What Attendees Can Expect From this Year’s Virtual TEDxAtlanta Conference – Jacqui Chew, Organizer

Between new businesses and the unexpected challenges, Atlanta continues to thrive as a city with a rich entrepreneurial spirit that drives many people here. Our next guest is Jacqui Chew, startup and technology marketing expert, and the Principal Organizer and Licensee for TEDxAtlanta, which kicks off virtually on April 16th.

Register to attend TEDxAtlanta here!

Transcription:

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Jacqui, thank you so much for joining us once again on the show.

Jacqui Chew:
Thanks for having me here, Jim.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Sure. So before we jump into the TEDx for here in Atlanta and all that goes along with that, sounds very exciting by the way, let’s talk a little bit about some of the trends that you see out there. What kind of an impact has this COVID had on the technology scene here in Atlanta?

Jacqui Chew:
One would think that the lockdown last year would have impacted entrepreneurs and funding and such, and it really hasn’t. There have been some very large rounds that have been raised by various startups here in the city last year, the least of which was Relay Payment stacked with, they announced their funding. So there’s definitely activity, if I would say a lot of activity, and also there’s hiring. So one would think that in a pandemic there wouldn’t be any hiring, but certainly in the last six months or so I have seen a lot of new job openings, which is really good news. Finally, with big business, big tech, I think we’ve all seen that Google was making a significant investment, and so is Microsoft, so that’s really good news for the city.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
That’s right. Boy, there’s no question about it. And now everybody’s able to work remotely. I mean, lo and behold, I think that this is one of the great takeaways of 2020, is that companies have pivoted very quickly and said, “Okay, we’re going to continue to offer our products and services. However, all of our associates will be working from home and working remotely.” And now it’s kind of just the new normal that we’re in, right?

Jacqui Chew:
Yes, yes, indeed. And I think that this working from home thing is really not going to go away even after we’ve all been vaccinated and we all get back to the new normal. And truly, I think we’re going to go … Experts are saying that we’re going to go to a 3-2-2 sort of a schedule where we work either three days at home or three days in the office and two days the other way, and two days for the regular weekend.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Sure, sure. Yeah. I think everybody’s getting so much work done. They’re enjoying it, they don’t like the commute and obviously in Atlanta we always have traffic issues, so nobody misses that. They can be in their sweatpants or what have you, and turn to their office and say, “I’m ready to go. Let’s do this.” So it allows associates to be much more efficient and save those dollars that they’re going to spend on gas or commuting or what have you. I understand clothing sales are a little bit down, the clothing that you would typically buy to be in your office because everyone’s like, “We don’t need it.” I could be in a pair of shorts or a t-shirt or what have you. Just doesn’t matter anymore. So it really has changed the business landscape as we know it, right?

Jacqui Chew:
So I was just reading about an interview, I was watching an interview with the CEO of Thredip, which is a consignment slash sort of treasure hunting sort of online store. It’s like a Goodwill, but online. He was predicting that there’s going to be an uptick once we’ve all been vaccinated and we’re out and about again. But I do think though that yes, clothing sales are a little bit down, however, this pandemic has led to a whole slew of fashion styles.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
That’s right. That’s right. Kind of crazy. All right. Well, let’s kind of jump right in here to you telling us all about TEDx Atlanta 2021, its 12th year, and it’s going to be virtual, right? Shocker.

Jacqui Chew:
Yes, it is. So last year actually we held two different virtual TEDx Atlantas and they did not feature local speakers. But this year, this is our main stage event, we’re really excited. It’s a virtual event, but unlike any that any of your viewers have attended in the last 12 months, and I guarantee you that, because we have preserved the interactive nature of our conferences, the networking and such, using a events platform called Hopin. And so the face-to-face networking that our attendees have told us they love, that’s going to be made possible as well because we have, in the platform, is going to be a video networking, face-to-face video networking component, that people can get matched to based on their interests and their passions.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Oh wow. That’s great.

Jacqui Chew:
Yeah, yeah. We’re really excited about that. And actually, that was one of the reasons why we selected Hopin as our platform. They facilitated those sorts of interactions. The second part that’s interactive is the discovery sessions. So during our intermissions in our regular show, we normally would have folks go out into the lobby area at the conference center and they would interact with each other, they would talk to the speakers, and there would also be activities. Well, this time we’re putting it all virtual in that speakers will be hosting Ask A Speaker sessions, and then there are some very special workshop style discovery sessions. And this is really in the tradition of big TED. The TED Conference has been offering this for a long time. And we’re, we’re, we’re bringing it online.

Jacqui Chew:
And there’s going to be a workshop by a award-winning photographer, and he’s going to be leading … It’s going to be only limited to 20 registrants, that’s the trick, and he’s going to be leading a workshop on how to take better photos with your phone. So better family photos, better dog photos, better cat photos.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
That’s pretty cool.

Jacqui Chew:
Yes. So his will be one of five. There are two others that I’m super excited about. One is by Deb Lavoy. Her organization, Reality Team, fights disinformation on social media. So she is going to be leading a workshop on how to discern whether something that you’re seeing on social media is real or not without spending a gazillion hours researching, and then what to do about it.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Wow. That’s fantastic.

Jacqui Chew:
And then finally, and this is for parents and their kids, this is totally a parent-child or sibling sort of group activity, Aurora Robson, who is a globally acclaimed debris artists. She makes beautiful sculptures and art out of junk, out of plastic. She’s going to be leading a workshop on junk mail and how to turn your junk mail into art.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
That’s fantastic. Now I know there’s a purpose for that, right?

Jacqui Chew:
Yes.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
So, that’s fantastic. Well, that’s great. Where can people go to learn more about this if they want to log on or I should say log in and catch the conference?

Jacqui Chew:
Absolutely. They would go to TEDxAtlanta.com.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay. We’ll show it on the screen here.

Jacqui Chew:
That would be T-E-D … Sure. That would be T-E-D-X Atlanta.com.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
That’s fantastic. And will this be a situation where if somebody attends and they pay their fee, will it be recorded so they can go back and watch certain segments?

Jacqui Chew:
So in the tradition of all TEDx’s, all of the speakers and their talks will be uploaded to the TEDxGlobal YouTube channel. And those are always free. There is a lag in time, so there’ll be a six week or so ish lag between April 16 and when those are available.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Okay. Wow. That is fantastic. For people that are out there that were wondering whether or not we were going to have a TEDx conference here in Atlanta, we are, and you’re just a click away from attending. So if you don’t sign up, shame on you. These conferences are the absolute best and Jacqui and her team do just an excellent job. We’ve been a part of it here at ASBN now for a couple of years, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it and get the message out for Jacqui and her team. But it really is first-class all the way. Obviously it’s got the TEDx brand on it so, you know it’s going to be world-class. Do yourself a favor, and as I said, you’re a click away. There’s no excuses. It can’t be any more convenient. So, Jacqui, I want to thank you so much for joining us here on ASBN to tell our viewers all about this. And hopefully we can do a follow up with you once the conference took place and kind of talk about some of the highlights.

Jacqui Chew:
I would love that. And thank you so much, Jim. And your crew does a wonderful job. Thank you.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Great. Well, thank you so much.


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