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29 Tips to get the most out of TEDActive (from attendees)

A good experience can be elusive. It takes the right combination of people, the perfect ambiance, a memorable moment and a touch of spontaneity. At TEDActive, good experiences are abound. Why? Because we create the perfect environment with room for you to play and experiment and we fill the room with the smartest, coolest kids. It’s up to you to add the special sauce — your charm! Below, our veteran community shares their favorite tips help you have the best TEDActive experience (and these tips are so good, they could apply to any event or social gathering). And if there are any repeats or variations on a tip, you know they are super important.

1. Only ask people what they are passionate about and not about their job. — John Marston.
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2. Immerse yourself in the spirit! — Norberto Amaral

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3. Roll with everything, don’t analyze. — Rachel Langdon

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4. Do not miss a speaker (to work out, sleep in, make a call) because it will end up being the one everyone talks about. — Felicia Kamriani

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5. Meet that interesting person by asking them what they love to do. — Kat Haber

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6. Embrace the giant badges and don’t be taken off-guard when someone calls you by your first name. The undertone of hospitality is a key takeaway. — Chris Carpenter

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7. Remember that nobody is a pure extrovert or introvert. We are all somewhere in-between… in my experience TED Active provided a warm and safe environment to explore my own personal limits – and stretch them a bit… — Chadburn Blomquist

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8. Dive head first into all of the new ways to greet one another. When we’re from all over the world, we can handshake, hug, kiss each other 1, 2, or 3 times, bump fists, bump elbows, or hip bump! do it all! — Kelsey Rhodes

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9. Bring out as much of the extrovert in you as you can … all the time, for the whole week … sounds like an effort, but I guarantee it will pay off!!! Start by striking up a conversation with EVERYONE… we are ALL interesting people! — Jose Fernandez-Calvo

6942672149_04fc5bdc8e_b10. Bring something to share, whether it’s tangible or not.  (And lots of business/calling cards) — Jennifer Arzonetti

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11. Book an early flight in and a late flight out. You won’t want to leave! — Brian Smith

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12. Take a moment at the end of each day to note down the insights you have gained and promise yourself to engage in even more conversations with new TEDsters the following day. — Henrik Ahlen

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13. Put. Down. The PHONE! Look up, look around, look into things, and dive into any experience and opportunity you see. Serendipity abounds at TEDActive! — Grace Rodriguez

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14. Remember that Thursday morning is pajama/bathrobe day! It’s a good idea to bring your own, in case the hotel doesn’t have robes! This is an IMPORTANT one!  — John K. Bates

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15. Use every opportunity to introduce yourself with a handshake. In buffet line, coffee line, registration line, gift line, demo line, beanbag buddies, ski line…. introduce yourself to everyone with a badge… pretend your going to summer camp when you were 10… — Aaron Tang

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16. Try to get *some* sleep. Miss conversations late at night in order to be coherent during the day. I have to do this, as I can’t cope on less than seven hours sleep. — Stephen Collins

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17. Eat, eat, eat! The food and snacks have historically been very healthy and very good. You will be amazed at what a week of healthy eating and snacking will do for your brain as you put it through its paces. Share that good food with strangers…sharing good meals with interesting people is a real treat. — Chris Carpenter

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18. Don’t be or allow wallflowers. — Douglas S. Coleman

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19.  There is NOTHING you can do that can prepare you for your first event. Just be present and enjoy every moment. — Jon Yeo

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20. If there are fireplaces, great conversations, music and laughter will ensue. Stick by one. — Ash Donaldson

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21. Get as much sleep as possible BEFORE the one week! — Martin Venzky-Stalling

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22. Don’t worry about planning too much during TED week. Lots to do and better to just roll with it on the fly while there… — Aaron Tang

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23. Find your locals (those from near to where you live), to make ongoing connections; possibly more importantly, find those from far away and make friends from the other side of the world. — Stephen Collins

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24. Shut off the phone. Use every opportunity to start a conversation. Stay at least until Saturday. — Stefan Krueger

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25. TED Activator’s are remarkable people – asking “What do you need?” could lead to interesting adventures for you and them. — Rahim Sajan

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26. Bring a simple gift (or two) which you have a connection with (you made it, or it’s a unique local product), gift wrap and have ready. Opportunities will appear. — Douglas S. Coleman

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27. Learn new dance steps and teach some too! — Yashraj Akashi

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28. Pack light. Some years the TED goodies have been ‘overly generous’ and I’ve been glad to have an empty bag. — Ash Donaldson

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29. Bring little, expect to leave with lots. — Aaron Tang

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