Program Our new home in Long Beach
The move to Long Beach
After more than 20 happy, but increasingly crowded years in Monterey, the TED Conference moves to Long Beach for 2009. We scoured the U.S. for a new location that would give us some breathing room, while retaining all the qualities that made Monterey so special. To our surprise and delight, we found the place we're looking for in Long Beach, California. The arts and cultural center there is absolutely perfect for our needs; after months of planning and dreaming, we've become convinced that it will make a spectacular long-term home for TED.
At TED2008, we received clear feedback from many of you that we had simply outgrown the Monterey Conference Center. With 1300 people attending, and only 500 seats in the Main Hall, we were faced with long queues for the Main Hall and, on occasions, an unseemly crush. We believed we could do better.
A TED-like environment
At Long Beach, we found a theater that can accommodate all our attendees, but -- and this is what has us so excited -- it retains Monterey's wonderful sense of intimacy and energy. Everyone who knows TED and visits this theater emerges with eyes sparkling, knowing that it can take our conference experience to the next level … It's bigger, yes, but it's beautifully intimate. It still feels like TED!
The Terrace Theater and the Center Theater
At the center of the TED experience in Long Beach is the Terrace Theater, a beautiful auditorium with aisle-free "continental" seating reminiscent of Monterey, but with greater capacity and far more flexibility for presenting theatrical experiences. For those who prefer a more casual food- and laptop-friendly viewing experience, we'll still offer an inspired Simulcast Lounge, in the same building. One exciting change at Long Beach is that TED University (featuring short "classes" by attendees on their area of expertise) will now be presented from the stage at the intimate Center Theater -- also part of the Long Beach Performing Arts Center.
For conversation breaks: TED Village
During TED, the beautiful, broad plaza in front of the Terrace Theater will be transformed into a "TED Village," housing, among other things, the Google Cafe, which will feed, water and caffeinate us throughout the conference. TED Village will also feature exhibits like the Shell Energy Pavilion and the Kohler LivingHome, a model of sustainability inside a Kieran Timberlake-designed pre-fab home. (See the exhibits page for more details.)
Advantages of the new venue:
- A bigger theater means all attendees get a Main Hall pass
- The modern, flexible stage will allow us to incorporate more spectacular theatrical elements into TED
- We still have a simulcast lounge, perfect for those who want a more informal atmosphere. But it will be a choice rather than a necessity
- Fantastic facilities for parties and events, including an aquarium, gorgeous restaurants and clubs, and outdoor space, including a certain, um, very long beach
- There are beautiful hotels within 3 minutes' walking distance
- Travel there is easy, with three airports within an hour's drive, including LAX and Long Beach Airport (only 20 minutes away)
- The environment in Long Beach Harbor has a relaxing atmosphere reminiscent of Monterey. We'll still feel that we're "away" on a retreat
- The weather in February is terrific