HOW IS THE EVENT STRUCTURED?
Below is a very generalized conference structure. The exact timing, number of speakers, talk length, and other elements will vary.
- 9:00am – 11:00am – Morning TEDx Adventures (if applicable)
- 1:00pm - Introduction and Session 1
- 2:30pm – Break
- 3:30pm – Session 2
- 5:00pm – Break
- 6:00pm – Session 3
- 7:30pm – Closing and Reception
DO YOU RELEASE THE SPEAKER SCHEDULE?
We do release a list of speakers presenting each year (via our website), but we do not release the schedule and times of talks prior to conference day. This helps maintain a quiet atmosphere for our audience by avoiding distractions from attendees entering and exiting the theater as they try to attend just the sessions they want.
The conference is designed as a comprehensive day-long event. Attendees who leave early or selectively attend sessions miss out on many activities and talks that complete the experience.
WHEN DO TALKS GO ONLINE FOLLOWING A CONFERENCE?
The newest batch of talks go online about 1-month after the conference. This is due to the editing and production schedule.
ARE THERE NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES?
Yes! You'll meet hundreds of open-minded individuals from around the Chicago area and beyond. We have many activities built around interacting with your fellow attendees. Even if you're an introvert, simply walk up to someone and ask them about their badge as an ice breaker.
ARE FOOD AND DRINKS SERVED?
Only in the afternoon. Please have lunch before you attend. Snacks, soda, and water will be provided throughout the afternoon with more substantial food being offered most often between 5:30pm and 7:30pm depending on the conference schedule.
Alcohol is not served at TEDxNaperville as the venue is a major meeting location for various anti-drug and anti-alcohol organizations. For individuals attending the VIP after party, alcohol is served at that location.
WHAT ARE ADVENTURES?
Adventures are specially-designed, mentally-stimulating excursions to local, suburban Chicago hotspots. Often, adventures take place the morning of the event. Sometimes we may not hav them, and other times we place them throughout the year. If associated with the main event, one Adventure is included for free as part of your TEDxNaperville ticket and is selected during purchase. Adventures change annually and offer exciting journeys into local businesses, community organizations, and scientific institutions doing fascinating work.
One adventure per ticket holder. No walk-ins allowed.
HOW DO I ATTEND AN ADVENTURE?
If Adventures are offered for a TEDxNapaerville conference, one adventure is available to each ticket holder. Adventures are often selected during the ticket purchase process, but can also be a separate sign-up provided to all ticket holders as the event nears. If you've purchased a ticket to the main conference, you'll be able to select an adventure. If adventures are not part of that purchase process, simply watch your email for information on adventure sign-ups.
Occasionally, adventures may take place outside of an event season, at which point, there will be a completely separate sign-up process. To join these adventures, make sure you're signed up for our mailing list.
WHERE AND WHEN IS MY ADVENTURE?
Adventure times and locations vary. Most are within 30 minutes of the venue and take place roughly 9:00am-11:00am the morning of the conference. However, adventures can take place any time throughout the year. We may not always have adventures on an event day.
1-2 weeks prior to your adventure, one of our adventure hosts will email you instructions with exact meeting location, time, and any other information you may require.
CAN I CHANGE MY ADVENTURE AFTER TICKET PURCHASE?
If you already purchased a ticket and signed up for an adventure, but want to change to a different adventure, email us to request the change. All changes are best effort on part of the TEDxNaperville staff and may not be granted, especially if the requested adventure is already full or if it’s close to the conference.
CAN I TRANSFER MY ADVENTURE AFTER TICKET PURCHASE?
If you signed up to attend an adventure but cannot attend or if you’d like to transfer it to someone else, please email us to let us know or request the transfer. All transfers are best effort on part of the TEDxNaperville staff and may not be granted, especially if the requested adventure is already full or if it’s close to the conference.
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
You'll be among the Chicago area's business and governing elite, meeting experts and top minds from every field. Lean towards formal, but remember comfort, as the conference runs all day. Business casual is never a bad idea. Dress to impress.
IS THERE A MINIMUM AGE TO ATTEND?
No, but children should be old enough to gain value from the conference and to be respectful and quiet during talks. We advise children be at least high school age to attend. For exceptions, please contact us.
WHO ATTENDS TEDXNAPERVILLE?
TEDxNaperville has an exceptionally diverse audience of experts, educators, students, government, business, and community leaders, artists, scientists, and more.
