TEDx is a global program that is brought to life by thousands of individuals all over the world—which calls for some ground rules. Below, you’ll find the complete set of rules for organizing a TEDx event, from start to finish. These rules are non-negotiable and mandatory for all event organizers—because it’s both our job and yours to maintain the integrity of the TEDx vision.
TEDx talk format:
- Modeled after the TED format, TEDx events consist of a series of short, carefully prepared talks, demonstrations, and performances on a wide range of subjects.
- TEDx talks should be less than 18 minutes long and are typically delivered by a single presenter. Any video submitted outside of this format may not be published on the TEDx YouTube channel.
- No panels or audience Q&A are permitted.
- Breakouts and workshops are permitted at TEDx events, but must be held outside of stage sessions.
Spirit and purpose:
- Your event must maintain the spirit of TED events: multidisciplinary, focused on the power of ideas to change lives and ultimately, the world. TEDx events are not agenda or single-topic driven.
Multi-topical and multidisciplinary:
- TEDx event themes should be multidisciplinary and broad. TEDx events must feature a diversity of speakers from across several disciplines that address a variety of topics. These topics should not fall under a single subject.
- Up to 100 individuals may attend your event.
- Only individuals who have attended a qualifying TED conference in person may organize an event with more than 100 attendees. The primary license holder—the individual whose name is on the application form—must have attended a qualifying TED conference.
- TEDx events are not qualifying.
- Your event may not exceed one day in length, unless otherwise noted for your event type. Check the event type page for details on your event type.
- The official TEDx introduction video must be played at the beginning of your event so that the audience understands TEDx and the difference between TED and TEDx.
Broadcasting your event:
- You may organize a watch party in a separate venue for up to 100 people. Only events that are licensed to host more than 100 people may have more than 100 people at their watch parties.
- Watch parties may charge a fee of up to 50% of the event’s ticket cost.
- You may have a simulcast lounge in the same venue as your main event, but the total amount of attendees in one venue cannot exceed 100 people if your event is not licensed to host over 100 attendees.
- The audience of your watch party should not change places with the audience at your main event.
- TEDx talks and events cannot be broadcast on television or on-demand TV.
- TEDx events cannot be streamed or incorporated into any audio programming (radio, podcasts, etc), with the exception of a 30-second excerpt.
Cost of webcast:
- Your webcast must be free to viewers.
Speaker content guidelines:
- All talks should comply with TEDx Content Guidelines and Copyright Guidelines.
- If a talk does not follow the Content Guidelines or Copyright Guidelines, organizers have the discretion to withhold the talk. They must inform both TED staff and the speaker(s) that they have made this decision, along with their reasoning.
- If a talk does not follow the Content Guidelines or Copyright Guidelines and the organizer chooses to upload the talk, TEDx reserves the right to add an editorial flag describing how the talk falls outside the guidelines or to decline its publication.
No bad science:
- TED and TEDx are platforms for showcasing and explaining genuine advances in science that are backed by research.
- Scientific claims by speakers should be based on data that has survived scrutiny by experts in the field. Speakers should be transparent about the basis for any factual claims, and the scientific evidence for them.
- The consequences of pseudoscience can be especially severe, and speakers should not misuse scientific language to make unsubstantiated claims.
Talks are thoughtful, not divisive:
- No talks with an inflammatory political or religious agenda, nor polarizing “us vs them” language.
- We seek to build consensus and provide outside-the-box thinking, not to revisit familiar, unresolvable disputes on these topics.
Speaker fees and ineligible speakers:
- TEDx events may neither pay nor charge speakers.
- Sponsors of your event cannot be speakers and can never present from the stage.
- Organizers cannot be speakers at events to which they contribute.
No commercial agenda:
- Speakers cannot promote their own products, books, or businesses, or those of a company which employs them. Talks can only feature technology, product demos, or books that inform an idea presented in a talk.
- Every talk's content must be in compliance with copyright law.
- Speakers must inform you beforehand of any third-party material that will be used in their presentations and seek written permissions to copyrighted materials when applicable.
- TED cannot assist with this process nor act as a consultant on individual cases. Use these Copyright Guidelines to help you understand how to ensure the speaker clears everything with permission before they record their talk.
- TED expects the license holder to be the primary organizer of a TEDx event. If this is found to not be the case, TED reserves the right to revoke or not renew a license.
- TED allocates one location-based license series per applicant.
- You must live in the city for which you are applying for a license.
- Your TEDx event must happen in the city for which you received the license.
- TEDx events do not travel—a TEDx license is valid for one city and for one event.
- Your TEDx license is valid for one year from its date of approval, and you must produce your event within that year. You must re-apply for each subsequent event.
- TEDx licenses are non-transferable—you cannot transfer your TEDx license to another individual. If you want to relinquish your license to allow another organizer to have it, you'll need to notify us first. The new licensee will need to fill out their own application.
Releasing digital properties:
- If you decide not to renew your TEDx license after your TEDx event, or TED does not renew your license, you must transfer ownership of your TEDx domain name and other social properties to another TEDx licensee. TED cannot be held liable for expenses incurred during the purchase, transfer or re-sale of TEDx-related domain names or other.
