TEDx Chatham-Kent is heading downtown.
The fourth annual speaking event that showcases local and regional ideas and entertainment will take place in the Chatham Capitol Theatre Oct. 19.
John Lyons, one of the event organizers, said it was time to head to the core of the community.
“It was just to have some change. We really wanted the stage and the lighting,” he said. “Our license still limits us to 100 people.”
Previously, TEDx C-K had taken place at the John D. Bradley Convention Centre. Lyons said it was an excellent venue.
“The Bradley Centre was so great in so many ways – the food and service were top notch,” he said. “But we had to construct the stage ourselves and bring in lighting. At the Capitol, there is state-of-the-art lighting and sound. That will enhance the presentation.”
That presentation may be seen by 100 people inside the Capitol on Oct. 19, but will be seen by thousands when the videos are released on YouTube and on the TED.com website, Lyons said.
“We wanted an amazing stage presentation with an equally amazing video,” he said.
Lyons is organizing this year’s TEDx with Peter Martin, Fannie Vavoulis and Cathy Hoffman.
Lyons said organizers anticipate between 15-20 speakers and performers.
“This year, we’re going to have more performers and entertainment,” he said. “Typically, we had two or three in the past. We want to show some new creative talent.”
He said there will be music, art, and possibly slam poetry.
The quartet of producers spends a great deal of time planning for TEDx C-K.
“It’s a small group. The four of us meet all year long,” Lyons said. “We’ve done it enough times we get through it pretty easily. But we really need the volunteers to help put the show on. The website and marketing, getting all the speakers, that happens behind the scenes all year long. It’s that production team for the day we need more than anything.”
The organizers need at least a couple of dozen volunteers to help make it all happen, Lyons said. They are again asking for help, for everything from registration, to shooting video and capturing audio, working backstage, and even outside.
This year, given the new venue, Lyons said there will be an outdoor element to TEDx C-K.
Some of that will take place during the lunch break, and some after the event, Lyons said.
“Why couldn’t we have a bigger immersive experience,” Lyons asked. “We just want to take ownership of the event. We want to breathe TEDx C-K into the downtown. We will have some cool things happening outside the theatre as well.”
In past years, themes for TEDx C-K have included “Small Town, Big Ideas;” and “Food for Thought.” This time around it’s pretty open, Lyons said.
“It’s about making change and making the world a better place,” he said of TEDx events.
There is still time for people to speak or perform at TEDx C-K. Lyons said the deadline for applications is Aug. 15.