The venue you select for your event depends on whom you want to attend. Will you invite a group of work colleagues? Friends? Kids? (Or a mix of all three?) Or are you planning an event for a larger, local audience?
Smaller TEDx events
- Think of your smaller event as a great dinner party with a well-chosen, diverse guest list
- Provide name tags for all attendees
- Use a high-quality screen for viewing TEDTalks and speaker slides
- Darken the room and try to block out background noise
- Think carefully about seating: make sure everyone can see the screen and speaker area
Larger TEDx events
- Select an intimate venue. Think about theaters or auditoriums, rather than conference halls. Look for a venue that's wide rather than deep, with the shortest possible distance from audience members to the stage. This creates a connection between the speaker and the audience, and among the audience members. TED is particularly fond of theaters with "continental style" seating -- deeply spaced rows, no center aisle, and a generous rake, giving everyone good sight lines.
- Avoid ballrooms. The flat orientation makes it difficult to see, and the high ceilings and bright lights make it hard to create atmosphere.
- Look for venues with built-in infrastructure. (University, corporate and municipal auditoriums tend to work best.) The venue should have:
- Ability to project and view video
- Location for food and beverage setup
- Conveniently located bathrooms
- Exhibit space
- Party space for sponsor lunches and other events
- Find out whether your venue is union-operated. This will impact your budget.
For large events, consider designating areas outside the main auditorium for art, science exhibits, hands-on experiences and overflow seating.
- TEDx[place name] Lab: An area for attendees to try out new software, gadgets, technologies and products
- Bloggers' Alley: Consider setting up a dedicated bloggers' area outside the auditorium, with desks and power outlets (laptops inside the auditorium can be a distraction)
- Simulcast Lounge: If you anticipate a large crowd, set up viewing monitors outside the main auditorium
Types of venues:
- Home: A small gathering for a group of friends at a house, library or other intimate location (3-30 people, 2-3 hours)
- Workplace: A mid-size gathering, perhaps a lunch-time or evening event, at your office (30+ people, 2-3 hours)
- School auditorium: A mid-size, evening gathering (30-50 people, 2-3 hours)
- University lecture hall: A large event or a smaller seminar (10-100+ people, a half- or full-day event)
- Private or municipal theater: A large event (100+ people, a half- or full-day conference)