Tedx Coventry 2020
Earlier in September 2019 I had the incredible opportunity to be invited to work as a creative consultant and also assist the designers in the Creative Team of Tedx Coventry, for the year 2020. It had always been a dream of mine to participate in Ted Talks as a creative in some way (as a speaker or member of the organisation team) so when the Tedx approached me to be a part of the production team for the next year’s event I was over the moon and couldn’t believe the sudden turn or events.
The Tedx Coventry brand holds a vision of being the to go representative of the city of Coventry in its full multifaceted way, in showing its heritage, diversity, shortcomings, achievements, innovations and much more. Through this platform the Coventry team provides a space for the audience to expand their mindset, celebrate the human experience and engage in a strong sense of community via the presentations given by local entrepreneurs, researchers, business owners, artists and innovators who demonstrate how the city is thriving with busy creative minds and great experiences, in spite its small size. This Tedx also includes performances with local performers from varied entertainment sectors, which not only adds some breathing space between talks but also presents the artistic sector which is often neglected in Ted events.
Meet the team
We had our first big team meet up and introductions at a meeting room provided by The Enterprise Hub, where we also decided upon the theme of the 2020 event. This year’s theme was Revive, a natural progression from last year’s Rebooted which explored the theme of Coventry’s culture and workforce rising from the ashes and restart anew, added in with a technological factor that is much different from the old industry from which Coventry was born. Revive is then a symbol for this thriving community, that is currently growing more than ever into a hub of multicultural societies beyond labels and limitations, which encourage all generations in taking part of the new industry as well as creating their own projects.
Much like the city our team was composed of a very diverse cast from various cultural and professional backgrounds, with inspirational and curious people whose passionate and positive attitude made the production of the event much easier, productive and extremely fun. Their energy and excitement was contagious in a way that not only helped me in doing a good job for Tedx but also contributed to my personal art projects in terms of ideas, creativity, knowledge and partnerships. It was fascinating to work with professionals from the areas of IT, Finance, Charity, Design, Social Media, Photography and Business, to bring forth a spectacular event and work towards the same vision in such a coordinated manner.
I was placed in the Creative Team, more specifically the Graphic Design team in order to aid across various sections of the brand building in every step of the way, and naturally the Graphic Designer title remained attached to my work position, although I am an Illustrator and Animator and not a Designer. Initially my work was mostly comprised in co-creating the visuals for the Tedx Coventry 2020 and select the final social media designs before jumping into its adaptation for posters, print outs, event programme and lanyards.
Besides the editing for the printing I was also part of the visual editing of the official Tedx Coventry website, as well as co-adviser for the organisation of the social media platforms. My visual work for the marketing department included creating the artwork for the monthly promotions of the 2020 event exclusively for social media on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. These promotional contents were aimed towards a much younger audience comprised of students and young adults to incentivise the new generation to take part in local events, support their communities and realise just how much potential Coventry holds, and the variety of great experiences the city has to offer.
Due to my extensive experience in Arts and Crafts, and because I’m not afraid of getting my hands dirty, I also worked as part of the Stage Production Team. This was definitely the most interesting part of my experience with Tedx, since the visuals were no longer limited to a 2D platform and instead gained life on stage. My contribution consisted in building, setting up and installing the large-scale art installation, as well as other items around the stage. The art installation was shaped in a tree format that displayed the Tedx theme, and also served as a base for the 3D mapping projection that played throughout the entire show. This interactive aspect of the visual work not only supported the speaker’s presentations and performances, but also played a crucial role in luring the audience in, creating a beautiful creative ambience and incentivising the audience in engaging in Cultural and Artistic events.
Finally the big day arrived on the 29th of February 2020, and it couldn’t have gone better, an amazing team of volunteers joined us at the ground crew to take care of some last minutes mishaps, fix a few technical issues here and there, and ensure the event went smoothly. Front house volunteers and team members, myself included, stayed at the reception for ticketing, programme distribution, provide general directions and public guidance. The Tedx Team’s enthusiasm and bright attitude really helped in creating an inviting environment, where both the audience and performers felt comfortable and happy.
The performers and speakers were an incredible team of musicians, writers, poets, motivational coaches and innovators full of creativity and resilience, who provided us with messages about personal worth, speaking your truth, mental health, removing labels and new concepts of radical education methods in the classroom.
Overall my experience with Tedx Coventry 2020 was a blast, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to work for such a great project.
Thank you for reading,
© 2021, Luisa Freitas