It has been a month since our annual TEDxOhioStateUniversity event: Hide or Seek! To celebrate our first monthiversary, we would love to share with you some backstage stories of our team on the day of the event. Be aware, this is exclusive information!

When did we start preparing for the event?

We started work on our 2018 TEDxOhioStateUniversity event immediately after Precipice wrapped up in 2017. Every April or May, the team gets together to brainstorm inspirational themes for the next event. It is not uncommon for some of the team members to continue working during summer to ensure that all of the ducks are in a row when the team comes back to campus in the fall. The beginning of the Fall semester, after the event theme is released, every committee is busy with event preparation. Speaker nomination, selection and coaching, marketing, stage and program design, as well as planning of other programming activities take place during fall and early spring. 
Then it comes to the day before the event. For a successful TEDx event, this day is very important to get everything in place for the upcoming big day. This year, our team occupied Mershon Auditorium from 8 am to 8 pm to set up the stage, store audience gifts, install engagement games, hand-fold programs (yes, this is our traditional team bonding activity!) and hold speaker rehearsal. By the end of the day, everybody was exhausted, but excited, and ready to host TEDxOhioStateUniversity 2018!

The Big Day

For our team, the day of February 24th started at 9 am. Since most set-up had been done the day before, we were there to help catering and get ready to welcome audience. Another TEDxOhioStateUniversity tradition is to take the team photo before everyone was running around for their assigned tasks, that is, early in the morning at 9:05 am this year! 

When the event started, many of our team members had their time to enjoy the amazing speakers from OSU community, but a lot of work was also being done behind the scenes to make sure that the event ran smoothly. Tasks ranged from leading a small group to pick up food, assisting late attendees, and cleaning and resetting-up the lobby. Of course, taking a rest in our Green Room was a luxury some managed throughout the day. Next to the team room was the speakers’ Green Room. The close relationship between speakers and our team is critical to the quality of the talk and smooth planning of the event.

As soon as our audience, entered the Auditorium, they were immediately immersed in a sea of people with sparkling ideas, accompanied by specially selected food, arts and game installations, and the most unexpected encounters. At this year’s event, we wanted to create an open space for our audience to really engage with one another and the speakers. Thus, the interactive game stations, such as Jenga and Connect 4, became a hotspot for audience interactions.

Post-event Audience Feedback

The day of February 24th was full of great memories for our team, although most of us were running around hectically trying to make the event a best experience for our audience. But how did our audience think of this event? Let us read some reviews from them:

“The event was a great, holistic experience! I appreciated the reminder emails and the discounted ticket price to purchase ahead of time. The addition of t-shirts and food was great this year. Speakers were awesome, as always, and fit well into the overall theme of the event.”

“I absolutely LOVED my experience at TEDxOhioStateUniversity; the speakers, activities, and provided food was amazing!”

If you want to relive your TEDxOhioStateUniversity experience, you can! Just check out our Facebook page to see all of the photos from this year's event!

But as the TEDxOhioStateUniversity team wraps up our journey with Hide or Seek, we are ready to take on next year’s event planning. We will definitely draw on the lessons learnt from this year to make TEDxOhioStateUniversity 2019 exceptional experience for our audience when our EIGHTH annual event rolls around! See you next year!