Expansion for TEDx Event

TOWNSVILLE’S version of an inspirational event aimed at spreading ideas is set to more than double its attendance numbers in its second year.

Last year’s TEDx Townsville was capped at 100 people but the quota was removed after an application process that involved licensee Tania Clarke attending a TED Global conference in Geneva last month.

TED started in the US in 1984 as a conference which brought together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment and Design.

The inaugural Townsville conference featured inspirational talks and performances from local speakers, with everyone who attended having to complete an application for the opportunity to buy a ticket. This year the one-day event will be held in September with 240 tickets. Ms Clarke said the Geneva event was a qualifying session to expand the licence but also gave plenty of inspiration on how to improve TEDx Townsville.

“We’re looking for the unheard community,” she said. “We’re looking to make celebrities, not invite celebrities. We’re doing everything completely differently this year.”

Ms Clarke said she had been excited to be chosen to attend TED Global.

“Thousands and thousands applied and they only selected 500 TEDx organisers to go,” she said.

Speaker applications for TEDx Townsville will open later this month, with a new venue to be announced in coming weeks.

Ms Clarke said regional TEDx events were still rare in Australia. “It’s still a lot of work for a regional area but I believe we have enough interest here,” she said. “We’re succession planning now.”

People wanting to attend the conference will still have to apply, in a bid to have a diverse audience.

Last year organisers received applications to attend from Mackay, Ingham, Ayr, Sydney and Perth residents as well as Townsvillians.

Ms Clarke said she learnt at TED Global that the results of a survey of last year’s attendees placed the Townsville event in the top 20 per cent of TEDx events in the world for audience satisfaction.

“We scored 86 per cent,” she said.

“They said if you got 86 per cent or above, that put you in the top 20 per cent of TEDx events in the world.”