Exploring the Rabbit Hole: Social spaces and activities at TEDxNewYork 2016

Beyond the amazing ideas on stage at TEDxNewYork 2016 (see what happened all day), attendees met during breaks and meals in bustling social spaces. Thanks to TEDxNewYork’s wonderful partners, they participated in activations that sparked imagination, and enjoyed great conversations and some of the best eats New York has to offer. See some highlights:

The day began with coffee and breakfast as more than 500 attendees made their way to the check-in desk.

Wafels & Dinges was a hit with their “Throw Down” Waffle, and Nounos Creamery set up a delicious yogurt station. Whole Foods Market gave TEDxNewYork-ers a chance to munch on fresh fruit and healthy snacks, while KIND provided a quick breakfast alternative with their healthy breakfast bars. And of course, there was abundant caffeine: Joe Coffee cold brew, Everyman Espresso, Matcha Bar ice tea, and RUNA clean energy drinks. Attendees snacked throughout the day on an array of treats from Peanut Butter & Co., The Chia Co., Sweet Loren’s cookies, Jcoco chocolate, and Perrier.

All that fuel was put to great use between talks as attendees engaged in activations about work and the future during breaks.

Microsoft Stores asked attendees to build their own utopias at their xBox Minecraft activation, and hosted a Q&A with speakers Muneeb Ali and Allison Bishop. Microsoft Stores also brought attendees together for the “Achieve More” Wall, asking attendees: “What do you hope will be achieved for the next generation’s lifetime?” Participants shared their answers on a shared screen via surface tablets.

Culture Amp's experts in employee feedback custom built a workplace culture survey for TEDxNewYork 2016, inspired by speaker Adam Galinsky’s book Friend and Foe: When to Cooperate, When to Compete, and How to Succeed at Both. Throughout the day, anonymized responses were aggregated on a giant screen in the Culture Amp lounge, and attendees lined up to respond and see how their experiences compared. (Stay tuned to see the results!)

The menu grew as the day went on to expand bellies along with minds. Lunch was a true New York City feast of Dos Toros tacos and bowls, Taim falafel from their signature food truck, and Inday grain bowls. During lunch attendees mingled, played with activations, and joined Mixmag’s panel conversation on “shifting the dial on diversity” in the music industry. Introverts discovered thought-provoking questions (“Do you have mommy or daddy issues?”) in cards slipped into theater seat pockets, to inspire intimate one-on-one conversations.

After a full day of ideas, Mixmag and Smirnoff Sound Collective threw an epic after-party, complete with DJ sets and dancing. Mixmag provided electronic music that kept attendees moving, and invited the TEDxNewYork community to join the movement to change the face of electronic music, festival programming, and attendance.

As attendees tapped their feet, they munched on cheese, bread, and charcuterie courtesy of Bien Cuit, Murray’s Cheese, and Mile End to fuel the fun. They sipped Rekorderlig Cider and TEDxNewYork’s very own custom-brewed beer from Brooklyn Brew Shop.

Stay tuned for more from the big day -- from the talks themselves to survey results. One more thing coming up on the TEDxNewYork blog: a guide to speakers’ local secrets that location-focused partner xAd produced for each attendee.

Photo credits: Dian Lofton and Jess Nash