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Communications and Public Affairs

  • TEDxUofSC speaker Shigeharu Kobayashi

Event Spotlight: TEDxUofSC 2018

On Oct. 9, 2018, the University of South Carolina hosted its first-ever TEDx event: TEDxUofSC. TEDx is a global program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to hear short, powerful talks about innovative ideas. The program is guided by the TED organization, the nonprofit known for its TED Conference and devotion to “ideas worth spreading.” TEDxUofSC centered on one main goal: to share stories of how the university’s opportunities and research successes improve lives across our state, nation and world.

The Deliverables

  • TEDx stickers

    TEDxUofSC Talk Videos

    The TEDxUofSC talk videos will be produced by our office and local vendor Cinema Couture. Each video will capture the information and inspiration shared by the 12 speakers. The videos will be shared via the TEDx international network as well as our university channels.

  • Ronda Hughes

    Speaker Spotlights

    Our team created animated photos of each speaker to be used during the speaker lineup announcement. This unique style highlighted each speaker’s personality and drew attention on social media. The success of these gifs helped us sell out the event within five hours.

  • Lyric Swinton

    Speakers and Performers

    TEDxUofSC featured 12 speakers, videos from the annual TED Conference and two performances: A USC Aiken professor led a theatrical performance, and a School of Music professor led a musical ensemble. These elements came together in a dynamic, engaging atmosphere.


The Results

  • 8,017 messages, comments, shares and likes on social media on the day before and day of TEDxUofSC
  • 841,684 impressions across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn within 24 hours of the event
  • TEDxUofSC received more than 300 speaker nominations
  • Tickets sold out within five hours of going on sale
  • More than 330 people attended in person; many more from around the globe will watch our TEDxUofSC talks online
  • Four students spoke from the TEDxUofSC stage
  • The student TEDx club doubled in size through the planning process.


The Approach

TEDxUofSC brought together 12 speakers to share their work and stories with an audience of nearly 350 from the university and the community. Each speaker shared how they are improving lives with research-based, impact-oriented innovations. Each TEDxUofSC talk will be distributed worldwide via the global TEDx network in order to showcase our university’s incredible research capabilities and their impact on our South Carolina community and beyond. The event also started conversations about giving back among audience members, and many left TEDxUofSC inspired to better their community.

In its first year, we opened TEDxUofSC speaker nominations to the public in order to bring together voices from our university and Columbia, S.C., communities. Ten of the 12 speakers have a direct connection to the university, and two are members of our local community.

TEDxUofSC relied on faculty and staff members, students and non-university personnel throughout the planning process. The TEDx student club was integral in choosing the featured TED Talk videos. Faculty members lent their expertise as speakers, in production design, for public speaking coaching, and more. Communications and Public Affairs staff members designed collateral and digital assets, led operations, setup and load-out, recorded and photographed the event and had responsibility for the event as a whole.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.