Finding an affordable way to design a memorable TEDx event stage can be overwhelming. Below, 5 tips culled from veteran TEDx events to help you find your inspiration.
1. Use recycled materials.
At TEDxMonterey, the stage was adorned with strands of plastic bottles, giving the containers a second life.
2. Go outside.
Many TEDx teams have utilized the wild outdoors for their stage design — either by using natural materials or by having the event itself outside. TEDxCuria in Ecuador was held on a beach, with talks broadcast on an oceanside screen built by the community. At TEDxGuatavita, the stage was decorated with bales of hay, farming tools and plant-filled rain boots.
3. B.Y.O. Stage Design.
For their 2010 event, the team at TEDxYouth@Homer organized a lunchtime potluck and asked attendees to bring their own plates and cutlery to the meal. Not only did this look great, but it prevented a lot of waste and cut down on expenses.
Take a page from their book and consider having team members and volunteers bring their own items to decorate the stage. Make a list of suggested items and then let the crowd get creative!
4. Find the artists.
Each year at TEDxConcordiaUPortland (now TEDxMtHood), the team appoints an Artist in Residence — a local artist who designs an art installation for the stage, delivers a talk on their work, and, later, mentors next year’s artist. The program invites local artists to showcase their work with a group of individuals who may have not yet seen their art, and provides TEDxMtHood with stunning stage design year after year.
5. Find some chalk.
Sometimes all it takes to have a great stage is a piece of chalk and a steady hand. You can turn almost any surface into a chalkboard with chalkboard paint, and many art supply stores sell chalkboard-ready paper at a nominal cost. Create a chalkboard, think about your theme and start drawing!
Bonus: Talk to a local theater group. Those in theater are used to setting the scene with fabric, props and handmade set pieces. Consider asking a community theater group for guidance in acquiring resources and designing your stage, and perhaps you will even meet some great future team members!