Compared to the snow storm that took place on event day for the first TEDxTbilisi in 2012, this year's event occured on a perfect and calm spring day.
Guests started arriving at 12 when we opened the registration - amazingly on time by Georgian standards. We opened the doors at 1 and the show started a few minutes later. The day was long - running until a little after 7 - but the audience stayed full until the end, which was a good thing, since we had a few strong speakers slated to close the day.
We had 300 attendees, Georgians, expats living in Georgia, visitors, a few miltary people stationed in Georgia, diplomats, as well as a few people who came from Armenia and Azerbaijan. It was a great cross section of people to hear about Georgia and her myriad of cross roads.
The first three speakers set the tone for variety - something we strove to reach with the speaker selection. A balance between men & women, foreigners & Georgians, speaking on a variety of topics pertinent to Georgia and the broader on line live stream audience.
The 2nd session opened with TSU ART - the amazing band that had everyone talking at the event and beyond. 7 college guys, 12 instruments, 1 DJ mix station, big imagination and even bigger talent. The best part was, they had been out on a gig the night before until 6 am and when the TEDxTbilisi staff came in at about 9 to get things moving that morning, all the guys were strewn across the stage and audience seats, catching a few winks of sleep while they could. By the way they played, no one could have guessed they were running on less than 2 hours of sleep. Ah, the resilience of youth!
The sessions continued, with our variety of speakers, each presenter different and topics unique.
Throughout the day, we posted to Facebook and sent out tweets trying to keep eveyone updated and engaged.
We are still waiting for survey results but the preliminary feed back was really encouraging. We are already thinking ahead to 2014 ... and if you have anyone to suggest for future speakers, please let us know!