Once we decided to organize a TEDx event in Austin, the next step was to decide the venue. This was very important because, as per TED rules, the name of the event should include a location descriptor. This meant that the name of the event was going to be decided by where we would organize the event. We wanted to look for a neighborhood that represented the uniqueness of Austin and that everyone in Austin would recognize. The first thought that came to everyone's mind was: Congress Avenue.
Congress Avenue and the area around it have one of the most famous historical and modern landmarks in Austin, and a lot of unique establishments that represent the quintessential Austin culture: the Texas State Capitol, Contemporary Austin (previously Austin Museum of Art), St. Edward's university, the Congress Avenue Bridge that is famous for bats, the business district, art galleries, technology startups, and the best restaurants in town. To me, Congress Avenue is not just the heart of Austin but has the best of all the elements that make Austin a great place. The place is filled with new ideas in politics, art, education, technology, business, architecture, food, and more - the ideas that are worth spreading. This is exactly the type of place that we were looking for our TEDx event, and so the name TEDxCongressAve.
As at the end of 2012, more than 16,000 talks have been given at more than 5,000 TEDx events in 1,200 cities in 133 countries. The TEDx event organizers always tend look for venues that not just provide great facilities but also represent and embody the very spirit of TED, while creating an ambiance that fosters imagination, creativity, and discussion.
We hope to make TEDxCongressAve as unique and vibrant as Congress Avenue.
- Pranav Parekh