Why we invest in Audience Curation, TEDxParklandstedmin
I’m writing this article as a follow up to the one written by Annstella Mumbi(the co-organizer for TEDxParklands) which you can read here. She spoke about how we decided to start organizing TEDx events in Nairobi and what we hope to achieve through it. In this article, I will shed light on curation. There are 2 kinds of curation when it comes to TEDx events: speaker curation and audience curation. I will talk about audience curation in this piece and address speaker curation in part 2 of this article.
Curation is essentially the TEDx term used to help TEDx speakers work around their ideas-selecting topics and gathering information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest. The vision we have for TEDxParklands goes beyond an audience in an auditorium enjoying talks by different speakers and that is why we spend time and resources in selecting each and every person who attends our event.
During our first event, TEDxYouth@Parklands held at Safaricom Michael Joseph Centre in May 2018, we had a physical audience of 100. We sifted through 350 applications and selected a high-value audience creating an enabling environment to share ideas with an aim of changing attitudes and lives.
The theme of our event, Under the Nairobi Blue Sky, is aimed at using inspired thinkers as drivers of change through sharing ideas. That is why we ask people to apply to attend our events. With my team, we have established an unbiased audience selection method that pre-qualifies attendees. This guarantees a balanced representation and a healthy environment for sharing ideas and networking. Our applications are fairly simple and besides collecting bio-data we typically ask applicants to share:
- What they expect to learn from the event.
- Their reasons for wanting to attend.
- Which of our speaker categories they are most interested in.
Audience curation has proven to be a differentiating factor for us and has helped us to create a valuable experience to all stakeholders involved — the speakers, our partners, vendors and the attendees themselves.
While it’s hectic to sift through applications, we believe knowing each and every person who attends our event is what makes us unique. We hope to put TEDxParklands on the map as the best TEDx Event in Africa and eventually the world. I’m looking forward to selecting the 400 individuals who will attend our event in May 2019.
Author’s note: This article first appeared here