What role do you perform for TEDxWinnipeg?
I chair the Guest Selection and Guest Experience committee. First and foremost, we create the application process, collect all data, and select (with a blind application process) those who get a coveted seat to the event. On top of that, we deal with every touch point for event guests when they are not sitting watching the talks. So my committee creates ice breaker games, and networking / communication activities (that happen in the lobby) for all breaks between speakers. Basically we handle everything that our guests experience when they don’t have their bum in a seat!
How long have you been involved, and in what capacity?
2 years ago I sat on the guest selection committee as a committee member and since then I have moved up to chairing the committee. In that period, we revamped the application process and went from 100 guests being selected to a total of 230 this year! It is also the first year that there is a small cost to attend ($25) and so we’ve had to include a payment process as part of the application as well. We are excited to grow but will need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to lobby activities, snack and lunch distribution, and even application screening (with a much higher number of applicants). It is also the first year that we’ve included a FIRST 50 early bird engagement plan whereby we automatically accepted the first 50 applicants in an effort to have them be ambassadors and help promote our not-for-profit event to their networks (since now that they are in, they are no longer competing for a spot against those they share the application link with.)
What do you do when you’re not TEDx-ing?
I work in Business Development for Genuwine Cellars – the worlds leading custom wine cellar builder.
What made you interested in getting involved with TEDx?
My family has always been a fan of TED. I started watching TED videos online back in high school and have always loved the concept that absolutely anyone can have an idea worth spreading. Whenever I tell someone about the event or online videos I tell them… it’s a way to learn from thought leaders in fields you never even thought you were interested in – but I promise you’ll remain engaged because they have to convey an idea (likely a revolutionary one) within less than 18 minutes! I honestly get excited just explaining it. I am always pushing myself to grow as a person and what better way than exploring a vast array of topics in such an accessible (and attention-maintaining) way.
Which TED (or TEDx) talk do you think everyone should watch?
TED Talks Education – Angela Lee Duckworth’s “The key to success? Grit.” – Doing well in school and in life is dependent on more than simply IQ.
TEDxNewYork – Will Stephen’s “How to sound smart in your TEDx Talk” – It will make you laugh, all the while offering some true although humorous tips on giving a strong presentation.
What’s the best thing about TEDxWinnipeg?
The energy and inspiration you gain from the event! — Because we accept guests based solely on their application – with personal information removed – we ensure that the event hosts a truly diverse audience. Having kept the cost extremely low for a full-day event that includes snacks, coffee, lunch, and an amazing array of speakers, we ensure that the event is accessible for everyone. Having done so allows the room to be filled not just with businesspeople, but with a truly vast array of people. Why does this matter? Because ANYONE can have an idea worth spreading. It is truly a fantastic day to mingle with people you may not usually have a chance to interact with, and to open your mind to new ideas presented in a concise framework. If you are a fan of TED Talks, this is truly an event you don’t want to miss.
What idea do you want to spread?
Never stop learning. The Milk ads had it right when they popularised the phrase: “Always Grow, Grow All Ways”. It can mean something different to everyone but I believe this simple idea will lead to a happier, more fulfilling life to all those who practice it daily.