Behind the Scenes of TEDxYYC – An Interview with Production

Jun 15, 2016

TEDxYYC is an independently-organized event, run entirely by volunteers. The enthusiasm of the speakers, entertainers and hosts of the well-known event are reflected backstage by the many volunteers required to coordinate such a prestigious event. This blog series looks behind the scenes, and meets the friendly faces of Calgary’s largest TEDx event.

In this interview we speak with Dan Baker, Production Lead.


TEDxYYC: Hi Dan! This is your first year volunteering with TEDxYYC! That’s awesome!

Dan: I couldn’t agree more! I am so excited to on board with this event!

TEDxYYC: Why did you decide to volunteer?

Dan: So many reasons! Primarily though, I feel that TEDxYYC, both as a standalone event and as a part of the global community, represents more than just the observation of growth in society but also the ambition to foster and encourage future progress. I think that that is incredibly precious and being given an opportunity to be a part of that feels like a major achievement.

TEDxYYC: As the head of Production for TEDxYYC, what are your main responsibilities?

Dan: Basically, anything you see or hear on stage. It takes a large team of people considerably more talented than myself to make an event like this happen, lighting crews, audio crews, stagehands, the backstage production assistants… my purpose is to ensure they know How, When and Where to use their talents.

TEDxYYC: Explain the types of tasks you’re expecting to handle six months prior to the event, versus what your main tasks are the day of the event?

Dan: 6 months out is a very conceptual time for me. Lots of thoughts bouncing around in my brain as to what the stage should look like, how to keep the focus on our fabulous speakers while still making it aesthetically appealing, a scouring of past TEDx events for the best ideas and design features. Another thing I’m doing 6 months out is deciding how and where I’ll be best utilized, day of. My primary focus though, on the day of the event, will be making sure everyone who is involved on a technical level has what they need to execute a flawless, informative event.

TEDxYYC: Of all the past TEDxYYC talks, which is your favourite?

Dan: Hmmm… I’ve just started binge watching them, check back in a week or two?

TEDxYYC: What are you looking forward to the most about TEDxYYC 2016?

Dan: Probably the speakers. I think what I’m looking forward to most, and this may be wholly selfish is seeing this, thing, that myself and the other dozen or so committee members have been working on all year, take shape and come to life.

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