Branding + Naming
- Because TEDx events exist to serve their communities, each event is named after its unique location, such as a city, neighborhood, or street.
- TEDx event names must comply with the guidelines laid out in Naming your event and are granted at the discretion of the TED team.
- You must always refer to your event with the full name your license was approved for in all copy, messaging, logos, etc. For example, if your licensed name is "TEDxWest Hampton School", you may not refer to your event as "TEDxWHS" or any other variation.
- You should always refer to your event as TEDxEvent Name, not simply “TEDx”.
- Your event name should be written as TEDxEvent Name with the "TED" capitalized, "x" in lowercase, and attached as all one word to your location-based name.
- Name abbreviations and variations are not allowed.
TED and TEDx brand positioning:
- Make clear in all communications that your event is a TEDx event—an independently organized TED-like event—and is not a TED event.
- You should never communicate “TED is coming to (my city)...”
- Make clear that you are a TEDxEvent Name organizer, and not an employee of TED.
- You should never use the TED logo in any communications or branding
- Ensure that all of your speakers abide by these guidelines as well.
TEDx events are independent
- Because TEDx events are stand-alone events, they may not be combined with or integrated into any conference, ceremony, event, or curriculum.
- TEDx events cannot be co-branded: you may not connect the TEDx logo/identity/name to the name of another organization, non-profit, corporation or other entity.
- You may not present your TEDx event as being organized by such entities or positioned as one of their offerings.
- Your TEDx logo should adhere to the TEDx logo style guidelines and should be used to represent your event at all times.
Sponsors + funding
Not for profit event:
- TEDx is a volunteer endeavor.
- You may not use your event to make money.
- You may not use your event to raise funds for charities or other organizations.
- You may allocate part of your event budget to travel expenses and conference fees in order to attend a qualifying TED event.
- You can charge an attendance fee for a TEDx event. Tickets can be no more than $100 USD and should go towards event and operating costs, unless otherwise noted for your event type. Check your event type for details.
Fundraising and crowdfunding:
- TEDx events cannot organize separate ticketed TEDx-branded fundraising events or use crowdfunding platforms -- such as IndieGoGo, Kickstarter, or other local platforms -- to raise money for any aspect of a TEDx event.
- You may not approach any sponsors that fall under our prohibited sponsor or prohibited industries lists.
- You may contact prospective sponsors not included on these lists without prior approval from TED.
- Sponsors must have no editorial control or influence over your program curation.
Sponsor logos on stage:
- Sponsor logos cannot be displayed on your TEDx stage. You can thank your sponsors in a slide, but the logos cannot remain on the stage for more than a few seconds—or be in any team photos.
Products and giveaways:
- You may give away or sell TEDx branded products during your event and during the period of your license; however, they must contain your unique event name, not the generic “TEDx” logo. All profits from these items must go towards supporting your event.
Media + Distribution
- All press and press releases must be approved by the TEDx program's media liaison: TEDxPR@ted.com.
- Press releases must contain the "About TED" and "About TEDx" text.
News media and your event:
- If you are interviewed for broadcast TV or radio, clearly state that your event is a TEDx event, and explain what that means (it is independently organized, etc.). Represent yourself as a participant in your specific TEDx event.
- TED staff should be the sole spokespeople for TED and the TEDx program as a whole. Route requests for interviews with TED staff to TEDxPR@TED.com. Please ask all journalists and/or bloggers be respectful of the difference between the TED and TEDx brands. The 'x' in 'TEDx' stands for "independently organized events." Let them know that any headline or text which implies "TED" is coming to [location] is misleading. Any inquiry regarding TED should be directed to: TEDx Media Liaison, TEDxPR@ted.com
- Members of the press are not allowed to film or videotape your TEDx talks. Once talks are edited, you can share your selections with the media.
Content beyond the stage:
- TEDx organizers should not make content that attempts to represent the TEDx program or official TEDx platform.
- You may create video content specific to your TEDx event. Any content - whether audio or video - including documentaries - must abide by the following:
- No use of the TED and/or plain TEDx logos without your unique location qualifier
- No remixing or re-editing of TEDx Talks
- No filming is permitted inside the theatre except the filming of your TEDx Talks; the only film crew that is allowed into the theater is the designated crew recording the TEDx Talks
- You can shoot b-roll in break areas, but not inside the theatre
- You may not create podcasts based on your TEDx series and content
- Photos of TEDx events must be released under a Creative Commons license ("Attribution - NonCommercial - NonDerivative"), so they can be freely shared and reposted.
Rights to distribute TEDx talks excerpts:
- You can use up to a 30-second excerpt from a TEDx talk for video or audio content, including documentaries, promo videos, TV segments, and podcasts.
- TEDx team members and TEDx speakers can use up to a 60-second excerpt from a TEDx Talk for non-commercial, social media use only. These clips must tag the official TEDx account on the respective platform. Find the list of our handles here.
Web + Social
- Do not purchase a domain name or create email addresses with the event name until your license has been approved. The URL of your website's homepage should be the name of your TEDx event, e.g. www.tedxtokyo.com. If a .com extension is not available you may choose an alternate.
