September 27, 2012

Early Preview of the 2013 World Domination Summit

We’ve begun secret meetings at World Domination HQ (also known as my house).

Field trips have been made to various potential locations (the best field trips always end with Happy Hour).

Quote requests have gone out for skywriters and a mechanical bull (long story).

We’re still in early days, but the time has come: our team has slowly been gathering to plan a small event for next summer.

In approximately 280 days—but who’s counting—we’ll kick off the third-annual World Domination Summit. With more than 8,000 people on the waiting list and a tremendous amount of buzz still going around about WDS 2012, a lot of people are asking… just what is WDS?

I’m glad you asked.

WDS: Community, Adventure, Service

In short, WDS is a gathering of creative people from all walks of life. Last year, people of all ages came together from more than 20 countries. For one big summer weekend in Portland, we focus on the values of community, adventure, and service.

The central question we look at, in many different ways, is:

“How do we live a remarkable life in a conventional world?”

We do this through main-stage presentations from great speakers (this year: Brene Brown, Scott Harrison, Chris Brogan, and many others), through a series of workshops and informal gatherings, an “Unconventional Race” through the city, and lots of parties and fun.

WDS Timeline

2011 was our first WDS, and we brought together 500 people to the Portland Art Museum. A few months ago, we took things up a level for WDS 2012 by welcoming 1,000 people to the Newmark Theater, the Crystal Ballroom, and pretty much all over town.

Each time, we had a number of surprises, including a Bollywood dance party, scavenger hunts, giveaways, and off-site celebrations.

Of course, everyone has been asking… how will you top the first two years?

Needless to say, we have a plan, and ticket sales for next year’s extravaganza will begin next week to a limited group of people.

From the very beginning the team and I have tried to be intentional with our WDS plans. We don’t want to franchise our model, and we don’t want to offer the experience in other cities—it’s something that needs to happen in Portland.

We don’t wish to grow for the sake of growth itself, and this year we turned down more than 4,000 people who wanted to buy tickets. Looking ahead to next year, more than 80% of tickets for the existing venue sold out a year in advance to our 2012 attendees, and there are now more than 8,000 people on next year’s wait-list.

Community and a sense of intimacy are very important, but we also don’t want to become an insider’s club. While it seems that demand will always outstrip supply, we do want to be able to offer the WDS experience to as many people as possible.

With that in mind, we’ll be moving to the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall for next year’s circus. We’ll also be taking over several other theaters, ballrooms, and nearby spaces to accommodate dozens of workshops and smaller meetups.

More than 100 people will be involved in producing next year’s adventure. We’re booking out entire hotels and restaurants, creating “Hotspots” where attendees can gather all over the city. Building on the theme of community, adventure, and service, we’ll provide more opportunities for attendees to venture out in small groups.

Even as it grows, WDS will remain an “introvert friendly” place, where you can meet up with old friends and get to know new people in a comfortable environment.

The Opening Party will be at the most incredible location we’ve found in three years of planning WDS. (I’d love to tell you where it is, but the team would kill me—so it will remain a secret until next summer.)

We’re even planning on setting a Guinness World Record… but more on that later.

Info on Tickets

I don’t write much about WDS on the blog simply because demand greatly exceeds the supply of tickets. No matter how much more space we reserve around town, there are still 5-10 people who want to come for every available ticket.

Next week we’ll offer an initial round of 1,000 tickets to those who are on the waiting list. We expect these to go very quickly. After the dust settles, we’ll have one other round in January 2013, possibly at a higher price.

Tickets will go live next Wednesday morning around 8am PST (sorry, there is no single time zone that best accommodates a worldwide audience).

We operate WDS as a not-for-profit, with all proceeds going back into the experience or to charity. We also don’t accept sponsors, ensuring that the whole weekend is non-commercial and proudly independent.

We’re extremely excited about forging ahead with world domination. Next year will be better than ever!

Question: Will we see you next year in Portland?

Whether you’re returning from one of the previous years or are new to the party, I hope you’ll be able to say yes.


Image: Armosa Studios

Comment on this article

84 Responses to “Early Preview of the 2013 World Domination Summit”

  1. Super interested…

  2. What are the dates for World Domination 2013?

  3. @Thea,

    July 5-7 in Portland

  4. Totally Absolutely YES.

  5. Yes please! I’d love to attend.

  6. Wow, Chris! #WDS2013 promises to be epic! So glad I got my ticket in advance :)

  7. September 27, 2012

    vineet agarwal

    I really inspired from your book and i have fun and feel motive after reading the book and trying my level best to start my travel business. I got the charge for starting my own business but not getting exact idea how to start it? but i am trying researching and looking the blogs of others how to start my own business. I am feeling exicted, happy and eagerly waiting to start my business.

