A working system comprised of workshops and co-design moments to keep atmosphere and emotional power alive within a new digital experience


The events sector is one among many upon which Covid-19 has had a disruptive impact - forcing it, in fact, toward a sudden transformation. Within the sector, one of the most visible consequences is that the majority of public, corporate or private events -whether free or paid- were quickly substituted by remote methods that are almost always mediated by screen technologies. By making a virtue of necessity, new formats have arisen or, rather, those that already existed for some time have spread like wildfire – each proving particularly effective and efficient in the transmission to many recipients of either a small amount of info, or much of it. Nothing to complain about in most cases: that’s exactly what's needed - and it can be done.

Co-designing a customized digital event - between digital interaction and personality enhancement

But how should we behave when the event we’re talking about has its tradition and procedural methods -a personality of its own- for which it becomes necessary to preserve its strong identity, even before guaranteeing continuity when carrying it out? This is the ambitious challenge Logotel has taken up with its TEDxReggioEmilia friends: to reconcile the atmosphere, charm and emotional power of TED’s winning formula, rooted at global level to the social restriction requirements imposed by Covid-19.

Mission Impossible?

Yes, definitely impossible if you've worked till now according to classic methods of organizing events, though potentially attainable once you start from the kind of impact we’re after in terms of audience experience. Together with the TEDxReggioEmilia organizers and following approval from the international TED meta-organization, a working system has been set up that will lead to experimenting methods which, almost certainly, will be very different formally, interactively and technologically from that of the traditional TEDx, however all with a view to leaving as profound a mark on participants as previous editions have done.

Reaching the goal through (digital) collaboration

In arriving at defining this model, certain Logotel experience designers have begun a collaborative journey from remote with the TEDxReggioEmilia organization which involves significant involvement on the part of volunteers, partners / sponsors, speakers and, above all, the general public. Workshops from a "physical" distance -albeit with a highly interactive matrix- will be organized in anticipation of the big event scheduled for October. Not only will this allow for a modelling of the first TEDxReggioEmilia formula. For the first time in TED history it will also break down "relational" distances between audience, speaker, organization and sponsor. Here application of the motivational, value exchange logic typical of Logotel's professional communities as well as co-design Service Design methods will all form the cornerstones within the system of involvement.

Exiting the comfort zone to generate new value

Without diminishing the founding values and some essential cornerstones of the initiative and besides the presence of speakers and high-value content, one of the most courageous choices of the TEDxReggioEmilia organizers was to scrutinize other elements of future TEDx experience, including the management of physical and digital spaces, timing, interaction models - as well as, more generally, openness to scenarios that had hitherto gone unconsidered.

Viewpoint of Daniele Cerra (Digital Innovation Officer, Logotel)

"We find ourselves before an arduous yet very stimulating challenge: to preserve the spirit of TEDx events for the general public, for speakers, for sponsors and for organizers - respecting the identity of a brand that's well-known and consolidated worldwide while responding effectively, efficiently and, above all, engagingly to the social restrictions imposed by Covid-19".

Viewpoint of Laura Credidio (Marketing Consultant, TEDxReggioEmilia Licensee)

"Participating in TEDx's organization has allowed me in recent years to see the magic and active workings that amalgamate the energy of spectators, speakers, partners and volunteers. The adrenaline of all present, the anticipation of those about to listen, the interwoven stories, the minds processing ideas and transferring the experiences of others to their own. Here's the real challenge: to transfer those same energies and emotions, jointly experienced during previous editions, to a new model of participation. On the other hand, besides the emergency we’re experiencing and the social distancing it demands, the innovation of spreading ideas of value and of overcoming consolidated methods of communication remains a crucial element within the DNA of TEDx and its community ".