TEDxIIT Pre-Event

Antoine Foggs
Technews Writer
Sun Apr 08, 2018

Ten weeks, dozens of people, and a whole lot of mishaps that turned into more dedication all led up to the April 8 Pre-Event. At the time of writing this, the TEDxIIT team had no idea how the event would actually turn out, but now one thing is for sure: it was one of the most intense learning experiences. 

As students, everyone acted a bit naively. Most people think of TEDxIIT as just another ordinary student organization that you attend once a week while, maybe, making some new friends. That was nowhere near the case. 

From day one, we were told that members were expected to put forth astronomical amounts of effort into making this work. Yoetein Diaz, an Illinois Tech alumni, TEDxIIT Advisory Board Chair, and now, TEDxIIT co-organizer said “you get as much out of TEDxIIT as you put into it.” 

In the beginning, everyone was filled with excitement as they climbed on board. The students planned for the future as if the sky was the limit. With seven straight years of continued success, this year was nothing but an expansion of the efforts from the previous year. 

What could possibly go wrong? The team learned that a lot was at stake, and therefore, a lot could go wrong. Immediately after setting up the initial plan, the team learned, due to several unforeseen circumstances that caused many unexpected delays, it may not be possible to continue the tradition of having the main TEDxIIT event in April. Well, the next best thing to do was to move the event to the following semester. 

With one problem solved, another appeared. Many of the key supporting staff members were going through transition periods in their careers. Without their constant support, it became harder for TEDxIIT to get the funds and locations that it would historically have.

This didn’t stop the team from working. It was merely a minor set-back, but it began to wear the team down. After a few issues, the team began to slow down and lose a bit of the motivation they had in the start.

The printed design was not correct. The stickers were not the right sizes. There were audio issues when setting up the stage. The lights were difficult to manage, and even the team was nervous. 

The team kept marching on. They did podcasts, radio interviews, flash mobs, flyers, social media campaigns. They also painted the MTCC Windows and set up tables at the MTCC Bridge. TEDxIIT kept going, expressing our enthusiasm.

Everyone was battered and drained by April 5, but they expressed pride. The team had persevered throughout the entire ordeal. Mishaps were faced and obstacles were overcome. 

As the saying goes, “the show must go on.” 

As a team, TEDxIIT grew far more than anyone could have ever imagined. As individuals? Years worth of experience had been distilled down into only 10 short weeks. Steep learning curve? You bet.  Is this just another student organization? No way. It isn’t over yet. Stay tuned for the main event, coming this November.

To have a sneak peak at the planning session, read this Huffington Post Article 'TEDx Behind The Scene of TEDxIIT,' http://bit.ly/txiithp

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