CEI Asia: "TEDx takes off with HK travel forum" - Feature

2013 AugustCEI Asia: "TEDx takes off with HK travel forum"by Emilie Yabut-Razon Audience engages in a journey to discuss trends in tourism

Event  TEDxVictoriaHarbour Organisers  Craft House and Celebrating Life Venues  Sunbeam Theatre, Hong Kong Attendance  100 Date  May 11, 2013

The brief TEDxVictoriaHarbour is a travel and tourism conference organised in Hong Kong. This year’s theme was ‘E-Motions in Travel and Tourism: how and why we travel and how it will evolve in the future’.

Like other TED events, which focus on ‘ideas worth spreading’, speakers from different fields were invited to present their views to stimulate dialogue on the tourism theme.

“We created this event to promote great ideas and new perspectives that are relevant to those who love travel. The world is getting smaller, travel is easy, there aren’t enough hours in the day and while many like to believe they travel for purpose, it’s often the opposite,” says Yvette Jong, founder of Craft House, a hospitality consultancy.

Challenges Hong Kong’s Sunbeam Theatre was the top choice as a local and historical venue. But it had been some time since an event had been held in the theatre, and the management’s inexperience showed when theatre staff double-booked the venue and rented a non-functioning projector to the organisers.

Craft House had to cover the expense of renting an LED screen and used the second conference break to move exhibition booths from the lobby to the smaller foyer area to make way for the other event.

Instead of having cocktails in the lobby after the conference, organisers decided to host the reception inside the theatre, and set up a satellite bar on stage with sponsor and Italian brewer Peroni.


Talks from 11 speakers made up majority of the programme.  From celebrity chef Chris Hora to violinist Erica Ye Byeoel Lee (left), the speakers shared a love of travel.

 “We did our best to ensure our speakers were challenged to share something new,” says Jong.

Organisers engaged the audience with activities that encouraged participation. Local artist Francesco Lietti held a painting session during breaks, in which delegates helped paint a collage of Victoria Harbour. Also, a photo booth was set up with travel-themed props and an interactive map that let delegates show off their favourite destinations.

Comment “TEDxVictoriaHarbour was organised so well, from the diversified speakers to the stellar staff and volunteers that brought their personality to the event,” Hora says. “Rather than being a stream of the same thoughts or views, it was an ebb and flow of differing and sometimes humorous characters. It was a great experience. I am so happy to have been a part of it.”

TimelineMay 25, 2012  First TEDxVictoriaHarbour held at the Hong Kong Arts Centre June  TEDx license renewed January 2013  Venue confirmed March  Event announced May 5  Tickets sold out May 10  Welcome dinner for speakers, show set up May 11  Event held