TEDxRamallah – The Digital Story of Hope in a Social Media World

Xische and TEDxRamallah joined forces almost a year ago and itʼs been an extremely thrilling experience right from the start. TED, the event, is well-known for itʼs inspirational overtones and sense of purpose. TEDxRamallah inspired the passion behind the fierce pursuit of inspiring dialogue from Palestine; passion to spread ideas that encapsulates all that is TED – one story at a time.

Integrated Approach

We took on an integrated approach from inception, and maintained this with integrity through every element, consistently liaising with Ramzi Jaber and Joumana Jabri, the visionary organizers, passionate volunteers,  project managing, designing the website and other collateral as well as devising, implementing and managing the digital strategy.

With an organic design rationale, the website allows the content to take center-stage. This design approach prioritizes integration, such that all elements become part of a seamless unified whole leading to a website that advocates  infinite scaling without a compromise on design. This was an objective as the potential for growth for TEDxRamallah was recognised at early stages. The primary visual device was derived of the “x” from the title of the event merged with a traditional keffiyeh or head dress worn by the native men of Palestine. The harmonious marriage of the two represents the two elements integrated. On the big day, we unlocked a secret page that allowed visitors to www.tedxramallah.com to simultaneously watch the show live and read the conversations happening around it!

Creating a Digital Voice

Next, we gave TEDxRamallah a voice, a personality that was the single most trusted, informal outpost of the event across all platforms. We promoted real dialogue with people and organizations; a two-way communication seeding inspiration and delivering real-time conversations instead of being yet another press feed. From Day 1, social media has been instrumental in harvesting support and instrumental in nominating speakers, inviting volunteers, driving attendees and even sponsorship! At one point, TEDxRamallah was able to achieve $20,000 in sponsorship through social platforms in a matter of hours! The organizers shared their experiences as they went in and out of meetings, keeping the voice real and relevant in order to give fans and followers an insight into the challenges and accomplishments of organizing such an event.

TEDxRamallah has an active voice on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN and itʼs own dedicated video feed on Youtube and Vimeo. We harvested videos to keep the audience interested and curious. To drive engagement and involvement we produced TEDxRamallahʼs official Twibbon, a contagious show of support that is placed as an avatar, demonstrating support and a sense of community around the event; gave away tickets to the well-deserving few who were able to accurately answer our TEDxRamallah-related questions. Bloggers approached us to show their support and volunteered to blog about the event in both English and Arabic, as well as volunteers who sat through the event live-tweeting and posting updates and snippets of the event on Facebook.

The Outcome

#TEDxRamallah (the hashtag) trended worldwide in the top three spots several times with the highest penetration of Twitter talk around the event at 0.14% at around 2PM on the day. This happened within 8 minutes of tweeting and reminding people to use the hashtag at all times which is testimony of the amount of support we build up till the day of the event. Also worth mentioning is the appearance of the speakers Huwaida Arraf, Munir Fasheh, Julia Bacha, Suad Amiry and Alice Walker on the trend charts.

On Facebook, TEDxRamallah gained almost 2000 fans and received about half a million post views within a week to the event! Our 300 new fans a day were not only participating within the Page but amplifying our messages but inviting their networks to be part of the inspiration. A few passionate artist created exclusive artwork for TEDxRamallah that was shared across with everyone to use and before we knew, they were everyone’s wallpapers!

What started as an idea when Ramzi Jaber walked into the Xische offices almost a year ago became an international phenomena. An inspiration true to the spirit of TED.

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