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Plan Your TED

TEDGlobal is not a typical conference. In fact, it may be quite unlike anything you've experienced before. Whether you're attending for the first time or returning for a new injection of ideas, here's how to get the most out of TEDGlobal 2009.


Logistical question? Last-minute crisis? We're here to help. Pre-conference, contact us via email. On-site, visit our concierge at the registration desk.

  1. Clear your calendar. No, really. In order to get the most out of TEDGlobal, you have to lend us your brain. Ignore your email. Don’t set up conference calls. Breathe away your worries. TEDGlobal is an immersive experience, and you won’t want to miss a moment. Let your mind absorb completely what happens on stage and around you. (Afterwards, it will thank you nicely.)
  2. Leave your laptop in your room. Cell phone, too. At minimum keep them in your bag. The speakers at TEDGlobal merit your full attention, and laptops and cell phones are a big distraction -- not just for you, but for everyone around you. To preserve an immersive experience, we don’t allow any cell phone or laptop use in the Oxford Playhouse's theatre.
  3. Eat. Drink. Sleep. TED runs full throttle for four days. You’ll enjoy it more if you pace yourself: drink plenty of water, grab light healthy snacks, go easy on alcohol, and get as much sleep as is humanly possible.
  4. Don't miss a thing. Watch every session. Go to every event. The best TED moments happen when you least expect them. It’s often the unknown speakers who wow the crowd. Watching every session helps you avoid disappointment, and ensures you take in each key moment as it happens. Social events, too, are there for a reason. So resist the temptation to sneak back to your room, and give yourself a complete TEDGlobal experience.
  5. Talk to strangers. TED's greatest natural resource is people. Most speakers stay all four days of the conference, and the attendees, in truth, are every bit as extraordinary. As a result, chance encounters at TEDGlobal often lead to new ideas, projects, perspectives, companies. They're as essential to the experience as the stage program itself. So don't limit your experience by hiding with your friends. Talking to strangers is encouraged. (That said, blatant "networking" is not.)
  6. Devour the program guide. Our schedule is so crammed, we simply don’t have time for long speaker introductions. Absorb the program guide as soon as you get it, and follow up on the speakers who capture your imagination.
  7. Experience the exhibits and the tech demos. Check out the amazing things we have on show in Oxford.
  8. Let us help you. Our staff will do their best to answer any questions and solve any problems, from logistics queries to laptop breakdowns. Pre-conference, reach us via email at contact@ted.com. On-site, visit our concierge at the registration desk (located at the Randolph Hotel) or ask anyone wearing a Staff badge.
  9. Blog with us. Or … not. If you plan to blog, take and share photos, or twitter, use these tags: #TED, #TEDGlobal. But do not feel obligated to live-blog from TEDGlobal. TED events are best experienced in the moment (see Item 1). Also, please note: no video recording nor flash photography during the main programme in the Playhouse and the Sheldonian nor during TED U at Keble.
  10. Plan for next year. Mark your calendar and protect the dates: TEDGlobal 2010 happens next July 13-16, 2010, in Oxford. And TED2010 is set for February 6-10, 2010 (the Long Beach venue is sold out, but the TEDActive simulcast in Palm Springs and watch-at-home Associate memberships are both still available). Also, consider joining us in Mysore, India, for TEDIndia, November 4-7, 2009. Get more information on TED.com under "TED Conferences."
Keble College Evening event Sheldonian theatre