TEDxWellington 2014 Review

TEDxWellington Connecting Hearts and Minds

400 people attended the inaugural “TEDxWellington : Connecting Hearts and Minds” event on 24th August 2014, the first city-licensed event for NZ’s capital.


As a non-profit, volunteer-run event, cash sponsorship along with partnering with organisations / businesses who offer funding-in-kind is crucial. Without the following support there would be no way to deliver the experience created:

Thanks to our sponsors, who were, Grow Wellington, Optimation, Trade Me, XERO, Wellington City Council, NZ Embassy of United States.

Thanks to our partners, who were, Chow, Creative HQ, Flight Coffee, Fuji Xerox, Multi-media Systems, Open Lab, Powershop, Rydges, Southern Sea Tea, St Johns, The Amazing Travelling Photo Booth, The Playground, The Infographers, Tuatara Brewery, Wellington Airport, Xequals.

The event sold out in under three hours which validated both the hard work of everyone involved plus those who had supported the endeavour.

Two evenings before, Wellingtons’ Mayor Celia Wade Brown hosted a gathering to celebrate the event and those who had made it happen:


Held at the new waterfront Shed 6 space, the day was broken down as shown here (this was the back of attendees badges).

Three separate spaces were purposefully designed which included the stage space (where the talks took place), the interactive red space (for partners / sponsors to creatively connect with the attendees) and the reflection white space (an opportunity to consider the ideas shared).

We had over 30 volunteers to assist on the day and also live streamed the event which drew in over 1,500 people who watched online.

The hashtag #TEDxWelly was trending number one on Twitter during the event also which meant in New Zealand it was the most talked about / referenced thing discussed / shared / tweeted about:

tedxwelly trending

Our incredible Twitter engagement during the event week was evident in the following reach of over a half a million people due to the (nearly) three-thousand related tweets:

TweetReach for tedxwellington

We also utilised Facebook for distributing news prior and content during the event although the engagement was not as high.

Check out the pics taken on the day:


At time of writing the resulting videos have been viewed over 40,000 times (watch all the videos from the day as a playlist):

There has been some great coverage online (not included are the several email newsletters we were listed in):

Plus features in publications and spots such as:

Other stats include:

  • 42,000+ website views
  • 1,800+ Twitter followers
  • 1,500+ Facebook friends
  • 960+ email newsletter subscribers


The reaction on the day was phenomenally positive which has been echoed in the ‘official’ feedback given through the ted.com process:

“It was seemless. Well done. Highlights include all of it. Not even kidding. You did really well to create and nurture a wonderful community within the Wellington community.”


“The speakers, the MC, the organisers, the volunteers – all brilliant! Would definitely go to another event.”


“Volunteers were awesome! Friendly and approachable, unflappable.”


“Great traffic-flow of people when breaks began. Fantastic air-temperature control, delicious food, and amazing speakers.”


“Attention to detail- really well thought out, masses of friendly people helping us get around and I was impressed with the ‘added value’ aspects; the artwork from Infrographics, the beer from Tuatara… lovely surprises.”


“Just about everything. I was blown away.”


“So many surprises that kept coming until I arrived back home to check out the goody bag treats hidden inside. Awesome set design, chocolates, special edition beers, coffees, and everything else uniquely Welly.”


“The MC was great. The venue design was great — they had put a lot of effort into spatial design. The speakers were consistently good, and some great. The food was great. The program was beautiful. The specially-brewed aftermatch beer was awesome. The volunteers were warm and friendly.”


“Oh god, everything. This was literally my favorite event of all time. The MC was brilliant, the speakers were brilliant, the audience was brilliant. I f**king loved it.”

Discussions have begun regarding next years event plus preparation for the interim Salon events to keep the community engaged.

We will be putting a call out soon to fill certain positions so please subscribe to the email newsletter opposite or this blog or event follow us through Twitter / Facebook.