Stale corporate events, no more!

A year ago TED unveiled a new corporate program where “private” TEDx licenses could enable corporations to host their own internal TEDx events. The guidelines are similar to a regular TEDx event with two primary caveats- only employees can attend the live event and the videos cannot be posted to a public site.

A few weeks ago a client approached us with the desire to use this model for an annual “Marketing Summit” for their 250 marketing associates plus their dozen or so ad and PR agencies with which they do business. The goal from the last four years was to have them report to each other on strategic progress plus traditional motivation (with one large keynote from an expensive speaker), but lately, they have a desire to ignite some new thinking and in a new way.

Since they want to offer some small honorariums and potentially talk about their own brands (a big no-no at a TED event), we’re going with the “TEDxLike” model. To all my friends at TED, don’t worry, we won’t call it or promote it as such. But it sends an interesting message to those who are following the TED trend. The ‘construct’ works. Show a number of provocative talks in a variety of topics in a rapid fire sequence to re-ignite creativity and generate new approaches.

So they’ve asked us to organize the majority of the day for them with anywhere from 8-12 speakers giving 18 minute talks on riveting ideas facing the future of their particular industry. Long breaks, lots of fidget and hands-on activities plus time to process the brain spa that they will encounter.

The tough work begins now. While we curate the talks on a general theme, we’ve got no less than 100 branches we can climb onto. The challenge of finding the perfect mix of topics and speakers to provoke this already savvy audience is one we welcome.

This “TEDxLike” event will be one week before TEDxColumbus, which takes place on 11.11.11. Plan on us being closed after that for a week as we retreat to the real spa.