Partners & Sponsors - A BIG Thank You!

by Matt Mullan

Partners & Sponsors - A BIG Thank You!

As I sit here reflecting on the culmination of the journey leading up to TEDxBristol 2015, the conclusion is crystal clear, our event was an absolute hit!

TEDxBristol 2015 exceeded all expectations and we managed to achieve our primary mission, the raison d’être of the TED movement, to provide a platform for thinkers, visionaries and doers, and in doing so make great ideas accessible, spark conversation and feed the desire to create a better future. Everyone I have spoken to left the event deeply inspired and energised.

But enough about the outcome, there have been many tweets, blog posts and social media conversations that confirm this success.

Instead in a series of blog posts I would like to explore more deeply the journey that got us here, and more importantly, just who the ‘we’, ‘our’ and ‘us’ I have mentioned are, starting with the valuable contribution of partners and sponsors.

We started with the vision of creating and delivering a world class TEDx event that epitomised the spirit of Bristol and the surrounding regions. The problem was that an event on this scale would cost a serious amount of money to pull off, and we were starting from a position of zero budget. This was our first ‘oh sh*t’ moment, and whilst many would have stopped at this point, our optimistic naivety saw us through and we embarked on a mission to raise thousands in cash from all the local businesses who we thought would be falling over themselves to fund such a great event. Cue our second ‘oh sh*t’ moment… many did not want to simply part with their hard earned pounds and pence.

Instead what we discovered was that the vast majority of potential partners were keen to support TEDxBristol in a deeper and more committed way, there would be less hard cash and more doing. The majority of our partners wanted to play a role in the delivery of a TEDxBristol event through the provision of their knowledge, people, technology, products and most critically, time. More surprisingly for me, many of our partners did not seek a classic return on investment. Instead, they believed in the values of the TED movement, they believed in empowering their workforce to support us and develop us, they believed in the power of collaborating to create a better future, in order to realise our GreatXpectations. In doing so, our partners became an integral part of the event and its eventual success. I believe this to be a prime example of the relentless optimism and can-do spirit so native to Bristol, and a pivotal factor in the success of TEDxBristol 2015.

BUT… Not all things can be sourced in kind, and we did succeed in securing a number of financial sponsors who provided the hard cash to cover a multitude of costs an event of this nature accrues, things like printing, lanyards, digital hosting, venue fees, and stationary. It is clear to me that without this sponsorship, TEDxBristol 2015 could not have happened.

So to all of our partners and sponsors, you became part of the ‘we’, the team who delivered Bristol a world class TEDx event. For this, I would like to extend a huge thank you from the core team, our volunteers, our speakers, our delegates, the city of Bristol and beyond.

Matt Mullan is TEDxBristol's Partnership and Digital Manager. You can read his biog here