The high-profile TED Conference will return to Vancouver in 2016. Applications are now being accepted for next year's event. (Yes, attendees must apply to attend the conference.)
The initial deal announced in 2013 called for the annual flagship conference to move to Vancouver for at least 2014 and 2015 with an option to stay longer. The organization now says it will be back in 2016, holding its conference Feb. 15 to 19. The theme will be "Dream."
The move north from Long Beach, Calif. – a surprise when it was announced two years ago – has not stopped attendees from travelling north, and paying top dollar for the conference experience. The standard registration runs $8,500 (U.S.) for the main event, which has sold out this year (according to the website, a limited number of "donor memberships" are available at a cost of $17,000). Applications are still being accepted for the TEDActive conference held at the same time in Whistler – which simulcasts the TED talks and provides other programming (at a cost of $4,250).
TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) famously attracts big name attendees (former U.S. vice-president Al Gore, for instance, is a regular who attended the conference last year) and high-profile speakers. TED talks will be delivered this year by the likes of Monica Lewinsky (who will speak in a session called "Just and Unjust"); last year's co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize Kailash Satyarthi; and former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd. The theme for this year's conference, which runs March 16-20, is Truth and Dare.
A special pop-up theatre was designed specifically for the Vancouver Convention Centre space last year, built to accommodate 1,200 people with the ability to be dismantled and stored.
During the 2014 event, TED curator Chris Anderson said the organization was hoping to stay in Vancouver longer than the two years under the contract. "Based on the feedback [from the TED community], I would predict that we're going to be here for quite a few years," he told reporters. "I hope so."