Save the Date! Announcing the World Domination Summit


Jolie and I went down to the Portland Art Museum for a meeting with the Events Planner last week.

We looked around at rooms that seated 350+ people. We talked about projectors and coat rooms and WiFi and catering—and everything else you could think of related to holding a major event.

“Look,” I said as we walked past a wide corridor. “That looks like a nice place for the bloggers’ lounge.” The corridor in question also contained a large statue of a naked man, but hey, it’s an art museum.

“We don’t allow red wine in this room,” the planner told me as we walked by another room with 500-year-old paintings. “But white wine? As much as you want!”

Normally I’d be taking notes on all these things—we looked at ten different rooms, all with different seating capacities and red wine vs. white wine specifications. But I didn’t take any notes at all, because I was simultaneously thrilled and terrified, caught up in the Big Idea of what this was all about.

“What do you think?” the cheery Events Planner asked as she walked us out.

I looked up at the impressive building, pictured above and over here. “I’ll take it,” I said. “Let’s do it.”

And thus began the planning …

The Unconventional Book Tour kicks off in just eight days, with my goal of meeting every person who reads AONC in the U.S. and Canada. But as much fun as it will be going from Kansas to Nebraska to meet with 63 small groups, I also thought:

What if we could also bring everyone together in one place? That would be even more epic than me going around from city to city.

So that’s what this is about, and I knew that the “one place” had to be Portland (PDX), World Domination HQ and my hometown of choice. We’ve been scouting event spaces for weeks, trying to find the best location to host an amazing group of people. A place like the Marriott isn’t the right fit, but the smaller hotels were, well, too small.

So I made a big financial commitment to rent the Portland Art Museum, and everything that goes with it—A/V, permits from the city, insurance to make sure no one breaks the naked man statue, and so on. As I suspected, renting out the Portland Art Museum for an entire weekend isn’t cheap. I’m taking a big risk in committing ten months in advance, but nothing worth doing is ever easy.

So, friends: here’s the proposal.

Next June, I propose we take over Portland, Oregon with our first annual World Domination Summit, and I’d love for you to be a part of it.

The summit will be a gathering of remarkable people from all over the world. Other authors, bloggers, and interesting people will be speaking from the main stage, a 376-seat theater where we’ll meet for about a third of the time.

The second part of our time will be in small groups, where we talk about travel hacking, microbusinesses, how to do what you love while changing the world, and all kinds of other important topics. (You’ll sign up for the groups you want, and there will also be a voting system to nominate your own group.)

The final third of the time will be all about community. We’re working with the Mayor’s Office to put together tours of Portland. You can visit the city’s famous food carts, check out the vegan tattoo parlor, head back to the theater for a special Charity: Water screening we’re putting together, or whatever you want.

And mostly, you can hang out with people who see the world in the same way. It will be insanely epic, and I’d love for you to be there.

So here’s the second part of the deal.

The summit will have a cost associated with it, but I’m spending my time thinking about how it can be amazing instead of how it can make money. (“Not many people can guarantee awesomeness, but we’re stepping up” as I say in the Unconventional Guides business.)

It will probably cost about $300 a person or so for the whole thing—much cheaper than SXSW, BlogWorld, or any other major conference that doesn’t have a ton of advertisers. We’re also working with hotels to offer a discounted group rate, talking to both hostels in town to completely book them out, and planning to coordinate some kind of couchsurfing option for people who prefer that.

I’m not 100% sure how everything will work yet, but I have a team of advisers here in Portland helping me to make this much more awesome than I could do on my own. And if you come, you’ll be a big part of making it even more awesome.

The goal is to publish the registration site in mid-September—live from the road as I’m touring America. But before then, I wanted you to be the first to know.

Will you save the date, and set aside June 3-5th 2011? I hope you can make it.


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  • Pace Smith says:

    Kyeli and I will be there.

  • Sarah Mason says:

    I was really looking forward to the Unconventional Book Tour (still am) and now this? Turning the meeting concept on its head? Love that no industry is taboo for you. Of course, that’s what world domination is all about, isn’t it? June 2011 dates saved.

  • Baker says:

    Courtney, Milligan, and I will be there. You only have 373 spots left… 🙂

  • Jason Sokol says:

    Would love to come! I hope it happens.

  • jennifer says:

    very cool. would love to be there!

  • Dave says:

    This sounds VERY appealing to me….but I’m terrible with commitments so far in advance. I may still be living in Colombia next June. 🙂

  • Andi says:

    Dream big right??? 🙂

  • Ken Apple says:

    I don’t know for sure I can swing it, but it’s going on my list of things to do next year.

