Wednesday, January 26, 2011
DO CHESS ENTREPRENEURS HAVE NIGHTMARES?
This one does. Chess ones.
Usually I sleep well, like the proverbial rock.
But whenever I am putting together celebrity guests, a venue (this time, Las Vegas), working with a hotel, etc. it can get crazy. And it can be a sleep wrecker--soon as the thought occurs, I jump out from under the covers and go downstairs to start working.
The latest idea is that after 4 Chess Festivals, and 6 Chess Clinics, a Chess Book Camp® 2011 is in the cards, in Las Vegas.
Getting celebs to agree on a monetary package (which is not usually the problem), working out things with the Hotel (not too bad, a few bumpy spots), creating a program (organizing it is the hard part), airfare costs, and then hoping for customers... yeah, that's the part that makes or breaks everything. School is OUT this time.
Funny thing though, no one complains about the cost to come. Maybe it is because they understand that all these "points" do cost money. And of course if a good turnout happens and everything goes well, then plans for the next one can be made, with a reasonable cost, so that more can join in the "fun."
But this IS a problem too. One of the things I have heard is that people have a lot of fun at my events because of the "intimacy" of meeting me, the celebrities, and other friends they have gotten to know from the past. Intimacy has its costs. The bigger the crowd, the fewer that some people get an opportunity to do more than just shake hands with me or answer a few questions in the "purchase line."
There is a dichotomy here. If one has more celebrity guests, to spread the wealth around, then that cost goes up too. I've been thinking about Las Vegas and how big of a room should I have. I've been speculating on 50-100. If we have that many, I will have to rent visual equipment from the Hotel--and that always runs the risk of--"not working" when you need it. and interfacing with the celeb guests.
Also, I am already getting questions about an event in October with Andrew Martin. My plan is to make both events (if there is a second one) far enough apart that you can go to both. I've decided against 3, who has that much stamina? Not me. And after 2011, I will probably go to one event a year and perhaps some "private events." The private ones are the "invitation only" type where we have specific agendas and maybe ONE celebrity guest. The clients who have supported me would be the ones on my invitation only list.
This time the Book Camp will be about Books and possibly DVDs. All the work ahead sends a shock through my veins. The probable dates are June 6-8. I've been talking with the South Point Hotel and Casino, and am still waiting for some information. On the 9th there will be a big grandmaster simul I am told. Then the National Open starts on the 10th and runs through the 12th. It's like a dream week for some. One week of "information and fun" and also playing. Because the event would be held before the National Open, those who don't want to play could just go home, or hang around for the Simuls.
I am working with two US Grandmasters at the moment. Both of whom I "know." Working out a venue and compensation package are important here too.
Is there any in the Blog audience of mine who is interested?
A couple things: I think the hotel fare is about $45-50 a night during the week. Weekends are about double (maybe there is a special deal for the National Open, I do not yet know). The cost of the ticket for the Book Camp looks to be about $250. But, if you register early (by April 30 at latest, but there will be "tiered pricing") it's $225. If you also have a Gold Card 2011 and register early (NOW) it would be $199. Getting the Gold Card would easily be worth it BECAUSE things that you might consider buying at the event itself would save you more. The Gold Card would therefore be practically FREE.
This is the preliminary plan. Also, one book I am interested in discussing is the new one from Moskalenko to see if it can really help you systematize your play and make you a better player. I will be talking to the GMs about this. I also have a talk and a book planned called THE THREE P's: Planning, Publishing, and Practice and how it can transform yourself to be a better player. Do you realize that very little, except by Neil McDonald, has been written on planning? I am going to show you how important that REALLY is. And HOW Planning can relate to Strategy too.
I am taking reservations now and will announce the GM plans soon. I reserve the right to refund your money if it looks like the costs will outweigh the income. I need about 35-40 registrants to break even. (It will be worth coming.) If it does better than that, then a chunk will be set aside for next year's extravaganza.
That last word is the whole point of the "nightmares" and a "cushion" for the event. If I didn't have money to worry about, then all these arrangements would be ten times easier. I feel like an accountant is standing behind me with a sword in hand, over my head. The "announcement time" is only four months, shorter than usual... but perhaps a smaller time frame will move people to action more quickly.
What do we have now"
a) Las Vegas--a fun destination, lots of airport access and usually inexpensive flights compared to most other places.
b) A chess tournament following my event if that is to your liking.
c) Recommendations of books (and why) destined to help YOUR play and appreciation of chess (it's not always about improvement is it?)
d) A GM simul after the event where you can choose who to play since I have nothing to do with this (June 9th).
e) A fee which is modest compared to almost any other conference or get together in Las Vegas.
f) One, probably two, GMs to spend time with us. One has already been writing a review of my book from last year called "The Critical Secret for Success" and he told me he liked it, found some good ideas in it, and will tell us what is important in his findings.
g) More details will be up soon on my web site... I can't say when, the web guy and I are still working on this.
h) One other thing. A surprise... as always.
Conditions subject to change. The above are all "guidelines" at the moment.
So... open for business, today! The time to buy the Gold Card 2011 expiration window to purchase is March 31, 2011. It's $50, same price as last year.
NOTE: Laz Munoz commented that I neglected the dates! Yikes. I know I have been working from dates today on separate messages I have been working on. Thought I had it here. Have been discussing this with the GMs. My apologies. The Date: Evening of June 6th, all day Tuesday and Wednesday the 7th and 8th. Done around 5-6 Wed., p.m.