It was all action stations at the Canberra Theatre Playhouse on Thursday as TEDxCanberra volunteers descended to pull together this year’s event.
Creative Catalyst for TEDxCanberra, Stephen Collins, said it was a tense time, trying to get all the different elements to merge. “It’s coming together really fast. This is the day that gives me the most tension, mostly because we’re all volunteers, and we haven’t had a strong tech crew for this year.”
Behind the scenes, TEDxCanberra draws on a diverse range of talents, from sound and film experts to stage management, journalists, social media talent and technical specialists.
Stephen said he was grateful University of Canberra students had stepped in to fill the gap. “The UC volunteers have just come on board and are making it happen, which is great. Our budget’s around $200,000, but we get that down to a much smaller figure because of all the in-kind sponsorship … We’ve been talking to UC for four years, with parts of the university previously being involved. The partnership has finally come to fruition with the entire university coming on board for 2016 as a major partner.”
Third-year University of Canberra student, Andréa Manias, said she was loving the experience and enjoyed learning about the backstage side of production she had volunteered for, along with the event itself.
“I didn’t know much about TEDx before, but hopefully, I’ll learn more about it on Saturday. I’m very happy to be involved with this sort of stuff, happy to help out with anything to do with the show,” Andréa said. “The people are really nice, and based on what I’ve seen on this side, it looks like it’s going to be a really interesting day [on Saturday].”
Students were also helping to create a short film production to be shown on the day, highlighting the various commercial partners who have thrown their support behind the event. Reminiscent of a scene out of The Italian Job, a fleet of MINIs shot around Canberra, driven and filmed by the TEDxCanberra crew.
Ben Teiffel from TEDxCanberra merchandising partner Point 7 found himself roped into the shoot, given the keys to a Mini to make his acting debut. As much as he claimed to be having fun, Ben said there was a serious business side to the partnership.
“I’ve enjoyed being involved in the action and seeing it all come together,” Ben said. “But we also enjoy joining up with different corporate sponsors. We love the connections we’ve established through the event.”