TEDxSydney – Remo Giuffre – Organizer

In Curating, Producing by Mark Sylvester


The Hack: Figure out your personal why, then connect it to your organization’s why

Remo Giuffre, the original licensee of TEDxSydney, has the envious position of curating one of the most widely respected TEDx events in the world. TEDx organizers who’ve been on the show in the past say it’s the single event they’d love to attend.

Remo was at one of the original TED events in Kobe, Japan and is celebrating his 25th year as a TEDster. In 2010 he produced one of the first TEDx events and has since gone on to create an extremely high-end event with state of the art production values. He will be the first to tell you it’s all about the team and delegating everything.

He’s doubled the size of the event since moving from the Sydney Opera House to 4,200 attendees. They do so much innovation; I don’t want to spoil the surprises by writing about them; you’ll want to listen to this episode a couple of times. I’ve gotten several incredible ideas from this conversation as I expect you will too.

Remo says working on TEDxSydney is a rite of passage for the team, and now, seven years since they started, team members have gone on to do some amazing work, using skills learned at TEDxSydney.

Delegate Radically”Remo Giuffre, TEDxSydney Organizer

The Lightning Round

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

    Remo is a 25 year TEDster and has been the organizer of TEDxSydney since 2010. They started with 800 people and have grown into their third venue, now with 4,200 attendees.

  • What makes your TEDx unique?

    They have an original film series for the event. Films are produced and screened during the day. They also do a session where audience members can submit a thirty second talk – then give it on stage.

  • What’s your Superpower?

    Producing and Organizing. He says it’s his ability to see the big picture. He thinks of how he can supersize the event while keeping it intimate.

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

    The continued willingness of people to contribute and share.

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

    Financial sustainability. With no retained earnings from year to year, it’s challenging to work with a break-even financial model.

  • What’s one piece of advice you have for veteran organizers? For first-timers?

    Think twice about doing a big event. The hardest part is the production. Not everything doubles. For instance moving to 4,200 attendees this year ended up being four times as hard.

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

    Continuing to finesse the new venue. He is focused on the audience experience to create a community feel. They have also created affinity groups (15) cover a lot of areas. This is an excellent idea to take to your local event by the way.

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

    TEDxTokyo and TEDxAmsterdam

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

    At the age of 57, he’s finally figured out his personal ‘why.’ It’s to connect other people. You can see this mission in all his projects. He suggests that you understand how your own ‘why’ connects with the organizations’ ‘why’.

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