  • April Moore Skelton says:

    Sweet! I always love a reason to come to Portland.

  • Mark Anthony says:

    I’ll be there! I can hardly wait!

  • This Is So Completely Awesome!

  • Doug says:

    Sounds great to me Chris. We’re planning a west coast tour for next year already. Now we have some dates to work with!

  • Sweet. If there’s a mailing list for updates, put me on!

  • Bridget says:

    I’ll be there. Totally, completely excited by the idea. Perfect location and I know you’ll bring good people to it!

  • Vanessa says:

    Wow, you’re right that DOES sound insanely epic. Holy crap I’d love to go!

  • Charmaine says:

    I’m definitely interested!

  • Megan Dietz says:

    omg! so excited! i am there!!

  • Sean says:

    This is going to be big, I’m excited!

  • Nancy says:

    Hey Chris,

    This sounds like an awesome event. I expect at that point in time, I will be busy spending time with my first newborn.

    I was wondering if you’re looking at options for live streaming of some of the events? I’d like to feel a part of the event, and I’d be interested in some travel free alternatives.


  • Congrats, Chris! I’ve always wanted to see Portland. Keep us updated, and I’m looking forward to seeing you then!

  • This is epic Chris!!!!

    Soooo awesome!


  • Megan Dietz says:

    oops, forgot to mention, check out, where folks rent their couches/spare rooms/extra apartments to travelers. i just took a trip staying exclusively in airbnb joints and it was awesome. there are lots of hosts in portland, very reasonable prices.

    airbnb is a very AONC-type of site — you might be able to officially partner w/them for mutual benefit!

  • Terrintokyo says:

    Oh, this is exciting!

    Another reason to be frugal and try to make my microbusinesses work:

    World Domination
    Netroots Nations

    fingers crossed (and following the UGuide I just bought;-) I’ll be able to make all three!

  • Devin says:

    Hi Chris,

    I am always so impressed with your scope and vision. It gives me hope to accomplish my own scope and vision. While I probably cannot get away for fun, I am still working on streamlining my life, I am exceptionally curious as what the hell will be going on without me — so who knows?
    Best of success in thi next adventure.

  • JACK says:

    It will be great to discuss High-Speed Rail, Light Rail, Amtrak and Mass Transit with others interested in eliminating our addiction to oil.

  • AWESOME – see you all there!!!

  • I’m in! Can’t WAIT! (How thoughtful of you to schedule it for a date when I’m NOT at music camp.)

    Let me know how I can help, before, during and/or after! 🙂

  • Mandi says:

    Oh, excitement!

    Since I live 2 blocks from the art museum I have no excuse and will definitely be there.

    If you need any volunteer assistance in planning/setting up.. whatevs, I’m down for it.

  • How awesome! The possibility of this made my morning. (Is it June yet?)

  • This is really great but I think many people around the globe would like to participate and will probably not be able to make it person. I would like to suggest a hybrid conference with a smaller fee to participate online. i can recommend using inXpo (i am not related in any way to them, just like their service).

    All the best in your tour!

  • Todd says:

    Wow! The great thing is that it is so far in advance that it can be planned for. I hate it when a cool conference is announced, but it is at the end of the month.

  • Michelle says:

    This is amazing – I’ll definitely try and be there! (like another commenter, I’m bad at planning that far in advance. But that isn’t out of my price range & I’ve been meaning to visit Portland anyways, soo…)

  • Mars Dorian says:

    Dude, you are playing a much higher game now – I’m luving it !
    You are right, grrreat things are never easy, but the way you expand your brand presence is…epic !

    Although that’s a hefty price tag, I consider going there.
    I need my online biz really to kick-ass in order to bring in a lot of Benjamins.

    Chris, you are rocking it, on every single level !

  • Ripple and flow baby.. a PERFECT VENUE!!!! For the art of non-conformity…:) Saving the date and how to get there will follow.. right? :)))) LOVE this!!!

  • Benoit Ferland says:

    I’ll be there!

  • Liz says:

    Yes. I’m in. Can hardly wait!

  • I am SO already there! Yay 🙂

  • Hi Chris – As long as the price remains reasonable I will definitely try to make it up/down/left/right (I am in Hungary right now) to the conference in Portland.

    Seems like as long as the conference is structured to share ideas with people that have the same vision as you, an “investment” of $300 is a bargain

    Way to take the plunge! I firmly believe its easier to get over some failures than look back and wonder “what if”; although I am sure this conference would be a success!


  • The summer is filling up fast with our figure skating events, but I love a reason to see friends in Portland. We’ll save the date, and try to find a way to make it.

