From the category archives:

Grapes on a Plane

Some ScobleShow Video from Grapes on a Plane

by Teresa Valdez Klein on December 7, 2006

Robert Scoble has posted his video from our bloggy junket, Grapes on a Plane to Eastern Washington’s Hedges Cellars on two private jets provided by Greenpoint Technologies.

Check out the video and enjoy a sneak peek into the billionaire lifestyle. We sure did!


How We Show Our Love for our Speakers

by Teresa Valdez Klein on October 19, 2006

At the Blog Business Summit, we value our speakers. Without them, our conferences would not be nearly as awesome. That’s why we work hard to create a memorable experience for them. This strategy helps us to attract the best and the brightest year after year, and bring the best and most informative content to our attendees.

Hedges Cellars

That’s why we’ve put our heads together with a number of our sponsors to provide many of our top speakers and affiliates (read: those who drove the most attendees to the conference) with an amazing trip to Richland, WA on the day after the conference for our Grapes on a Plane event. We were originally going to take them to Walla Walla on a private jet owned by our sponsor Greenpoint Technologies, but then we recieved an offer we couldn’t refuse from Hedges Cellars (pictured above) in Richland, and decided to change our flight plan. We’ll be dining there on the evening of Saturday, October 28th. We also decided to add a second jet, also courtesy of Greenpoint.

Also on the menu for the speakers while they’re in town is a dinner at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Bellevue, WA. There, they’ll enjoy gin drinks courtesy of Plymouth Gin and wine courtesy of Di Stefano Winery. Incidentally, my mom brought a bottle of the DiStefano 2002 Merlot to dinner at my house on Sunday night. It was remarkable!

Plymouth Gin is flying a very special guest in from London for the event. Simon Ford is the Plymouth Gin brand ambassador and globe trotting cocktail guru for The Absolut Spirits Company, Inc. He travels the globe working with bartenders and sales teams to make the absolute tastiest gin drinks in the world. We’re lucky to have him.

Now, after all this gushing about all the good stuff we’re giving our speakers, your “elitism” detector might be going off just a little. We definitely understand that these kinds of events can seem exclusive and snooty. That’s certainly not our intention. In fact, attendees can go on the jet trip as well. Ping me at teresa [at] blogbusinesssummit [dot] com for details.

But beyond that, we recognize that speaking at an event is a lot of work. Our speakers come from all over the world, and there aren’t any substantial monetary rewards involved in making the trip. They do it because they want to share their knowledge with you, and because they love what they do. They deserve our thanks, and this is how we show it.

All you savvy business types out there can take notice of these events as a testament to the power and influence of well-done blogger outreach. All the sponsors of our speaker events have one thing in common: they want bloggers to pay attention to their products. They’re not afraid of the blogosphere, they embrace it.

I also just posted about how we show our love for our attendees, be sure to check that out.


Big Business Jet Goes Live

by Teresa Valdez Klein on October 10, 2006

We’re very happy to announce that just in time for the National Business Aviation Association Conference, we’ve soft-launched our newest editorial property: Big Business Jet.

The blog covers issues of importance to those who own private jets or are thinking about buying them. Obviously, that’s a pretty long-tail market. But it’s interesting stuff nonetheless. We’ll discuss everything from the materials used in jet completion to how CEO’s can demonstrate the value add of the corporate jet to shareholders.

Big Business Jet’s sponsor is Greenpoint Technologies (GTI). They’re the aviation industry’s most fabulous private jet completion center (read: they do the interiors), and they’re the wonderful people providing the Lear Jet for “Grapes on a Plane,” our post-conference Walla Walla wine flight.

The blog was built with WordPress and the template was modified from an existing one by yours truly! All those hours of toil learning CSS and PHP and all manner of other geekery have actually gone into creating something cool. Hooray!


Teresa Does Some “Marketing Judo” on Grapes on a Plane

by Teresa Valdez Klein on October 9, 2006

Recently, I had the opportunity to turn a negative blogosphere commentary into a positive, or what John Battelle calls “Marketing Judo”.

Over at Liz Strauss’ blog, some criticism was leveled at our upcoming conference our upcoming conference was being discussed in a less than 100% glowing way.

“Every word I read about this conference seems geared toward folks who are already blogging. I wonder about that,” wrote Liz.

In the comments, the commentary got even more negative there was some more criticism. Commenter Sabine wrote:

I know what you mean — blogging is still an “early adopter” phenomenon, I think.
Well, I’m going, so I’ll let you know if it was worth it.

Still, I’m a little less excited about it now that I read that a few lucky “A-listers” will be getting a ride in a private jet at the conference. Jeez, let’s widen that gap even more, why don’t we?

Well, I’ll be there to represent the “Z-listers” who just want to get an answer to the question “What can blogging do for my business?”

I have to say that – even with my blogosphere-savvy – my first impulse was to get snarky with Sabine. “How dare she impugn the good name of our ‘Grapes on a Plane’ event?” I thought to myself.

Then I took a step back, which is what Scoble always advises his readers to do. After all, I didn’t want to be accused of having a “ready, fire, aim” mentality.

Also, and very fortunately, our excellent conference co-chair Maryam Scoble jumped into the conversation and smoothed things over. After reading her post, what I came to realize is that with an event like “Grapes on a Plane” does have a ring of exclusivity to it. And yes, a lot of the folks on the plane could be called “A-list.” Sabine had some pretty understandable misconceptions about the event Grapes on a Plane.

But the bottom line is that this is an event with two primary goals:

  1. To provide our client Greenpoint Technologies with exposure to influential bloggers who are interested in what they’re doing.
  2. To thank the people (speakers, sponsors and attendees) who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to make our conference a success.

We think we’ve walked that line pretty well with this event, and we’re proud of that. We’re also proud that just about anyone can get a seat on this jet if they work hard and are innovative. If you’re a speaker, a sponsor or an attendee and you’re interested in getting on the jet, e-mail me at teresa [at] blogbusinesssummit [dot] com. We’ll hook you up.

Update: Broback’s hypothesizes that Google has created a self-reinforcing system of influence that perpetuates an “A-list.” That’s a problem and it needs to be fixed.

Update 10/11/06 10:10 a.m.: I’ve had a conversation with both Sabine and Liz via e-mail. Apologies for making the original interaction bigger than it needed to be. I wanted to provide it as as case study, but sometimes we all forget we’re dealing with real people. Sometimes it’s better to have these kinds of conversations more privately. Live and learn.


Grapes on a Plane: BBS Private Jet Trip to Wine Country, WA

by Teresa Valdez Klein on September 18, 2006


In 2005 the Blog Business Summit team conceived and planned a special blogger event where several of our top speakers flew to Walla Walla wine country on a private 737. This year, we are excited that conference sponsor Greenpoint Technologies has offered up their Lear jet to us for another getaway to Washington wine country.

The trip will take place on October 28, the day after the conference, and this time, we are opening the trip up to include 3 seats for the 3 top speaker/sponsor/qualified attendees who drive the most clicks and sales our way via our affiliate tracking system. We’ll have more details posted soon. To become a sponsor or qualified attendee affiliate, please e-mail kim [at] blogbusinesssummit [dot] com or download our sponsor flyer.

Greenpoint Technologies is a VIP jet completion firm based in Kirkland, WA, and we’re launching the newest in our list of sponsored blog properties–a blog about the rarified world of private jet ownership–in conjunction with them very soon.


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