Leamington! This is your call to arms…

A One Month Countdown ‘Call to Arms’ from TEDxLeamingtonSpa Lead Organiser and Licence Holder, Kimberley Owen

I’ve always loved TED talks.

They have helped me follow my passions, progress in my career, navigate some dark times and have also taught me some cool stuff about robots and computers. When you are unsure of something what better way is there to learn than to turn to an expert and see and hear the best of their wisdom in a short video?

So when TEDx first came to Leamington in 2015 I had to get involved.

And in 2016 when I had the opportunity to take on the license for the town, I jumped at the chance.

In those two first years we were limited to 100 tickets. For those who don’t know (and why would you?) TED caps ticket sales for TEDx events until the license holder has been through their formal training programme. Buoyed along by the enthusiasm of our local audience I flew to San Fransisco (at my own expense) took part in the workshops and we were granted permission to open the doors to more people.

In 2017 we played host to over 200 guests in All Saints Church and the event took a quantum leap in terms of scale and production. OK, doubling the allocation meant saying goodbye to the phenomenon that was ‘selling out in a few hours’, but on the day we still packed the place and – for a draughty church in November – the atmosphere was electric!

I really believe in putting on an event for Leamington to be proud of. We provide a global platform for a select group of local experts, while at the same time bringing some of the brightest minds from around the world into the town.

We’re a cool place, right? We deserve that.

The talks that we as a team have sourced, coached, staged, filmed, edited and released have reached 3.5 million views on the world’s most watched YouTube Channel.

And this year we are building on everything we have done. We have put together our most engaging and diverse set of speakers and performers to date, our core volunteer team remains in place, bolstered by some new faces (and brains) and our faithful supporters and sponsors are back on board.

But I’ll be honest, this year I’m worried. Something is missing.

We know that organic social media reach and engagement is not what it was in 2015 when we started this (even though we are currently ploughing £££s in paid content to help spread the word) and that GDPR is a valuable initiative that protects us all, but does nothing to help a small, stretched volunteer-run organisation’s mailing list.

We also recognise that TEDxCoventry and TEDxWarwickTown have both sprung up in the last couple of years, so no one is starved of local events to attend.

Even silly things like the amount of shops in town willing to put up a poster advertising a community event like ours has actually reduced from the first year we did this, so we have taken to the streets and physically put flyers through letter boxes!

But Leamington, we need your help. If you like living in a town where this continues to happen once a year, please support it.

If you’re planning to go but haven’t got round to buying a ticket. Now’s the time! Advanced sales help us budget and plan – helping determine things like the difference between a nice souvenir printed programme or a typed sheet of paper.

If you’d like to go to the event on Saturday 13th October, but can’t make it, tell a friend, leave us a review, retweet your followers, share a post, click the heart, wave a flag… everything helps spread the word and lets us know people want us to keep going!

(I know we have die hard fans out there too – you know who you are – and we love you for it!)

We are 100% committed to delivering the best event we can in 2018. And we’d like to continue to do so in the future.

Are you with us Leamington?

Kimberley x

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