Ogden’s first ever TEDx, though seemingly not its last, showcased the hard work of its organizers and volunteers. The lecture series welcomed several interesting and thoughtful speakers, though the clear stand out of the night was Batman film franchise producer Michael Uslan. Uslan’s discussion of his rise to comic book royalty was well-crafted, honest, funny and engaging. Perhaps my only complaint of the entire event was that Uslan’s talk was first in a series of 15 speakers and performers—he set an extremely high bar that the rest of the line up couldn’t seem to clear.
While the other speakers and performers may not have reached the same level as Uslan, that does not mean they did not deliver. Social media star Shaun “Shonduras” McBride gave an entertaining, if somewhat unorganized, discussion of his rise to Facebook and Snapchat stardom. While Brandi DeCarli outlined her “Farm in a Box” initiative to connect communities through the development of local farming. The speakers in the first half of the event did outperform those in the second—though, again, much of that could be attributed to Uslan’s outstanding presentation.
Organizationally, much credit goes to organizer and emcee Michael Lindenmayer, who not only corralled the speakers but put together a very enjoyable Pre-Event Social Hour and After Party turning the event from a simple lecture series into a full night of entertainment. Complete with local band performances, a variety of libations, a CraftBurger food station and Lucky Slice food truck, the Pre-Event Social Hour was an excellent preamble to main entertainment.
Lindenmayer was deeply optimistic about hosting future TEDx events in Ogden, and I look forward to seeing the event grow and improve on already great performance.