In my invitation to this blog I teased you with a promise to “chose 6 of the participants to come to Costa Rica as my guests,” and provide more details. I also covered myself with the proviso, ”assuming enough people get involved to make it (the blog) worth continuing.”
Given the enthusiasm of the over 60 responses that we have gotten so far, the blog and the trip are definitely on so, as promised here come the details:
For a start how am my going to choose?
I can already see that it is not going to be easy.
In a comment posted on December 15 Michael McGowan raised a possible problem:
“Hi Michael, I am happy to participate. One caution, although you have more marketing experience than I do. Possible conflict of interest if blog comments from participants can be rewarded with a travel perk. Would hate for a nasty marketing backlash if your competition wanted to make something look scandalous.”
“Good point. The idea is not to reward people for saying wonderful things about me, Costa Rica Expedition, or even the blog. The idea is to use the blog to select a few people who together would create a magical few days. I am working out the idea as I go along. More in a few days.”
Then on December 16 my good friend Annie Ellicott from Leap Up Marketing weighed in:
“…The more interactive, the more creative and the more conversational, the more engagement and real. I think this could be the beginning of answering interesting questions which resonate…such as how do you define a “vacation”? When you think of spending quality time with others, how do you most want to do that? What types of new experiences are most memorable for you based on your past experiences? What were you doing and why did that experience stick with you? In your “wildest dreams”, what’s next on the travel frontier?…”
Annie was writing about the blog, but consciously or not she outlined one of the main criteria I am going to use to select the people to invite to join me on Costa Rica. As well as tips, advice, and fascinating travel experiences, I am especially looking for people who address “interesting questions which resonate.” I wish I had thought to say it that way.
(Disclosure I met Annie 7 or 8 years ago at an Adventure Travel Conference in Chicago. I have never been her client, but ever time we end up at the same event we have fascinating conversations in which she gives me lot of valuable advice. Last March she and her family came to Costa Rica for her Father’s 80th birthday. I charged her cost. Seemed like the least I could do.)
Perhaps describing my goals for the trip will shed more light on how I am going to choose the participants.
- First and foremost I want to have fun and enjoy the company.
- I also want to get video of the most highly evolved travelers I can find having a wonderful time.
- I want to get audio of these same people talking about their experience.
- I want to use the video and audio clips for training and marketing.
- I want to advance my own growth and education in exploring the “interesting questions which resonate.”
The length of the trip will be 6-8 days
The way I see the timing is that it will probably take 6 to 8 months to get enough of a sense of the participants to for me to feel comfortable making the selection. If I can I will make the selection sooner. After I make the selection it will surely take a few months of lead-time to come up with dates that work for everybody.
There is a question that I am wrestling with about which I would appreciate your input: Companions. For many of us an intense time with our life partners is an extremely important reason to travel. One the one hand I am worried about losing very valuable participants if I exclude companions. One the other hand I am concerned about diluting the experience if companions come along who were not part of the process. Also if everyone brought a companion the group would be too large for the kind of experiences that I have in mind. One thing that occurs to me as I am writing this is to do a couples trip after this first trip. In any case please let me have your thoughts—-on this question and anything else.
This blog is in the early stage of a work in progress it has already been influenced by your comments and its evolution will very much depend on your input.
Next: Why Vacation Time is Precious instead of Trip Advisors
Oh and one more thing—Can anybody think of a better name than Super-Blogger.