5 tips from TEDxVictoria to transform teamwork from stressful to effortless

TEDxVictoria's 2014 core team

TEDxVictoria’s 2014 core team. Photo: TEDxVictoria

Putting together a TEDx event is a lot of work, but having a great team can make it seem effortless. TEDxVictoria organizer Dylan Wilks knows this well. Here, his five pieces of advice on building a team that makes planning a TEDx event feel more like fun than work:

1) Make meetings more like dinner parties: Every member of our organizing team hosts meetings, usually in their home. The more intimate and less formal surroundings really help. We bond over food! Whether at home or other venues, we like to eat good food while we work. Dinner meetings are common for us this year, and make some of the more detail-oriented meetings easier on everyone.

2) Learn together: Our organizers take courses together. One of our partners has been donating seats in their leadership programs to our organization for the last couple years, so we’ve been lucky to be able to send our organizing team as a group to these programs. A week of full-time leadership course work together really helps a team get to know each other — and bond over the carpool commutes.

3) Go out into your community: See an art exhibit; go to a festival; eat at a local cafe. You might find a speaker, sponsor, audience member, and just generally have a great time and learn your fellow team members passions, interests, and strengths.

4) Have fun: It is important to remember to have fun working on your TEDx event. Some of our meetings have started with everyone telling a brief story about what their favorite movie is and why, or where in Victoria their favorite place to eat is. Yes, we love food here.

5) Make a point to be friends: We have shared passion already in what we work on, so it is about making the effort to cultivate friendships while we work together.


  1. Totally agree Dylan! All of our team meetings include wine and food! This summer for our annual meeting, where we decide our theme and goals for the year, our event wine sponsor offered us a meeting room and to join in on their wine event when we finished. Spending social time over a glass of wine after the intensity of the annual meeting was icing on the cake.
    I look forward to spending time with these talented individuals for another year!

  2. merci de ces conseils ! c’est une telle évidence que l’on oublie parfois que l’engagement social ouvre la voie à l’engagement amical !
    Merci !

  3. Thank you for sharing Dylan and very well said! May I ask how big is your team? My question derives from the fact that our team counts almost 50 people this year and it has always been a challenge for us to keep the team together, alligned and well tuned for obvious reasons :-) We try to be creative when it comes to team bonding and motivation activities but we don’t always get the results we would like.

  4. Pingback: Five tips to transform teamwork from stressful to effortless | Varun Sirohi

  5. Thanks for the feedback everyone!

    Dimitris – our core leadership team is now six, including myself. In addition we have about 20-25 dedicated volunteers and another 40-50 other volunteers throughout the year. The organizational structure is a hierarchy, with the six of us at the top, and the other groups of volunteers branching down from each of us, with very little overlap.

    At one point the size of our meetings was growing with each meeting, and once we had 20+ people in attendance organization became extremely challenging. We took a step back, reevaluated, and divided the responsibility and authority among 6 of us, each empowered to make any decisions needed with our portions of planning the event.

    Now we each have separate meetings with our own teams, and when the core of us get together, it’s to talk about and make decisions regarding more than one of our areas (speakers, event theme, that kind of thing). The meetings are much quicker and more productive as a result, and the food and beverages make it feel less like work.

    Of course, there is still lots of work to be done. We just try to reframe how it impacts us, and how we feel about it. Over food works wonderfully for this. We’ve also talked about doing a hiking meeting out in the woods!

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