All races, ages, genders, orientations, backgrounds, and industries are represented. Speciﬁcally, our attendees are:
- Intellectually curious
- Tech savvy
- Business decision makers (36% at executive level)
- Educated (63% have Master's or Doctorate degrees)
- 55% female
WHAT DO I DO IF I OR SOMEONE ELSE HAS SPECIAL ATTENDANCE NEEDS?
We are happy to accommodate anyone with needs for sign language interpreters, but require at least 30 days notice to do so. To request this or other disability accommodations, contact Arthur Zards.
IS THE EVENT HANDICAP ACCESSIBLE?
Yes, all areas of our current venue are handicap accessible. In fact, the Yellow Box is one of the most accessible buildings in Illinois. The auditorium where speakers present offers seating areas for those with special needs, as well as areas designed for sign language interpreters. Any activities on the 2nd floor are accessible via elevator. A 3D Walkthrough of the auditorium is available for viewing accessible seating.
HOW ARE TEDXNAPERVILLE PARTNERSHIPS DIFFERENT?
We don't do sponsorships.
TEDxNaperville partnerships provide opportunities for unconventional and genuine engagement unlike any other event. Our partnerships are more than logo placement across our materials, venue, and the greater Chicago area. They’re designed to create engagement between your brand and the tuned-in, Chicago-area business leaders, innovators, and community leaders that make up our audience. This ain’t your standard event.
WHY SHOULD I PARTNER?
- Brand linking - Associate with a powerful worldwide brand and movement synonymous with creativity, collaboration, and innovation.
- VIP attendees - Reach the decision makers. On average, over 45% of TEDxNaperville attendees are senior director level or higher.
- Lead generation - Gain highly qualified leads from tuned-in intellectuals across a variety of industries, including education, healthcare, and technology.
- Unconventional opportunities - Access unconventional showcase opportunities unique to our conference, creating genuine experiences that drive higher engagement.
- Unlimited exposure - Attain continued and unlimited logo views through having your logo on our talk videos, now collectively viewed nearly a million times.
WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR NOTABLE PREVIOUS PARTNERS?
We've formed relationships with some of the area's top organizations, scientific institutions, and innovative Chicago area businesses. Here are just a few:
- Argonne National Laboratory
- Barnes & Noble
- Benedictine University
- College of DuPage
- Edward-Elmhurst Health
- Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
- Launch Digital Marketing
- Solemn Oath Brewery
WHAT PARTNERSHIP PACKAGES ARE AVAILABLE?
See our current partnership packages on our participate page.
We do also offer options to sponsor specific areas or aspects of the event, such as the food, VIP party, give-aways or hand-outs, or printing. Please fill out our partnership form and let us know if you're interested in these options.
WHAT ARE PREMIER PARTNERSHIPS?
Premier partnerships are special, high-level partnerships that offer unprecedented access to the event, its attendees, and in creating unique experiences. This includes all the perks of our highest level partnership as well as a variety of custom opportunities for attendee engagement, developed alongside TEDxNaperville's curator for maximum exposure.
Premiere partnerships are completely custom and by request.
HOW DO I APPLY TO SPEAK?
- Watch TED talks online and observe how the pros do it. Make sure you read all our FAQs on speaking.
- Practice your pitch
- Send us a 3-minute video of your pitch by applying here. (Video quality not important, selling us your idea and your story is.)
WHICH IDEAS GET ACCEPTED?
Though many ideas have their place, not all have one at TEDxNaperville. Talks with the highest chances of acceptance are those that are:
- Relevant to current events
- Data-backed, quantifiable, or scientifically-founded
- Unique, new, or add to an established body of work in a new way
- Challenge standard conceptions
- Currently being tested or with results from research
- Don't rely heavily on someone else's research or work (i.e. presenting someone else's work instead of your own)
Ideas that are either less likely or aren’t accepted:
- Exceptionally vague or generalized
- Personal belief systems without objective research
- Uncredentialed coaching
- Excessively-discussed or already ubiquitous
- Solely about overcoming adversity or obstacles
- “I did it, and so can you”
- Corporate, political, or religious agendas
WHEN ARE THE DEADLINES FOR SUBMITTING TALKS?
When to submit idea: You can submit ideas at any time via the speaker form and we'll review them. We begin reviewing new ideas for the next conference about three months after the previous conference ends.
When not to submit an idea: We stop reviewing ideas a month before the next conference begins. While we'll review these ideas eventually, they will not be accepted into the upcoming conference.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR SPEAKING?
