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Hold Online Or Postpone: Coronavirus Plunges TED Talk Organisers Into Dilemma

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The annual TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) talk is unlikely to go ahead as planned. This is due to the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus which may put attendees at risk.


Thousands of people travel from all over the world for the event. The event was originally scheduled for 20th through 24th April 2020. The organisers are now asking attendees to vote between postponing the event until July or holding it online.


In an email to attendees, TED curator Chris Anderson said:


“As you know, the Covid-19 virus is spreading around the world, causing many challenges. We’ve heard from many of you asking whether we intend to press ahead with Ted 2020  and the consensus of expert advice is that it would indeed be unwise to press ahead with the event in its current form in April.”


To further clarify, he added: “We are not canceling. We have two compelling options for how to outwit this virus.” 

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Mr Anderson acknowledges that moving the event to July 2020 is not a guarantee that the event will still go ahead. In that scenario, Mr Anderson believes there’d be no other choice then than to hold the event online.


TED talk
TED hosts about 2000 attendees yearly. Photo:

TED committed to hosting meaningful discussions

Vancouver, Canada has been playing host to TED since its inception in 2014 and this year’s edition was to hold in the city. About 2000 people pay $10,000 each year to be a part of the week-long event.


The organisers, however, believe that the risk is too great to hold the event this year as the spreading coronavirus is still without a known cure. However, another TED spokesperson Karen Navarre Wicki said:


“Despite the global health situation, TED is committed to sharing insights, sparking action and hosting meaningful discussions of the ideas that matter most in the world. What form that takes will be determined in the next week.”


The TED talk organisers will expectedly reach a decision on if to postpone or hold the event online next week.


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