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With move to Vancouver, TED Talks aims for true global reach

Last year's TEDx Vancouver, held in October, was its fourth consecutive sellout since the event landed in 2009.
Last year’s TEDx Vancouver, held in October, was its fourth consecutive sellout since the event landed in 2009.

Sales of microphone-equipped headsets are set to spike as TED readies itself to stage its March 2014 conference in Vancouver, while a parallel TedActive event is held at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, relocating from its current home in Long Beach, California.

Praising the announcement as “great news for our tourism industry”, Mayor Gregor Robertson said: “Having the TED organizers choose Vancouver as their new home is a big vote of confidence in the creative entrepreneurs, social innovators and community leaders who make Vancouver a leading-edge city.”

Factoring in to TED’s decision is the fact that Vancouver’s Convention Centre is an LEED-Platinum certified venue with a grass roof, floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto the harbour with its pleasant seaplane traffic, as well as the fact that the 55-foot-tall central presentation space will allow TED to custom build an innovative space to maximize presentation potential.

A TED press release framed the move as an attempt to actualize its global ambitions: “TED’s remit is now global, not just American – yet the move preserves the conference’s West Coast roots.” Vancouver, then, represents an ideal move, with its truly global demographics, while remaining in North America. More than a thousand cities have now held TED events

“The city happens to be home to TED’s conference operations team, and going there is always an inspiration – it’s cosmopolitan, energetic, innovative, yet with unrivaled natural beauty,” stated TED curator Chris Anderson. “Having Whistler just up the road is an ideal combination. We’re excited to have found a region that can host both these events so well. We’re predicting this will inspire creative thinking and dynamic ideas.”

The Vancouver conference’s size will be pared down from 1,400 to 1,200 paid attendees. TED will remain in Vancouver for 2015, with an option to remain. Registration for the 2014 event opens Thursday, Feb. 7th.

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