How the TED Conference chose Vancouver as its headquarters

Janet and Katherine McCartney open up at Van Mag’s latest M Power Speaker Series

November 19, 2015

/ Photo: Sheldon Cox

On November 9, a collection of this city’s curious minds gathered at Brian Jessel BMW to attend our last M Power event of the year. Recently crowned Power 50 honourees Janet and Katherine McCartney took to the stage to discuss how the TED Conference chose Vancouver as its headquarters.

The McCartney sisters’ event production company PDW Inc. has been working with Chris Anderson, curator of TED Conferences, since 2002—A partnership that according to the sisters “changed our worlds.” The annual TED Conference is as the heart of TED. Held each year on the West Coast of North America, this five-day speaker series entertains, inspires and captivates attendees with a cleverly curated program of sessions, events, networking opportunities and activations.

When trying to decide where to hold the TED Conference, the McCartney sisters came up with an initial list of 40 before shortlisting it to three, which included Vancouver. “It met our needs, and I knew that in my gut,” said McCartney. “Mayor Gregor Robertson was delighted and used TEDTalks as a calling card for the city…. We’re trying to involve the City of Vancouver as much as we can.”

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