Afternoon all. Or morning/evening or whatever it is wherever you be.
A few observations.
Sound crass, but I think "if you build it, they will come" works here. The time is absolutely right for this idea. In the past year there's been an absolute explosion of blog tools vendors, vendors adding bloggy bits to their roadmaps, blog indexers, feedreaders, and sundry bloglike bollogs - makes darn good sense to gather them all under one roof and let the love happen. We're prolly no more than 3 months away from Gartner Group adding a "Senior VP and Group Director, Blog Research". Frank's timing is impeccable.
I think we should be getting ready to launch this thing more publicly within about two weeks, with a target date for some time in early September.
To the question: "How do we earn the right to produce this show?", I'd say - you just did. Simply by having the idea, the right is yours/ours. Funding will have to come from external sources, but I don't imagine too many problems raising enough sponsorship to make this thing work. Worst case scenario: year one should be, at minimum, break even.
As for format, I can imagine Blog World Expo as a kind of Showcase or Demo style event. The focus is on tools, technologies, products, applications - with none of this "what is a blog?" bollocks. For those of you not familiar with the format, Showcase (in its heyday) was a combination of a level-playing field trade show floor, a gong show-like 6 minute product pitch program, and an entertaining, irreverent pundit platform.
No matter how big the vendor, everyone had the same kind of 10-by-10 booth space - none of these huge, two-storey, dry-ice/lasers/booth babe temples of ego. And every vendor also had the opportunity to pitch their product to the entire audience in a series of strictly timed live product demos. A panel of geek-celeb judges would then comment on and rate each batch of pitches, with sappy prizes handed out for the killer pitch of the hour/the day/the show.
The other thing about Showcase was that it was an absolute magnet for investors - one of the things we might want Blog World Expo to be. It might cause your butt to pucker, but if we want to make a stack of dough with this, we've gotta get the money into the room. The money ain't gonna come from the penniless startup vendors.
Let me know what you think of that kind of format. We can still draw in the big $$ from the likes of Google, Microscrote, et al - but I think we all want to see lots of the little, nutty innovators there too.
Gotta run out now to bring Charlie out to his mate's house (they're rehearsing for the school's lip sync contest. Two 7-year olds doing Good Charlotte's "Anthem". Sheesh. Dug out some old photos from 76/77 recently and showed the boy what his Dad looked like as a punk the first time around. Feeling old.)