- Deadlines - You’re required to submit talk outlines, slides, and other information at specific times prior to speaking at the conference.
- Working together - You’re expected to work alongside us to curate your talk for our audience, our venue, production value, and optimal impact.
- Attendance - You’re expected to be present for the duration of the conference, interacting with attendees before and after your talk.
- Rehearsals - You’re required to attend a dress rehearsal in Naperville and possibly online rehearsals with the curator.
WHAT ARE SOME GUIDELINES FOR GIVING A GREAT TEDX TALK?
- Sharp, focused content
- Go deep, not broad
- 3-18 minutes max
- Interactivity is a plus
- Include visuals or props
- Include data or research
- With exception, no note cards
- No religious, corporate, or political plugs
WILL I BE NOTIFIED IF NOT ACCEPTED?
Due to the high volume of applicants, we only contact potential speakers whose ideas we feel require additional exploration in the context of giving a TEDxNaperville talk. We will not respond to every application, but will review every application submitted. Based on where we're at in the event season, it may take longer to reply.
HOW DO I NOMINATE SOMEONE ELSE TO SPEAK?
The best way to do this is to speak with that person and have them apply themselves. Our application process requires the speaker to submit a 3-minute video. If absolutely necessary, time sensitive, or a unique circumstance, you may email us.
WHEN DO TICKET SALES BEGIN AND HOW MUCH ARE THEY?
Usually about 60-80 days before the conference. Pricing usually fluctuates $60-100 each year and often increases in price as the event date grows closer. Pricing is dependent on event costs. No money is made by the organizers or staff.
WHERE DOES MY TICKET MONEY GO?
TEDxNaperville is solely organized and run by volunteers. No one – not even our speakers – gets paid for their work. All ticket sales go directly into building the most engaging and inspiring event for out attendees, including renting space, food and beverages, conference materials and handouts, and venue design.
DO YOU GRANT TICKET TRANSFERS OR REFUNDS?
We do not grant refunds for tickets, but may grant transfers in a limited capacity. Please email us to request the transfer. All transfers are best effort on part of the TEDxNaperville staff and may not be granted, especially if it’s close to the conference.
DO YOU SELL TICKETS AT THE DOOR?
We often have a limted number of tickets available at the door for walk-ins. Credit cards are accepted for purchasing tickets. Cost is based on the most current ticket pricing available on the website.
WHY BECOME A VOLUNTEER?
As a volunteer, you’ll help build an organization that instills the same wonder and inspiration you feel when watching a TED or TEDx talk online. Volunteers share their time and talent to help drive the Chicago area idea revolution, creating a disruptive ideas conference.
Sign up to volunteer on our participate page.
WHAT DO VOLUNTEERS DO?
All volunteers must perform the following:
- Be an evangelist for TEDxNaperville, marketing it everywhere
- Follow through on tasks and commitments you sign up for
- Attend organizational meetings in Naperville
- Attend conference setup the two nights prior to the event
- Perform day-of conference setup and duties
Activities span all areas, from venue design and social outreach to partner management and hospitality. We have openings for any time commitment and interest level. Sign up for our volunteer list to be notified when our next volunteer meeting is and how to get involved. See roles and learn more on our participate page.
WHAT'S THE COMMITMENT?
There are three levels of volunteers:
- Core Team (Medium-High Commitment): Important, higher-visibility roles performed alongside the organizing team, such as marketing or catering coordination. Usually 5-10 hrs per week.
- General (Medium Commitment): Weekly volunteer activities to prepare for the conference. Usually Aug. - Nov., 2-5 hrs per week.
- Day-of (Low Commitment): Required activities ONLY the 24 hrs prior to the conference and the entire conference day.
While day-of volunteers do have minimal requirements and get free access to the event, they have less of a choice in day-of duties and may not be able to watch all talks. We will make an effort to ensure you see any talk you specifically wish to.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR BEING A VOLUNTEER?
- Be accountable. If you agree to do something, do it, or tell us you can't ASAP.
- Work together. You'll have to work alongside many different people. Listen. Be respectful. Work for the good of the organization, not just yourself.
- Be proactive. If you don't know, ask. Suggest ideas. We never seek to leave out any volunteer, but if we miss something, reach out to us!
WHAT DO VOLUNTEERS RECEIVE?
- Free conference admission and ability to watch MOST (not all) talks
- A special volunteer-only t-shirt
- Direct role in building a TEDx conference
- Access to brilliant ideas and speakers
- Great friends and experiences within a tight-knit group
- A special volunteer party and awards!