that the one Suzanne should be learning from? Because it sounds like that's the only equivalent one to draw from.
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          Apr 5 2013: Yes, the pulling of the license has only happened in these two cases. However, committed sponsors from many other events have cancelled their support, and often it's the result of a poor relationship between the event organizer and those sponsors, sometimes it's the result of unclear understanding or miscommunication. Each sponsor who chose not to maintain their sponsorship for this event could easily have chosen to keep their sponsorship. It's the event organizer's responsibility to keep those relationships with sponsors in good order, and to be able to cope with changes. I realize this event organizer is in a tough spot, however she deserves some of the responsibility as well as credit for the state of her event. For her to blame TED for her sponsorship failures overlooks the fact that all sponsorships for TEDx events are found and earned and retained by the organizer, not by TED. It's important to address this because people may get the completely false idea that TED plays some kind of active role in helping or securing sponsorships for TEDx events. TED's branding for TEDx events as Independently organized events is a big help because it's a recognized format and brand, yes, but the sponsorship asks and commitments are entirely the responsibility of the volunteer organizer and the organizing team.
      • Apr 5 2013: I think you're comparing apple and oranges.

        "For her to blame TED for her sponsorship failures overlooks the fact that all sponsorships for TEDx events are found and earned and retained by the organizer, not by TED."

        And yet all I hear about from TED folks is brand this, brand that... you know like this:

        "TED's branding for TEDx events as Independently organized events is a big help because it's a recognized format and brand..."

        Precisely.

        And how bad does it make an organizer look to be dissed by TED two weeks before the event? That's an awful lot for an organizer to combat in maintaining those relationships.

        Of course TED's "brand" has taken quite a beating and its wounds are self-inflicted. TED will coast on its past innovativeness for a while, but it's all downhill from here.

        Sad.
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          Apr 6 2013: "For her to blame TED for her sponsorship failures overlooks the fact that all sponsorships for TEDx events are found and earned and retained by the organizer, not by TED." What are you talking about, Phil Klein? I think you might be trying to drive me crazy. My sponsors were sponsoring a TED event, not a Suzanne Taylor event, and, when TED cancelled my license, my sponsors left -- with great apologies cause they like me just fine, but, thanks to TED, I can't deliver what makes sponsorship worthwhile to them.

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