December 1, 2016
Women Unite at TEDx
By Meredith Goette
A few weeks ago, UPBrand was fortunate enough to be an active participant in this year’s TEDWomen, a conference celebrating the power of women to be creators and change-makers. Our partners at CPG both curated and produced the regional event, TEDxStLouisWomen. As a sponsor of the event, we wanted to make sure that UPBrand’s presence was both authentic and relevant. Using our agency’s collaborative approach, we worked together as a team to determine how we could best contribute to the TEDx experience and share it with our peers, clients and attendees.
After much discussion, lots of great thought starters and advice from our agency partner, we landed on a few engaging ideas we eventually brought to life. The first involved creating a VIP experience for our clients, complete with preferred seating, customized UPBrand notebooks, water bottles and totes. The second idea was all about inspiration and inviting everyone and anyone to take home a little piece of their experience. We constructed a wall of envelopes full of inspirational phrases and invited attendees to select an envelope and read the enclosed message. Women came in mass groups from every direction just to see what this wall was all about and what was inside the envelopes. Those who visited left the experience with a big smile on their faces. Some smiled because they won an autographed book, others because they won a tote bag, but most just smiled because they read an inspiring quote by or about women. It’s just that simple.
It might seem obvious, but this whole experience reminded me that there’s a common theme among women all around the globe. We want to band together. We want to help each other grow, learn and innovate. There was no better example than the assembly of more than 1,800 women (AND men) brought together by this event.
The lineup of international speakers proved to be a diverse mix of influencers, each with a story to tell, a message to share and powerful ideas to activate. The subject-matter experts included: Terri Trespicio, a relationship expert and talented comedian, Therese Huston, Ph.D. and author of How Women Decide, Anne Grady, leadership consultant and author of 52 Strategies for Life, Love & Work and St. Louis’ very own Brittany Packnett, an education executive and activist for racial and social equality. We even had a male speaker this year; Jeffery Tobias Halter, President of YWomen thinks it’s about time we stop asking women to lean in and ask men to stand up. These are just a few of the incredible speakers we all had the pleasure listening to at TEDx this year.
I watched as the audience actively listened and hung onto each word, taking in all the knowledge and information. We were inspired and energized by what we heard and the water cooler conversations were full of laughter and excitement. It was this moment I knew we had really elevated the experience and had an impact on the audience. In the end, all we want to do as an agency is find authentic ways to connect with audiences and tell the right stories. It was clear to me that we had done just that at TEDx. It worked because we had the right audience, shared relevant messages and provided everyone an engaging and memorable experience. I feel grateful to have been part of this event both professionally and personally.