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Why do Ted conferences cost so much to attend?

From browsing the web page i have found that the Ted conferences are highly priced in the thousands. I am a young person from Ireland and this has thrown of any ideas I may of had of attending one that is close. Can someone explain why it is so much or have I got it wrong? Plus can anybody justify that cost if that is what it actually is? If people are expected to pay in the thousands of pounds to attend these conferences and only those that can afford it can attend, this has changed my view on Ted. Can anybody explain where that money goes to or what it is for?

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    Apr 18 2013: Originally I felt similarly and jumped to the assumption that maybe all these remarkably inspiring individuals on here must clearly be well off to be able to afford such huge costs and therefor only a small section of the bourgeoisie were actively aware of TED....

    HOWEVER, this view was a very brief one and over the last couple of weeks I've realised that I couldn't have been more wrong. The diversity of people from all walks of life is inspiring and my love for this site has grown increasingly. The two main conferences may be unrealistically priced, but as pointed out below, they are all streamed online for free and there are tons of events which aren't so expensive!
    I think one reason behind the high prices may be linked to things such as not having advertising (which is the normal way of funding sites) yet still having the need to pay staff etc
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    Apr 18 2013: There are two annual very pricey conferences, but there are thousands of TEDx events all over the globe each year that you can attend at much more modest prices, not to mention listening to all the talks online for free!

    If you want to attend one of the TEDx events, which have the same format as the TED conferences but with a theme chosen by the organizers, go to the link above for TEDx Events and type in your city.

    I attended a TEDx near me last year for which I did not need to pay anything, a livestreamed TEDxChange event.. In June I will attend one that costs $90 for a day of speakers and activities.

    I don't know a thing about TED budget allocations, but I would guess that the revenues from the two events are most of what pays for the fact that so many thousands of us, millions of registered members plus so many more people, get to see/hear TED talks all year online.
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    Apr 19 2013: So that you can ask this question for free.