Before the TEDx event here at EMU, I have never heard of a TED Talk. I had no clue what it was and who did the talking! I was asked to participate at the TEDx event at EMU. The “x” means independently organized which is different from the international TED conferences held all over the world.
The slogan for TED is “ideas worth spreading”. At the main international conferences, thought leaders in different careers and fields of study share ideas and insight into their various lives and fields. The same is true for the independently organized TED conferences all over the world. TEDx here at EMU featured faculty, students and alumni who are considered innovative and effective thought leaders at EMU and their perspective communities. These people are from all walks of life with different ideas that were communicated through talks, presentations, singing, playing instruments and storytelling. Here is an example. Take a look at the video!
Once the curator Gregg Constanzo decided that he wanted to host a TEDx event at EMU, he took to the most popular forms of social media to publicize, inform, announce speakers and give people a chance to see the conference live! Constanzo and his team effectively intertwined all of the social media sites they chose to employ to get out one comprehensive message after another.
Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and a website all played parts to getting people to register for the conference, to present and watch the live feed as the conference went on. On each of the social media pages, the verbiage was the same in that it was promoting ONE MESSAGE! Using these sites allowed TEDxEMU team to share photos, reach out to the speakers and give minute by minute updates as the conference was happening live.
The reason I say social media was used effectively is because I barely saw any flyers and signs around the campus of EMU of the event coming. It was really driven by social media. Folks who wanted to come had to register online by a specific date. The event was really popular because there was a waiting list a mile long.
One thing I loved about the status updates, tweets, etc is that it really embodied the slogan, “ideas worth sharing”. On any given day, you can look at the TEDxEMU facebook or twitter page and receive a tip or idea on the most random things from how to wash out a stain on a shirt, to how to be an effective leader in the workplace.
To be effective online, I learned that consistency and engagement is key. TedxEMU did both and packed out the house at Sponberg Theatre on EMU’s campus. It did not stop after the event; the staff is still sharing ideas and communicating with their audience. Way to humanize a brand! I’m glad I got to be a part of it!
-Orlando P. Bailey