Your site's homepage must include the following:
- A visible link, on your event's homepage, to the TEDx program
- Language that describes TEDx:
- What is TEDx?
- In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDx[name], where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDx[name] event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.
- Text in the footer that states "This independent TEDx event is operated under license from TED."
- Your site needs to include information about your live speakers, a description of your venue, and the date and location of your event.
- Your site must have an "About" page that includes the “About TED/About TEDx” language.
- Sponsor or partner logos or names may not appear on your site's homepage. Instead, create a separate page dedicated to your sponsors, and link to the page from your site's global navigation bar. Anywhere it appears, the sponsor's logo must be smaller than your TEDx event's logo.
Social media profiles:
- Social media properties, such as Twitter and Instagram, should have names that mirror the official, licensed name of your TEDx event.
- You must use your official TEDx event logo as your social media profile image (including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).
- If there is an "Info" tab, include the "About TED" and "About TEDx" copy.
- Rules regarding naming, sponsorship, and branding apply to all social media platforms.
Sponsors on event social media:
- You can mention a sponsor’s specific contribution to your event in your social media channels, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, by tagging their social media accounts, using their hashtag or including their organization name in an image caption.
- You or your sponsor can produce a video about the sponsor’s contribution to your event, to be shared on your or the sponsor’s social media channels. This must be produced with your approval of the way your collaboration is presented.
- You cannot share sponsor content that is unrelated to your TEDx event, e.g. a sponsor’s marketing campaign, product announcements, etc.
- You cannot post a sponsor logo (or logos) on its own, but logos may be included if visible in an event photo or other creative material.
- Never use your email list for any purpose other than communicating information specifically about your TEDx event.
Uploading and crediting photos:
- Photos from your TEDx event must be uploaded to Flickr. To acquire a free Flickr account for your TEDx event, fill out this Flickr NonProfit Account Request Form.
- When posting photographs anywhere (e.g. on Flickr), clearly credit the photographer in the metadata, captions and tags.
- Do not put watermarks, text or other labels onto your photos.
- Do not superimpose your event logo or your photographer’s information on the photos.
Editing TEDx Talks:
- Talks should not exceed 18 minutes. Any talk exceeding 18 minutes submitted is subject to review by the TEDx team and may not be published to the TEDx YouTube channel.
- Talks should not have any text or images superimposed on the talk content. This means no event logos, videographer logos, watermarks, subtitles, text or other labels.
- Do not use picture in picture or splits screens to show presentation slides used in the speaker’s talk. When presentation slides are shown, they should be shown in the full frame of the video.
Recording and sharing content:
- You must record all mainstage content (live talks, performances, etc.) on video
- All of your speakers, performers, and other stage presenters must sign our speaker release form, giving TED and others the right to edit and distribute video of their presentation.
- Please keep all speaker releases for your records, and send to TED only upon request.
- After your event, you must make your videos accessible to TED and the public by uploading them to the TED Media Uploader, which ultimately posts to the TEDx Youtube channel.
- Talks from Internal or Business TEDx events should not be uploaded to the TEDx YouTube channel or be distributed publicly.
TEDx Talks Video Sequence:
All TEDx videos must be edited in the following sequence:
- General event intro graphics (optional)
- Your TEDx event logo slide (optional)
- Sponsor slide (optional)
- Talk (Required)
- Sponsor slide (optional)
- Post-roll event graphics (optional)
- Pre-roll that includes general event intro graphics, the TEDx event logo and the sponsor slide together should not exceed 10 seconds. Any video with pre-roll exceeding 10 seconds submitted is subject to review by the TEDx team and may not be published to the TEDx YouTube channel.
Video post roll:
- Sponsor slides and event graphics at the end of the video are optional and should not exceed 10 seconds when used. Any video with post-roll exceeding 10 seconds submitted is subject to review by the TEDx team and may not be published to the TEDx YouTube channel.
Sponsor logos on videos:
- This slide must adhere to our official sponsorship slide template (versions for 4:3 and 16:9 provided), with the unique TEDx event logo in the upper left corner.
- The sponsor logos must appear smaller than your TEDx event logo. Sponsor logos may only be shown on a single slide at the beginning and end of each edited video. If you are unable to edit these image files, you may recreate the layout in your image/slide editor of choice.
- The sponsor slide should be a static slide, no commercials are allowed. Never feature rolling credits.
- You may not feature different sponsor logos on different videos.
TEDx YouTube channel:
- TEDx Talk videos should be uploaded to YouTube through the TED Media Uploader and shared from the TEDx YouTube channel through an embed.
- Talks cannot be uploaded to any other platforms or channels. Organizers may not share the video file with the speakers directly, instead, the link to their talk should be shared.
- Adhere to YouTube's Terms of Service and Community Guidelines with every video uploaded to the TEDxTalks YouTube channel.
- Before you upload any video, you must confirm that all the images, music and video clips used in your speakers' presentations are cleared for distribution on YouTube. Securing rights to any copyrighted materials is entirely the responsibility of the TEDx organizer.