TED sells 'virtual seats' to lofty gatherings

Dec 15, 2011
TED on Wednesday began selling "virtual seats" to its prestigious and mind-expanding flagship gatherings.

TED on Wednesday began selling "virtual seats" to its prestigious and mind-expanding flagship gatherings.

TED is known for its mix of brilliant, creative people and annual conferences that attract members ranging from celebrities and politicians to and founders of Internet titans such as and Amazon.

Attending prestigious gatherings requires an invitation and tickets are priced at $6,000 each.

The nonprofit organization behind TED said on Wednesday that people can now attend its renowned California and global conferences virtually by watching presentations streamed online live as part of annual memberships costing $995.

"TEDsters have asked us for a convenient and affordable way to enjoy TED all year long," TED community director Tom Reilly said in a release.

"By watching both conferences at their home, work or office; receiving a TED Book twice a month for a year, delivered automatically to the Kindle Fire; and getting private access to the TED Live community, members will enjoy exclusive access to TED all year round," he said.

Memberships for universities or small businesses were priced at $2,500 annually. Details were available online at TED.com/pages/TEDLive.

TED conferences have evolved from elite intellectual gatherings to a global exchange of thought-sparking ideas.

Renowned scientists, , artists, entrepreneurs and musicians have taken to the stage at the technology-focused gatherings where they are urged to give the "talk of their lives" in 18 minutes.

The annual Technology, Entertainment, Design conferences started 27 years ago in California as annual enclaves where elite thinkers got together to explore life from challenging or unusual perspectives.

The nonprofit Sapling Foundation began making recordings of talks available online as podcasts in 2006, then began streaming videos free at a TED.com website the following year to reach a global audience.

TED talks have legions of followers on the Internet and have spread to television stations around the world.

Late last year, TED released an application that lets the popular videos be viewed on Apple's iPad. Volunteers have been translating TED talks into myriad languages.

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