Volunteers work to bring thought leaders home

TEDxFrontRange will host its third annual TEDx event in May at the Rialto Theater in Loveland. The independently run event seeks to gather the Front Range community’s most innovative and forward-thinking individuals for a TED-like experience, including music, speakers and presenters. Marketing team co-chair Marcus Kray shared why the event, although volunteer run, has continued to thrive.

Question: When did you get involved with TEDx, and why?

Answer: This is my first year on the TEDxFrontRange team, although I followed the event closely since it began in 2012. I joined the team because I am in love with TED’s goal of sharing the ideas and experiences of some of the world’s most stimulating individuals. TEDx brings that mission to a local, more accessible stage. I enjoy surrounding myself with inspirational people and I have a compulsive need to know more about everything.

Q: Why was the theme “Doers, Influencers and You” chosen, and what significance does it have to our community?

A: Colorado’s Front Range is filled with movers and shakers – artists, builders, coaches, farmers, programmers, brewers, doctors, entrepreneurs – the leaders of our communities. These people are the doers and the influencers who encourage others to do it themselves. We simply took the do-it-yourself concept, which Coloradans exemplify, and turned it around to say to our audience, “Here are the doers and influencers. What does that mean to you? What are you doing to influence the world?” People will have the opportunity to answer those questions on our website and social media.

Q: How are presenters chosen?

A: Once we’ve chosen a theme for the annual event, anyone – literally, anyone – is encouraged to submit a video of himself or herself presenting their topic. The production doesn’t have to be professional, but the content must be engaging, interesting, inspiring, and must fit within our theme. Our program team spends weeks carefully reviewing all submissions and chooses the best entries for our event. We’re already accepting inquiries for the 2015 program.

Q: Why should people pay to attend the event when they can stream the talks online the next day?

A: Why do people pay to attend a sporting event in person? While simply being in the presence of incredibly inspirational people tends to permeate the psyche, the event is much more than sitting and watching. It’s an interactive experience. Attendees have the opportunity to mingle personally with the speakers, exhibitors and event staff, and open dialogue with other attendees is extremely valuable as well. Being personally involved in a TEDx event is like the high-five with another fan at a baseball game.

Q: TEDxFrontRange is volunteer run. Why do you think people are committed enough to this event to volunteer their time?

A: This is a huge event that takes a lot of time and coordination. Our team has been in planning mode since last summer. Being a small part of an international organization like TEDx is motivation for creating an elite local event. We’re all fully dedicated to bringing the TEDx mission to our neighbors on the Front Range. It takes a special group, and I think we’ve assembled one of the finest.

Q: How can the Front Range business community support this event?

A: Our partners are instrumental to the success of TEDxFrontRange. We seek a collaborative relationship with local businesses that are interested in reaching their customers in new and creative ways. In-kind and monetary partnerships are greatly appreciated and our partners will be highly visible to our audience. Many partnership opportunities are available for anyone interested in partnering with a world-class organization. Information is on our website: tedxfrontrange.com/become-our-partner.

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