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What an intense time last week! Even though the 2011 TED simulcast was only one day, sitting in the Nelson-Atkins Museum auditorium March 2nd while absorbing and live tweeting presentations was, without question, the week’s all-consuming event.  I have to thank the folks at VML who sponsored the TEDxKC event and provided a designated seat, ample Wi-Fi, and a nearby power outlet throughout the TED Day 2 simulcast:

  • Organizers Mike Lundgren and Frank Jurden
  • Blair Vance, Assistant Account Manager at VML
  • John Mulvhill (Communications Director) and Ryan Carrothers

Speaking of Blair, here is her pre-simulcast overview on the TEDxKC event:

As a starter in mentally processing the TED simulcast experience, here are some insights about how the simulcast played out vs. watching individual TED videos online:

  • Although the live TED presentations were taking place half a continent away, there was clearly a buzz even at the simulcast, particularly as the doors opened and the crowd began to flow into the Nelson-Atkins Museum.
  • Watching individual TED videos online doesn’t reveal the subtle interplay among presentations within a specific session. It’s not as if presenters are in a position to point out themes, however, since they stick tightly to their pre-determined remarks. This makes seeing presentations in sequence, along with what happens in between, an important and different experience than watching isolated videos.
  • The 18 minute format creates very tight, passionate presentations. The focused big thinking and passion of the TED speakers feels genuine, however, in nearly all cases.
  • Despite the cool vibe and great online videos, the live simulcast made it clear: TED presentations aren’t all seamless and perfect. The Bubbli coming-out demonstration was marred by an obvious lack of forethought on how to choreograph it and by comical technical challenges. At one point, its inventor said the technology (which revolves around the camera on your smart phone) would work much better if everyone shut off their phones and if they were using the next generation iPad being introduced that day.
  • It’s interesting to see what people do and don’t applaud during a simulcast when it’s clear the target of the applause will never hear it. One simulcast incident which probably didn’t happen at the in-person TED event was a mass exodus during the performance of “Cripple and the Starfish” by Antony and the Johnsons at the end of the day. Antony nearly cleared the auditorium before the song (which you must hear to truly appreciate) was complete.

The amount of TED content was overwhelming in the one-day simulcast at TEDxKC. I can’t imagine (both mentally and financially)experiencing it onsite across multiple days. As with the 2010 TEDxKC in-person event though, the simulcast is triggering several Brainzooming blog posts this week:

  • Tuesday and Thursday posts will recap specific TED talks during the simulcast
  • Friday’s post will highlight take-aways from the the TED simulcast

Hang on! – Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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