The TED Conference – an annual week-long summit of new ideas surrounding technology, entertainment and design – is moving to British Columbia in 2014. The conference’s main events will take place in Vancouver while other portions will take place in Whistler, B.C.
In its 30-year history, TED has been exported beyond the U.S. before as smaller events run under the TEDx banner. But BC Business reports that this move is an effort to make TED’s flagship event more globally appealing. Organizers had been searching for a new headquarters and settled on B.C. after striking a deal with the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC). Greg Klassen, the commission’s senior vice-president of marketing, said partnership dollars and agreements with area hotels helped lure the event to Canada.
“The cash contribution derived from the consortia of the CTC, Tourism Vancouver and the Vancouver Hotel Destination Association is a partnership,” Klassen told BC Business. “It allows our partnership to leverage the TED brand with that of our own.”
Klassen said that the return on investment will greatly impact Vancouver’s economy (for delegates, attending TED costs $7,500) as well as British Columbia’s worldwide reputation. Canada will be officially designated the TED host country, and Vancouver will be the official TED host city. “We can use this designation, with approval of TED, to help Canada position and sell itself as a meetings, events and convention destination in the future,” he said. BC Business also noted that as of last November, TED Talks had received more than a billion views online – those eyes will now be focused on B.C.
“Through TED and other influential conferences, we will be able to achieve Canada’s economic and social goals through possible direct foreign investment, foreign education in Canada and investor class immigration,” said Klassen. “The war on international talent is massive. It’s through conferences like this that we can secure a world-class engineer or scientist and bring them and their family here to create here. That’s the bigger payoff.”
Chris Anderson, whose non-profit Sapling Foundation owns TED and puts on the summit each year, called Vancouver “one of the world’s greatest cities,” and cited its innovative culture among the reasons it was ultimately chosen to host.