Key steps for TEDx sponsorship
- Review the TEDx sponsorship rules.
- Think about local businesses that would be a good match for your event.
- Before starting a conversation with any sponsors, apply for approval using the sponsorship approval form.
- Once sponsors are approved, reach out with a letter and slide presentation to introduce yourself and TEDx. From here, you'll finalize the sponsorship and host the event.
TED's approach to sponsorship
To help cover the cost or organizing a TEDx event, many of you will be approaching sponsors. The challenge is translating TED and TEDx into language a corporation will understand. It is key that you understand TED's philosophy on sponsorship and, in the process of recruiting sponsors for your TEDx event, spend time educating them on what it means to be a TEDx sponsor. It is important to explain how working with TED/TEDx provides sponsors an opportunity to do something different.
Before you approach your sponsors, you have to submit them for approval to the TED team. This is a mandatory procedure. Follow guidelines as outlined in the rules.
- Philosophy: At TED we approach our sponsors as partners who are joining us on a journey and getting involved with a project. It is key when recruiting support from sponsors that you take the time to educate potential sponsors both about TED, TEDx and the TEDx approach to sponsorship.
- Collaborative approach: We call our sponsors partners. We encourage partners to engage in a collaborative relationship and to be part of something meaningful. We target partners who want to have an authentic dialogue with the TED/TEDx community. Finally, we encourage partners to be as creative as possible and dream up interesting and value-added ways to reach their/our/your audience.
- Building a vibrant partnership -- the TED approach: We begin with an active brainstorming session with our new partners, creating a custom framework. Typically, we include members from various portions of the partner organization in the conversation (including those in marketing, public affairs, technology, R&D, content production, leadership and communications) in order to ensure the delivery of a encompassing and holistic message that represents the full breadth and depth of the partner's skills and services.
- Visionary journey: TED and TEDx speakers tackle humanity's toughest questions, attempting to answer them with innovation, enterprise and enduring optimism. Explain to your sponsors/partners that your TEDx event is a place in your/their community that inspires people to change their lives, their futures and ultimately, their world.
If you have hosted a TEDx event before, look for stories in your community that demonstrate how people have been positively affected by your TEDx event, whose lives have been made better by access to a broad spectrum of ideas, and some who have been galvanized to create a better life for others as a result. The community these partners/sponsors are accessing is a remarkable breed -- open minded, curious, intelligent and hungry to learn.
What makes TEDx events different?
When we talk to corporations, we always talk about what a TEDTalk is -- because that is, in itself, what distinguishes the experience at TED. So what is a TED/TEDx talk -- and how do you describe it to potential partners? We see it as a talk (of 18 minutes or less) that conveys some of the best ideas on the planet with a passion.
Ronda Carnegie, Director of Global Partnerships at TED, talks about the role of partnerships within both TED and in the TEDx community in this video:
TEDxPuraVida: TEDxPuraVida partnered with La Nacion, a newspaper in Costa Rica, to created a dedicated TEDxPuraVida page on the site from where the event was livestreamed. La Nacion also interviewed both speakers and organizers of their event and featured these interactive articles on their site.
TEDxSydney: For their 2010 event, TEDxSydney hosted a forum for people that could not attend the live event. This gave attendees a unique opportunity to experience TEDxSydney and interact with speakers. The event was open to everyone and included a standalone program with -- post-speech interviews, poetry readings and live performances.
TEDxTaipei: Across from their main event venue, TEDxTaipei set up a pop-up laboratory that created a space for further conversations about the ideas that came from their event. The space included a "Future Display," a cafe, a simulcast lounge, a "Future Hotel" and a speakers exhibition space.
The creative approach to partnerships
Partners to TEDx events should:
- Be as creative as possible -- find artistic ways to present themselves
- Experiment with new ideas
- Explore spaces outside of the main stage -- e.g. a demo/ideas lab, a studio ...
- Engage the community in meaningful ways (think about TED initiatives, and how sponsors can support them in a local way)
- Demonstrate firsts (TEDx events are launch pads for new ideas)
- Bring their best to TEDx
- No traditional tradeshow booths
- No sponsors on the main stage
- No pitching on the main stage
- No selling of products
- No traditional signage (TEDx is not another branding exercise)