TEDXUConn prepares for virtual conference

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TEDxUConn is having its 2020 conference “Patchwork” as a virtual livestream, Vincent Huang, TEDxUConn president and seventh-semester civil engineering major, said.  

“Patchwork” will be a four-hour long YouTube livestream airing Oct. 18 at 9 a.m., Huang said. “Patchwork” was originally going to be an in-person conference during the spring 2020 semester but had to be postponed due to COVID-19.  

For anyone interested in attending “Patchwork,” they will need to fill out a Google Poll in order to get the live stream link. More information about the conference is available on the TEDxUConn website.

“We decided to push it back to the fall in the hopes that we will be able to hold the event in-person,” Huang said. “We ultimately decided to go completely virtual when there was a risk that our event would not be funded by USG if pandemic conditions worsen. We made this decision well in advance to warn our speakers of the new format and give them time to prepare.”  

The theme “Patchwork” is the same from spring 2020, Huang said.  

“Patchwork explores how individual pieces [or] people can contribute to the whole, and that their interconnectedness makes up the whole,” he said. “Without these pieces, the whole ceases to exist.”  

When switching from in-person to virtual, Huang said the biggest changes were adjusting funds, solidifying speakers and determining how they would present their talk. When TEDXUConn decided to go virtual, they needed to reach out to all of their speakers to see if they still wanted to participate.  

Huang said almost all of the original speakers that were selected in the spring agreed to come back in the fall. Since all of their initial topics were for the “Patchwork” theme, TEDxUConn decided to keep this topic.  

Since the conference is now a livestream, it will be one continuous video that will be edited by TEDXUConn vice president Avery Bikerman, Huang said.  All of the speakers will submit pre-recorded videos of their talks, and Bikerman will add logos, slides and any additional features to get the livestream ready.  

“It will start with a brief introduction to the event by me, followed by all the speaker videos and then ending with a conclusion to the event,” Huang said. “Before each speaker video is played, a brief introduction to the speaker will be given by a member on our team. There won’t be any breaks in the sequence.”  

There will be 12 speakers total, Huang said. 11 of the speakers are University of Connecticut faculty or students. Huang said that all of the speakers will film their talks ahead of the livestream to avoid any internet connectivity concerns.   

“We have given speakers some freedom in how they want to film their video, provided it falls within TED production guidelines,” Huang said. “Most of the videos will just be a single shot from the waist up in the location of their choice.”  

Huang said it has been rewarding to help all the speakers achieve their goal of speaking at a TEDx talk.  

“I am most excited about hearing these speakers share their stories and expertise with the UConn population and then to the entire world when the videos are published on the TED YouTube channel,” Huang said.  

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