For the first time, the “Conventa Best Event Award” honoured the most innovative and creative event in the region during the Conventa Welcome Reception last week, in the Union Grand Hotel hall. The award went to TEDxLjubljana for their “TEDxLjubljanaSalon in the air” – the highest altitude TEDx event in the world ever and at the same time the first event aboard an airplane in flight.

A jury consisting of a group of meetings industry professionals: Johanna Fischer (tmf-dialogue marketing, Europe & India), Patrick Delaney (SoolNua, Ireland) and Bo Kruger (Moving Minds, Denmark) chose among 17 finalists and evaluated each of their events according to creativity, innovation, execution, event results, event communication and sustainable policies.

Whereas you can learn everything about the event itself at Kongres Magazine and in Conventa Daily 1 (page 7), we were interested in the concept of TEDx and what the work there looks like. That is why we talked to Nika Mocnik from TEDxLjubljana about her work at TEDx. She is Event Manager at Eventnika and works voluntarily for TEDxLjubljana. We were impressed by the enthusiasm that the young team showed during the award ceremony!

1. Nika, can you please tell us a bit about TEDxLjubljana and the concept of TEDx?

TEDx is a license given by TED – the conference for a broad variety of speakers who present their ideas  –  to enable the organization of local events. TED stands for Technology, Entraintainmet and Desing. Ideas, worth spreading, is the TED motto. The x in the name TEDx stands for an independently organized event.

We have 3 active TEDx teams in Ljubljana, all in all there are more than 10 active teams in Slovenia with a total of 59 TEDx events organized in Slovenia since 2009. Every team works independently from each other. The teams work voluntarily and the people in the teams are of all sorts of different professions, like journalists, bankers, designers, students, teachers etc. Everyone can be a TEDx fan and thus a member of the organizing team. According to the TED rules, organizers are not allowed as speakers, no self-promotion can be included and we are not supposed to make any profit with organizing the events, though we can cover the costs of the event.

2. What is your motivation to work for TEDxLjubljana?

I am part of it because one can meet lots of interesting people which can be very inspiring. You meet people you normally don’t meet, like CEOs, politicans and olympic athletes.

I also love the feeling when you get feedback from the audience, that they enjoyed the event a lot, that something moved them and inspired them to be more active.
Last year, I worked around 800 hours for TEDxLjubljana – all as a volunteer. It is an honour to work for an association like TEDxLjubljana.

3. Can you tell us something about the events of TEDxLjubljana?

In 2009, TEDxLjubljana team organized its first local event. So far we hosted 22 different events, with a total of 131 speakers.
Events are usually for free and we get the necessary money from our loyal sponsors. For the event in the airplane we charged the participants a small fee to avoid having empty seats in the plane. Our team also decided to start charging small fees for bigger events, because the demand for our events is greater that the seats that we have available. We would also like to have more options with the organization of the event and with charging an entrance fee we can give the participants a better experience.

In 2015, all 1,500 tickets for the traditional event at Cankarjev Dom were sold out at the beginning of November in a second.
The oldest person at an event was probably my 78 year old grandma, while the youngest attendee was still in highschool and around 15 years old.

4. How does the process of choosing a speaker works?

We carefully select the speakers. We always invite them for an interview, that usually lasts for at least half an hour. There are no restrictions to topics, we just have to respect TEDx rule that our sponsors can’t be speakers.

We will ask them questions such as “What would someone listening to you gain from your speech? What will be the impact on people listening?” The main messages from a good speech stay in your mind, so ideally you would be able to give a short outline about the content to someone asking for it.

A story about the event and the co-operation between TEDxLjubljana and Adria Airways can be found in the Adria OnAir Magazine of Dec 2015- Feb 2016. Also have a look at the video about the event!

Your contact at TEDxLjubljana:
Nika Mocnik
tel. +386 41 921635

Your contact at tmf dialogue marketing:
Ulrike Kiesel
Project Manager Content & PR
tel. +49 (0)931 9002 114