    PS: I’m 1/3 of the way through the book, it arrived this morning!

  • Peter says:

    I am so there.

  • Gail says:

    I’ve been looking for a great excuse/reason for visiting Portland, and here it is! There’s even art attached. What more could I possibly want. I’m in. Add me to your list.

  • Linda says:

    Calendar is reserved–can’t wait!

  • This sounds great! I’d love to be there – and offer something to you and the participants as a speaker or breakout session leader. Will you contact me when you’re corralling speakers for the event?

    Fun, fun, fun!

  • Chris – since I’m right here in P-Town, how could I not join you. As part of the team planning our company’s user conference (in less than 3 weeks), I understand exactly how big of a risk and the myriad details one needs to address to pull off such an event. Congratulations on your upcoming book and I have the utmost confidence you’ll pull off a fabulous event. And FWIW, if there’s anything I can do to help (no clue what that might be) I’m happy to do so!

  • So exciting!!! If there is any way I can help I’d be happy to. Seattle’s not all that far up the road 😉 Can’t wait!

  • Gary Wilson says:

    Like Mars, I read this and thought: Just when you reached a new level, you push to a higher one. Sounds great. I have a conflict with a cycling trip around Alpe d’Huez but this is a higher mountain! Will try to be there.

  • LM says:

    So far from me but I’d love to come. Can’t wait to see your speaker line up!

  • Laurie Heriz-Smith says:

    Count me in… this is fantastic!
    And I look forward to seeing you in the other Portland next month!

  • Lisa Gentile says:

    Date saved (squeezed) right between So. Cal, S. America, and Europe. It will be a world domination re-charge for this moxie maverick. Weeeee!!!!!!!

  • Greg says:

    Hope to make it up there!

  • Sam says:

    Urm, yeah! Of course!!! Wow our very own version of the TED conference. *dances around*

  • Kevin says:

    Count me + 1 in. Looking forward to it!

  • Chris – Absolutely count me in! Got the date saved in my calendar. Portland is only 4 hours from me and I’ve got a couple of friends down there so it’ll be perfect.

    This is exciting! I can’t wait.

  • Pam says:

    I am so excited for you! I would LOVE to come to Portland next summer. I not sure I can fit in in( leaving for Gemany mid-June 2011), but I hope I can squeeze it in! Looking forward to seeing you in Houston in November!

  • Oh Yeah!! Reserving the date and brainstorming special projects to help me get there!
    Keep rockin’ Chris!!

  • Megan says:

    I’m there! — Recommendations for cool stuff to keep a significant other (outdoors-type) merrily occupied? 😀

  • Magnus says:

    Would love to come. But it is a long way from Sweden. Will just have to start making plans 🙂

  • Le Minxxx says:

    Would definitely hit up the West Coast for this 😉

  • I’m there.

  • Zachary says:

    That sounds epic! I can’t to go!

  • Wow! This sounds incredible. I’m planning to be there or be square.

  • Mikeachim says:

    Alas, love to – but I’ll be in Vancouver for the Travel Blog Exchange 2011 meeting….

    A request? For us unfortunate unavailables, recordings of the main events? Like a livestream that gets archived, or transcripts? (And what better way to keep the signal strong after the event itself?).

  • Bob says:

    Count me in too! I need to work hard between now and June next year – Portland is a long way from Oz!

  • Sage Cohen says:

    The date has been saved! Please call on me if you need any support making it all happen.

  • Brian Lukowski says:

    For sure and Absolutely! Count four spots taken.

  • Katie says:

    Longtime reader/lurker here. Finally coming out of the woodwork to say that this sounds awesome, and I would love to go!

    I already planned on attending two major conferences in 2011, but I will do my best to make it to this one, too.

  • Robert Ford says:

    I’m in!

  • Meg says:

    Consider the date saved, and me trying to figure out how to get two people there. 🙂 (I’ll drag my hubby along since I think it’ll be good for him!) Thankfully flights to PDX are cheap for us! I’ll do my best to save up for the cost, it’d be worth it.

  • Marthe says:

    This sounds awesome!

    However, as a student from the other side of the world, I doubt I can afford to make it when adding plane costs etc. Maybe you could have some sort of webinar/live coverage as well?

    Good luck with your tour as well!

  • Alisha says:

    Chris – I will be there! I have always wanted to visit Portland and now I have a fantastic reason to go. Thanks for creating something that is going to bring so many people together and create so many amazing connections – you rock! 🙂

  • Haider says:

    Sounds like an excellent idea!

    Portland is full of cool people. You, Mark Silver, Charlie Gilkey…

    Date saved! 😀

  • