TEDxScottBase – Trent Yeo – Operations

In Collaborating by Mark Sylvester


The Hack: Find your uniqueness

Trent Yeo, the organizer for TEDxQueenstown in New Zealand, was invited by TEDxChristchurch organizer, Kaila Colbin, to join a team of five to work for nine months, then spend nine days on the ice at TEDxScottBase.

The group came together in celebration of the 60th Anniversary of Scott Base, Antarctica New Zealand’s research station. The event was a unique opportunity to herald the success and participation in Antarctic science and research from the New Zealand base on Scott Island. This Flickr Album gives you a peek into what it was like getting the gear and people down to the event.

TEDxScottBase went out to 60 viewing parties around the world on every continent on Earth including a couple of locations in Antarctica such as the South Pole. All of the gear was registered and packed and sent on a plane three months ahead of the event.

Our conversation also covered the various aspects of producing his main event, TEDxQueenstown. We talked about how creating small events has a different sense of satisfaction. Trent remarked, “Small is beautiful.”

Going to Scott Base is like going to the Moon.”Trent Yeo, Operations

The Lightning Round

  • Tell us a bit about your background and your TEDx origin story.

    Trent is a part of a networking group called Ideas for Breakfast, Breakfast Not Included. They got together to produce their first TEDx in Queenstown in 2013. They all knew one another, so had a ready made team.

  • How many TEDx events have you worked with or produced?

    2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 TEDxQueenstown and in 2017 he was the Operations person for TEDxScottBase. They’ve also done Live events.

  • What makes your TEDx unique?

    Well, TEDxScottBase was in Antartica! It took a year to plan and every single cord, screen, monitor, name badge, everything, had to be shipped three months in advance. For TEDxQueenstown they mine speakers from all over New Zealand and Australia. They’re looking forward to doing Salons shortly. He calls the volunteers -carers- and has a high ratio of carers to attendees.

  • What’s your Superpower?

    Collaborating. Trent loves bringing people together with a common goal. They have an excellent reputation in the area and have built great partnerships as well.

  • What was the biggest surprise while working on your event?

    Learning that he was going to Antarctica!

  • Every event has its challenges, what was the biggest dragon you had to overcome?

    He said that going to Antarctica is like going to the Moon. They had to produce an exact list with 100% of what they needed, so that it could be vetted, then shipped three months in advance.

  • Looking forward to your next event, what excites you the most?

    They’re taking a year off from their main event (so that they could do TEDxScottBase) and in 2018 they’ll produce an event with the theme: Reinvigorated.

  • What’s a TEDx event that you’d like to attend?

    Anyone in South America or possibly in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

  • The show is called Hacking the Red Circle, so what's your best hack?

    While it’s great to see other TEDx events for inspiration, find out what your community seeks and is unique for, and do that!

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