Succession planning

After your TEDx event is over, who will organize your event next year? This is something you’ll want to think about early on in the planning process.

Planning for future events

When you’re thinking about future TEDx events for your community, here are three important questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do I have the bandwidth, capacity, and/or desire to organize next year’s event? The year after?
  2. Is there someone on my team (e.g., co-organizer or understudy) who would be best fit to replace my role as lead organizer?
  3. How can I support certain team members in learning more about how to organize an event, for when I decide to pass my leadership on?

Here are some ways to effectively plan for future TEDx events:

Choose a few people who would be best qualified to take over

Identify future successors and invest time in them to learn the ins and outs of organizing an event. These individuals should be your most dedicated, hard-working, and passionate TEDx team members.

Give them “practice” leadership opportunities

Encourage leadership growth by increasing their roles in decision-making power as time goes by. Also give them specific opportunities to practice their leadership – for example, let them manage a salon, or lead a TEDx team meeting.

Bring them to a TED Conference

A great way to actively support future successors is to help them attend TED or TEDActive Conference. Giving them the experience will get them excited and invigorated about the idea of organizing a TEDx event one day. Oftentimes, TEDx organizing teams will do this by agreeing to use leftover or designated funds given by sponsors for their ticket.

Next section: Venues + Spaces

Leadership transitions work best when there is planned succession by a new leader who has already had substantial experience with your event. Know what the long term interests are for your volunteers, and help guide them to greater leadership roles
Phil Klein, TEDxRanier

TEDx Tips
  • Know how to recognize when you’re burning out. You don’t want to push yourself past your capacity in the middle of planning an event. It will only do your TEDx community a disservice.
  • Manage transition gracefully. It can be hard to pass on leadership when your successor might do things differently than you. Let them step into their own style of leadership, and help guide them along the way.
  • Accept that all things run their course. If you don’t have confidence in the next generation for leadership, or generally feel like your TEDx event is ready for a temporary (or permanent) closure, don’t pressure yourself to keep it going.