  8. Would love to attend and meet some of these amazing people that I have been following.

  9. Yes! I’d love to go!

  10. The first year I wasn’t sure if I had the funds and stalled until they sold out. The second year, I was about 10 minutes too late and tickets were sold out, but I went to Portland anyway and had a grand adventure. This year, well third time is the charm – I am going to try again! :-)

  11. Want to be there this time!

  12. Puh-lease

  13. Yes! Hoping to have fast enough fingers to grab a ticket this year!

  14. I would love to be wait listed for this event! If it is too late can I ask for 2014?

  15. oh so very much YES!

  16. Yes

  17. Yes have missed the last 2, and want to squeeze in this year by whatever means, like others reading and posting.
    Dare I ask? How did Eugene get tix in advance? Cannot wait to share with other creative, energized global citizens, looks like so much fun with awesome people!

  18. Extremely interested!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. YES! Also, if you want to talk to some ladies about how a convention can grow from a couple of dozen to many thousands internationally in just a few years, maybe learn from their trial and error or ask for some tips, check out and get a hold of Ivanna S. Pankin or Trish the Dish.

  20. yes yes yes, oh yes!

  21. Can you give us an idea of how much tickets are?

  22. @Michelle,

    Ticket pricing is available at the Eventbrite link:


    Eugene got his ticket by purchasing at WDS 2012. That’s the only time we’ve had any other ticket sales.

  23. OMG, Yes!

  24. Yes! And I would LOVE to offer a Yoga class during this! I believe I have a lot to offer!

    Kim :)

  25. Just curious what the cap on tickets (i.e., total attendance) will be for 2013? And would love to know the reasoning behind the spedific increase in numbers (since it seems clear WDS will be well over 1,000 people in 2013). i.e., why increase to 1500 vs 2000 vs 2500 people?

    A lot of people commented that there was a big difference between 500 people in 2011 and 1000 in 2012 (I wasn’t there in 2011) — and I’m curious about how we can collectively ensure lots of opportunities for deeper, more intimate connections as well.

    I actually have some ideas on this I’ll send your way in case you’re curious…would love to support the effort.

    Thanks for all you do Chris and the WDS team — looking forward to next year!

  26. @Tal,

    A lot of the reasoning depends on venues. Portland is a small city and it’s important to us that we remain centrally located in a walkable area.

    Additionally, it depends on demand. As mentioned, we don’t want to grow for growth’s sake, but we also don’t want to close ourselves off to newcomers. Since demand is very high, we’ll do what we can to be inclusive while still welcoming the original group.

  27. Yes!

  28. Keep me in the loop!

  29. Very happy I did buy my WDS 2013 ticket this year at the event! I felt really fortunate to get my ticket to WDS 2012 in the second round of ticket sales, having missed buying one during the first round of sales.

    I would definitely suggest anyone serious about being in Portland next July 5-7th…do whatever you have to, to make sure you get a ticket on the first round of sales! Hope to see many of you in Portland next July.

  30. I can think of no better gift to buy myself for my 50th birthday than a ticket to WDS. So if you see me there, wish me a happy five-oh!

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  32. For those of us unable to make the final list, can you webcast the keynote speakers?

  33. @Ron,

    No, we don’t webcast. WDS is all about an in-person, live experience.

  34. I love Portland, I’ve loved seeing (and experiencing) the wonderful “pay-forward” programmes your attendees have come up with, and would love to be a part and be inspired at the next one.

  35. Thanks to my good marketing-guru / brainstormer friend Dave Brown he already bought our tickets. So I am creating one of my next adventures around the Portland region. Its going to be awesome …!!!

  36. So happy I got in the first year, because signing up on the spot to attend the next year’s WDS has been a complete no-brainer both times. I’m not usually that trendy and ahead of the curve! :)

  37. Can’t wait! Thank you for the sneak preview. Wait listing optimistically!

  38. September 27, 2012

    Lou Carnevale

    Yes I would love to attend. Please put me on the waiting list.

  39. Interested! Watching for details….

  40. Yes! It would be my first and I can’t wait to come.

  41. Hi Chris and all adventurers — just to make sure I understand: if I am not now on the waiting list, my only chance to buy a ticket will be in January? Will there really be a chance to get a ticket then? (since I assume the 7000 from the waitlist who did not get a ticket will also be trying) Sounds awesome. I would love to be there.
    – signed, transplanted Pacific Northwest-ista on the East Coast

  42. @Cecilia,

    We’ll offer all tickets on a first-come, first-served basis through the Eventbrite system. We won’t be able to accommodate the majority of people who want one, but there is certainly a chance.

