The TED Diaries: Day 2

Vancouver’s TED organizers are keeping BCBusiness readers up to date on the last TED Conference in California before it migrates north to Vancouver in 2014 and 2015. First up,The Canadian Tourism Commission’s SVP Marketing and Communications Greg Klassendishes on his second day.

DAY 2 (click here for Day 1)

Day Two at TED is really Day One. The first day was the warm-up act for the audiences with presentations from TED University and from the TED Fellows organizations. This is the training ground for the big ideas on the big TED stage. Bono gave an excellent talk today, but a 30-something artist called Phil Hansen stole the show.

He’s discovered that the nerve damage that made him too shaky to draw straight lines—apparently this is important when you’re an artist—eventually made him embrace his limitations and has made him even more creative. The parallels with business is that sometimes if you embrace scarcity—people, capital, financial resources, etc—it can make you even more creative and ultimately more successful. TED puts an awful lot of emphasis on how to communicate ideas by honing those presentation skills through levels of practice to TED audiences, such as a TEDx event or on Day One as the warm-up act for Big TED. This is one of the reasons TED has garnered more than one billion views on YouTube.

There is parallel here with Canada and Vancouver’s opportunity as TED Host Country and TED Host City in the coming years. Holding conventions in Canada is an incredibly competitive business, since almost every country in the world vies to host corporate, association or sporting events, congresses and conferences. Perhaps through TED we can not only associate our brand with the world’s coolest and most successful purveyor of ideas, but also become experts at helping corporations and associations put on their best meetings. With our TED partnership, we have access to something that our competitors will not: TED’s expertise in communicating ideas, and we can impart that to prospective future convention customers for Canada.

We’ve all endured endless boring, lingering speakers elsewhere. We can help our conference organizers learn the TED way for a more successful event. Through our partnership, Canada and Vancouver will hold a behind-the-scenes event for some of the world’s leading corporations at TED in 2014. It will be a chance to learn from the experts, share our wisdom as to why Canada is the world’s best place to hold a conference and remind them why people need to meet at all. Without TED, getting these important people would be a whole lot harder. Our world-class convention facilities may soon be filled with our business partners of the future and Canada will be a place where ideas of the future will flow.