2013 TEDActive in La Quinta

The Technology, Entertainment, and Design conference, commonly known as TED, has set the bar when it comes to innovation and Southern California has the good fortune to host two wonderful TED conferences. The annual large event held in Long Beach, California is one of those conferences you look forward to each year, but can’t always afford. The TEDActive, TED’s parallel conference in Palm Springs, is smaller, less costly and noted for its creative design, which focuses on stimulating attendee engagement and simulcasting the larger event. I had the good fortune to be at the La Quinta resort this year when the festivities rolled out. 700 attendees gathered to watch a live simulcast of the main TED conference and were engaged in the content and activities. Every detail, from the room layouts to pre-event communication to the way meals were served, was designed to facilitate interaction and collaboration among attendees. Organizers even sent out a list of 13 rules prior to arriving that included guidelines for participation. Things such as “stay until the very end” and “leave your laptop in your room and your cell phone in your bag.” The physical layout included a variety of strategic options; theater seating, armchairs, beanbags, and even bed-style lounges with monitors mounted overhead. While the live simulcast of the TED conference was the focus of TEDActive, there were many other activities during breaks, activities such as kite-flying and flag-making. Play is encouraged. The attendees were thrilled and the ambience at La Quinta a perfect setting.

 

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