  43. September 27, 2012

    Rosanna Gowan

    I want to go!!!

  44. All the best with your conference!

  45. We think this qualifies as a “hell yeah!” moment. As in “hell yeah let’s do this!”. We’ll be there or die trying.

    There are only a handful of life-changing moments that happen in a person’s life. For us WDS was one of them.

    Don’t miss out on the chance to experience the magic. We hope to see you all next summer!

    Thanks Chris for all that you and the team do to make this our reason for coming home each year so far the past 18 months.

  46. Yes! WDS is 1 week before my 25th birthday – what better way to celebrate the first quarter of my life and jump into the next one?!

  47. Waiting with high hopes!

  48. Yes! I’m planning on being there as part of the Australian contingent, third time to get tickets is the charm!

    With the WDS being *this* popular, why not have two a year? :D

  49. So excited and stressed for ticket launch day! Good luck to everyone involved in the frenzy next week! I’m already nervous!!

  50. Yes! Looking forward to going this year.

  51. As a Portland blogger with a spare guest room, and having been a starvingartist/writer in my youth, I could potentially offer overnight hosting to someone coming in from out of town for this event.

  52. How about offering at least CD’s or downloads of the talks for those of us who aren’t the lucky ones to get tickets? Great way to boost revenue for the non-profit to donate to excellent causes or to book bigger venues in coming years.

  53. When the tickets go on sale, can a person buy two tickets so I can’t bring my wife to attend or will she have to buy separately?

  54. @Rich,

    Yes, you can buy two tickets.

  55. meant to say “can” bring.

  56. Wouldn’t miss it for the world! 2012 was such an amazing experience. For those of you wanting DVDs of streaming of the speakers you’d still be missing so much of what it’s all about – meeting people face to face!

    There were so many “unofficial” events hosted by all sorts of people (I led a photo walk even) that you have so many chances to meet and connect with other attendees that if you left without meeting someone you must have been under a rock the whole time.

    I too bought my ticket at the event, and bought a second one to bring my BFF along too!

  57. October 1, 2012

    Megan Norlin

    Hell freakin’ yeah! Two questions. 1) Does anyone know about wheelchair accessibility in Portland? 2) If someone ends up not being able to go, can they donate their ticket, so that someone else can take it? I don’t think that’ll happen, but if an emergency does come up, I don’t want to deprive someone else of a chance.

  58. @Megan,

    1. Our main venue is totally accessible. *Most* of the other venues are also accessible, but some may be more accessible than others.

    2. A ticket transfer option is available until 60 days prior to the event.

  59. would love to attend — please put me on the wait list for 2-4 tickets. thank you!

  60. …and “YES!”

  61. Hi Chris,

    I joined the wait list over a year ago, but still haven’t received an invite for tomorrow’s initial round.

    Any thoughts, comments, suggestions, would be greatly appreciated.


  62. @David,

    The invite goes out tomorrow.

  63. Cannot. Wait.

    I attended the debut WDS & WDS 2012, so I’m fortunate to say my ticket is paid for.

    Chris – you and the team keep raising the bar so high, it’s incredible!

    See you in Portland for #3!

  64. I love how my photo is tagged as Opening Party Happy. I think you mean Opening Party Jolly ;D

  65. My bag is practically packed! Have fun with the ticket sales this a.m. Chris and Action Team!

  66. Happiness is . . . . a ticket! Wonderful – any hotel recommendations for your Canadian friends??

  67. Pat – I stayed at the Marriot Courtyard this year. Great rates, great room. Join the Facebook group and find some roommates like I did and it’s even cheaper.

  68. Just purchased my ticket and am very excited. Looking forward to getting out to Portland before I take off for my RTW travels and meeting many of you!

  69. Bought my ticket and I am sooooo excited! Portland is one of my favorite towns…

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  71. Since I’ll be based in the west coast next summer, why not?! :)

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  73. Just found you and this–how magnificent! I live in SE Portland and have been doing a little blogging for Mac’s List. Hope we get the chance to cross paths!

  74. March 17, 2013

    Roger McCracken

    Please forward information on the dates and details of the July Conference in Portland Oregon. I understand it is sold out, but I am interested in sponsoring an attendee who does have a ticket. Thank you!

  75. If anyone is interested, I have a ticket but very unfortunately can no longer attend because I am going to be starting my trip sooner and would like to find someone who would like to go. I am not trying to make any money on it, just sell it for what I paid and transfer it over. Must do the transfer before May though, so please contact me. Thanks!

  76. April 10, 2013

    Nivedita Deshpande

    I am looking to share a room. Darlene here mentioned a Facebook group. How can I join it?


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