TEDxYYC Behind the Scenes: Volunteer Power

Did you know that TEDxYYC is entirely powered by the creative energy of volunteers? Our committee members, partners, presenters, performers, and event day volunteers join forces to bring this event to life. Without the passion, energy, and drive of everyone involved, TEDxYYC could never be what it is today – Calgary’s largest and most well-attended independently organized TED event.

Over the last eight years, TEDxYYC has welcomed an impressive list of the world’s brightest minds, representing all that is new and inspiring in the fields of Technology, Entertainment and Design. We are thrilled to bring the very best to our stage for our ninth year, and next year’s 10th anniversary event is already on the horizon. The commitment and ability of our volunteers to anticipate the good that lies ahead is what drives the success of TEDxYYC.

TEDxYYC Volunteer power

An event like TEDxYYC only comes together with the support of many talented people, with diverse backgrounds and skills. Our committee is structured to both keep everyone working together as a cohesive team, and also to allow people to step forward and use their talents where they will have the most impact. This means we even have two co-chairs, both working hard to use their separate strengths to bring the team and event to new levels.

The combined talents of our team and the grassroots approach to collaboration are what make TEDxYYC so impactful! We know the diversity of talents and experience of our team are a huge asset, giving us the ability to create a memorable event year after year.

What does the “x” in TEDxYYC mean?

In the spirit of furthering TED’s goal of creating ‘ideas worth spreading,’ the self-organized TEDx program is gaining momentum on a global level. Coordinated by individuals, communities, and organizations alike, TEDx events are aimed at bringing like-minded people together to share in a TED-like experience, where brilliant live speakers, inspiring videos, and an intimate environment combine in a way that sparks deep discussion and connection among a small group.

This means our TEDxYYC event is self-organized. It’s conceived and planned by the very people involved in executing the entire event. Inspired by the TED mission, and guided by TED values, every TEDxYYC committee member finds a way to make their mark. This energy is what makes these events so special. We believe this spark is fueled by the energy of its volunteers bringing their best to the event every year.

Learn more about the TEDxYYC 2018 team!

The TEDxYYC volunteer committee is made up of two co-chairs, board members, and teams that take care of every area necessary to pull off preparation and execution of event day. This means we have teams that specialize in design, communications, speaker logistics, partnerships, curators and speaker coaches, finance, AIR selection committee, front of house, ticketing, web design, motion design, event day, production, student breakfast, and yes, even the volunteers need coordinating! It’s an exhaustive list, but allows us to ensure we manage every area carefully.

How does volunteering for TEDxYYC work?

Volunteers are brought on board long before event day. Some teams have been working for 6-8 months or more to ensure everything comes together! There are many phases to planning an event of this size, all the way from bringing together enough volunteers to make it work to developing the concept and theme. Teams are developed and work begins on planning in each area – everything from budget and finances to potential speakers and content.

The entire group, and smaller teams, communicate via a private Slack channel, and everyone is kept in the loop on how plans are progressing. The committee meets as a group occasionally in the early days, then more regularly as event day approaches. The individual teams also meet from time to time to plan and connect.

Once the final few weeks before event day arrive, every team is busy ensuring every piece of the plan is carried out and final touches are confirmed. Weekly meetings are booked to ensure that everyone has a chance to connect with other teams and clarify any final details. Energy runs high and excitement builds as everything comes together. No matter what team you’re on, the event day countdown brings everyone together. We’ll set up the day before, getting every aspect of the event ready to bring the best experience possible to our attendees.

Event day this year is Friday, June 22, and by the time the doors open at noon, we’ll have the most exciting collaboration of talent ready for your enjoyment! Our emcee, speaker roster, and performance guests are simply stellar, and all other elements have been thoughtfully pulled together to complete your day.

Can I join the TEDxYYC volunteer committee?

If you’d love to be a part of the energy of TEDxYYC, we’ve got great news for you! Next year’s event is our 10th anniversary and we’ve already started talking about how we can bring even more impact to the TEDxYYC stage. We have many ways you can lend a hand! Watch our website and our social media channels for our next volunteer callout.

Tickets are still available for this year’s event, but we recommend not waiting – you don’t want to be disappointed and the day is almost here!

We’ll see you this Friday, June 22 at TEDxYYC, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome you to this amazing event!