TEDx_Audience

With the advent of more accessible live-streaming platforms as well as the supporting infrastructure needed to send out the live feed, live-streaming has become a great enabler to events wanting to reach an audience beyond their physical location. However, to really get an engaged audience for a full day around your digital content one needs more than just a good quality feed for your viewer. You need people coming together, in the physical world. It is when people meet face-to-face that they can develop the deeper personal connections with others and can have those side conversations with one another that often result in great idea sharing or conversational points, which strengthen your relationship and communication with the other person. This is even more important when dealing with an audience from various disciplines who may not be tech-savvy and prefer in-person encounters, a common oversight we often see with events making use of new technologies. Furthermore, in the context of watching a TEDx live-stream, which usually goes on for several hours, it is far more enjoyable to do so with others. There will always be a speaker who you don’t really enjoy or there are breaks in the event program where the live-stream goes off and you need to do something else. Having others around you to engage with in these times keeps your energy levels up and helps retain you as an audience to the event which will carry on after those moments are over. Being able to decentralise and event and share the content globally is incredibly important. We are faced by massive challenges in the world today, challenges far bigger than any one individual or limited to a regional location, and in order to address these problems we need to collaborate and use our collective talents and energy in finding the best solutions..and this means having the ideas shared being heard by others in distant locations. But we need to take one-step further and help support the self-organization we see happening as people within a region/location gather to participate in this global conversation.

TEDx_Viewing_Party

Enabling your community. When it came to managing our TEDx community, we found that there were stark differences in what we were doing during the year (engaging with our community) compared to what was needed around the day of our

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event (focus on others watching the speakers on stage).

Furthermore, we are faced with the following challenges around our events: 1) Making the event more accessible to others – those who are faced with a financial hurdle and cannot afford the ticket and those who cannot attend due to their physical locations. 2) Facilitating others supporting our event – we have received amazing support from others who are willing to put the time and energy in hosting their own Viewing Party around our live-stream feed, but we need to offer them support and offer further awareness around their Viewing Party so others can join them. What did we do about it? Our solution was to separate the two very different sites completely. We did this by keeping our existing website TEDxCapeTown.org and creating a separate app/site, simulcast.tedxcapetown.org to be used in the time period of two weeks before, on the day, and one week after the event. This was achieved by a simple redirect to the app/site from our TEDxCapeTown domain. This made a tremendous difference to the number of online viewers we had, the level of their engagement and our ability to track this activity and help support them.TEDxCT_Github But what really excites us is being able to share this platform with others, both in the TEDx community and elsewhere. And thanks to the willingness from Craig who built this for us, anyone can download the code for their own use and contribute to its further development on our Github page here. So, if you are planning a livestream around your event or initiative I highly recommend you do your best to support viewing parties around your live feed. And the platform we built which is freely available for you to use can help you achieve this!

 

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