TED is leaving Long Beach.
The national TED conference, which has taken place in Long Beach for four years and will have its fifth event here this month, will move to Vancouver, Canada, next year to celebrate its 30 th anniversary, officials announced Monday.
TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, will host its final Long Beach-based conference Feb. 25 to March 1 at the downtown Long Beach Terrace Theater. The sold-out, invitation-only conference will be headlined by Bono, a renowned activist for social justice and lead singer of U2.
Mayor Bob Foster said in a statement Monday that TED will be "missed."
"We enjoyed TED's run in Long Beach and the past five years gave a tremendous opportunity to showcase the city to new audiences. California will miss them, but we wish them nothing but the best in Vancouver," Foster said.
The conference is headquartered in Vancouver and New York City, and according to a TED press release, secret talks have been ongoing for two weeks for the conference to make its move to Canada.
"TED will be held in this great city, which boasts a thriving spirit of innovations as well as stunning views - the harbor and mountains in the same scenic vistas," the release stated.
The 2014 event will take place March 17-21 at the Vancouver Convention Center, which is connected to three hotels and has a six-acre living roof. Organizers dubbed it the "world's most eco-friendly meeting venue."
Randy Gordon, president and CEO of the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, said he was "saddened by the news."
"The five years they have been here have been a great run," he said. "The economic impacts will be missed, as well as prestige of one of the most exciting and unique conferences that our city has ever had. I hope that one day we will have them back."
The news was also a blow to Steve Goodling, president and CEO of the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau.
"We knew it would be tough to keep TED very long, but we were always hopeful to renew our contract," Goodling said. "We are fortunate to have had the privilege of hosting TED for five years, it was great for the city and a good experience for them."
Goodling said he heard the news two weeks ago that TED wouldn't be returning from TED curator Chris Anderson. But Goodling noted that Anderson asked that dates be held in Long Beach for a possible TED return in 2016.
"Though we will hold dates, I think it will be very challenging to get them back in 2016," he said. "In the conference business it is important to keep things fresh and move things around, especially for a group like TED. But the likelihood that the 2016 dates will be open will be a real challenge."
Goodling said it took just two days to book a conference for the 2015 TED dates.
"The economic impact for the city of the new group that booked is double what TED brought to the city," he said. "Though it isn't a household name, like TED, it will bring great revenue to the city."
Goodling said he couldn't announce the new group at this time.
Hosting TED has given Long Beach a greater national presence and put the city in the spotlight as leaders rolled out the red carpet each year for the world's top innovators and entrepreneurs. Speakers have included former President Bill Clinton and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates.
This year's theme is "The Young. The Wise. The Undiscovered." It will bring in several teenage inventors and entrepreneurs, an undercover journalist and a yo-yo master, among many other speakers.
"Our staff is pumped for TED2013, our grand finale year in Long Beach, and are thrilled to be able to go exploring in 2014," the TED press release stated.
But it will be the end of an era. For nearly three decades, the conference has called California home.
The signature event will be moved to Canada for at least two years, and maybe permanently.
"Will this be a next chapter for TED? Quite possibly," TED officials said, adding, "we feel ready for a new adventure."