An Open Call For Sponsors – How We Fund TEDxBrum

TEDxBrum brings a global brand associated with innovation and inspiration to the city of Birmingham at a time when the city is slowly, but surely, re-emerging as a pioneer on the world stage. In this post the partnerships team explain how the event is funded and how you can get involved.

TEDxBrum 2016 is set to be a world class event, with extraordinary individuals from many fields offering talks and workshops, a live audience of 800 people and a live stream online; all set in the traditional home of citizen-led change – the Town Hall. TEDxBrum’s reach and impact is set to be bigger than ever and will play a key role in shaping perceptions of Birmingham for people the world over.

It’s also run entirely by volunteers and without financial gain. TEDxBrum has grown over the last 5 years due to the ever increasing appetite for change present amongst the population of the UK’s youngest and most diverse city. We’ve gone from 120 people in mac birmingham in year 1, 350 people at Millennium Point in year 2, on to the Library of Birmingham with 400 people and 2500 live views in year 3, and now an ambitious 800 seater Town Hall awaits us this year. The rising demand, interest and impact of TEDxBrum has continued to grow every year, which is fantastic, however this also means the work and costs of organising have risen proportionally. There are two routes TEDx events can go down to meet these costs - ticket sales and partnerships.

The first of these, ticket sales, are always a contentious element of TEDxBrum planning. It’s an imperative of the team that TEDxBrum is accessible, fairly priced and offers value for money. It’s also the only ‘guaranteed’ income stream the event has and it inspires us that Birmingham’s citizens are willing to pay to be a part of the day. We are determined to keep prices as low as possible, but putting on a world class event also takes resources. We aim to work with as many partners and local independent businesses as possible, and reciprocity and paying suppliers fairly is very important to us. This year, after much surveying and discussion, TEDxBrum settled on a price of £35 a ticket. We believe this offers good value (including 15 world class speakers, workshops, performances, all your food, snacks, coffee and some goodies) whilst also meeting a good chunk of the total costs per head - yet to deliver an event for Birmingham to be proud of we also need to attract other forms of support.

Partnerships, whether in-kind or direct sponsorship, are the main way our team of volunteers can put on the event for the people of Birmingham. They are crucial to making the event exceptional, impactful and accessible. This year we’ve already got some excellent partners on board who pretty much said ‘yes’ as soon as TEDxBrum was mentioned. In the hope of inspiring other would-be sponsors to come forward, we’ve drawn together the top 3 reasons why these guys got involved:

1. Alignment with the Values and Impact of TEDx
In a constantly evolving connected world, TEDx is consistently aligned with innovation and the power of people to create positive change. Around the world incredible speakers inspire communities and cities to action. This is something our sponsors wanted to be associated with.

2. A World Wide Phenomena Happening on Their Doorstep
Global leaders in their field are set to come to Birmingham, bringing their cutting-edge research, ideas and enthusiasm, and partners wanted to enable this to happen for the benefit of their city and community. TEDx events and unique and get broadcast around the world. If a talk goes viral and Birmingham gets a bump, then sponsors can quite proudly say they were part of it.

3. The Reach of the Event
TEDxBrum has grown every year, and this year it is in an 800 seater location with 2 official live stream venues already confirmed. The social media reach is staggering (6,500 Twitter followers, 1,500 facebook likes and more) and the buzz carries on for months afterwards as talks are re-watched and shared. The convening power of TEDxBrum brings together people and groups that companies don’t traditionally interact with – the future talent of the city is in the room so sponsors want to become known to them.

To conclude, TEDxBrum, a day of world-leading talent in a premier city venue, has its costs to meet (even without factoring in the volunteer team's skills and time). Tickets will bring in a good chunk of it, but we’re looking for sponsors and partners to help us source the rest. In a city the size of Birmingham, we believe this is wholly possible if we really do tap into a broader #PowerOfUs. If you do too, please give this a share, put it in front of the people who hold the purse strings or get in touch to talk about how we might work together.

Thanks for reading,
Dan and Joy x

Tweet us at @Dan_Zastawny and @joyfuljosu or visit out partners page for more information on becoming a TEDxBrum partner.