TED Conversations

Craig Zimmer

History Teacher, St. Mary Catholic Secondary School

TEDCRED 500+

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Which is a better conference TED or TED global?

My employer has agreed to fund my attendance to a TED conference and has left it up to me to decide. Both have pros and cons. Has anyone been to both? Any recommendations?

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    May 31 2014: You will not find many people participating in TED conversations at this time, I think, who have attended both these conferences.

    One thing you might do to make your decision is to look at the speaker list. Further, the TED Conferences tend to have a theme, with the regular TED conference more general and the global one more specific.

    For example, look at the description using the link above to TED Conferences and read what the focus is for TED Global coming to Rio de Janiero. The subject is very focused this time on the Southern hemisphere and will likely draw attendees with great interest in that area or perhaps in economic development and urbanization more generally.

    I believe that the quality of the talks and level of energy of the venue is very much comparable at the two. But part of what people love about the conferences also are the opportunities to engage about ideas informally with other attendees, which is where the focus of interest of other attendees is relevant.

    Another issue for you, if you can choose either, is asking what that trip might be part of that is hard for you to do on your own. As you live in Canada, where TED 2015 will be, you might be able to add more to your life experience by going to TED Global and tacking on some nearby travel as well.

    As there are TED staff who have been to both conferences, you might get useful insight by using the Contact form links in the About Ted part of the site. I am sure someone can help you decide which is a better fit for your interests, which would be very dependent, I think, on your specific interests and goals.

    Another factor is that I believe they have more people interested in attending than they can accommodate at the venue. As you are a TEDx organizer, you know that you don't select your participants at random from among applicants but probably try to get an interesting mix of people. You might explore whether you would have a better chance at one than the other.
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    May 31 2014: They want to send me after the success of our TEDx events. They want to go bigger and you can't get a licence for events over 100 unless you attend one of the TED conferences. I know both conferences will be amazing to attend. The lineup for TED global looks amazing. I know this is a once in a lifetime event for me. The cost of both puts it out of my reach. When they said they were going to send me I felt as if I won the lottery. That is why I thought I would ask here before applying.
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    May 31 2014: how are they different from each other? What are your own interests, perhaps that will direct you?
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    May 31 2014: Thanks for your insight. It has given me a lot to think about. I would love to attend both if I could, it's like having to choose between two fantastic meals, but I can't . I guess apply for one and if full try for the other. Thanks again.
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      May 31 2014: It is amazing that your high school can afford to send you even to one!

      You have another option that is different but you might consider it as well. The conference fee for TED is, I believe $8500 per person. For TED Global it is $6000. An alternative is a TED Live membership, which would give you video access in real time to both conferences, I believe, for $1000.