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Initiating TEDxHopeCollege in the midst of COVID-19

Written by: Therese Joffre, Website Manager

Throughout this past year, our executive team has spent endless hours preparing to launch the first ever TEDxHopeCollege event at Hope. As an executive team, we worked together remotely due to the pandemic. Nevertheless, we maintained seamless communication between the executive team and our speakers.

We are holding the event in the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts which features stunning architecture and a spacious auditorium to ensure social distancing for a safe event. Ticket sales for the in-person experience went on sale March 31 when we announced it on social media at 9 AM and sent a campus-wide email out at 10 AM. We sold out by noon that day. In only 3 hours we were able to have enough advertisement, anticipation, and excitement for our event to be at full capacity.

Throughout this semester, we have been connecting as an executive team and with our ten amazing speakers. In COVID-19 friendly (and often virtual) settings, we have been getting to know each other, collaborating on speech development and cultivating a new TEDxHopeCollege community. Our team members and speakers come from all parts of campus. From the sciences to the arts, we have it all. We are very proud that our event is completely student-led. Throughout this semester, different members of our team met five times each week, engaged in bonding opportunities with the speakers and even collaboratively built and painted the TEDxHopeCollege stage sign with volunteers. It has truly been a team effort to bring everything together this year.

Our experience creating TEDxHopeCollege was full of resilience. As a new organization we encountered financial, cultural, administrative, and COVID-19 related challenges. This was no minor feat. However, our journey to the final production of the event has defined and grown TEDxHopeCollege as a whole. We have done it and TEDxHopeCollege will be coming to campus April 24th.

We cannot thank the student body and faculty for their overwhelming support of our event. We could not have done it without them. We would also like to give a special shout-out to Katie DeKoster, our advisor, for all of her help and leadership this year. Our TEDxHopeCollege executive team, speakers and volunteer teams are excited for the Hope community to experience our event and hope that you enjoy the show!

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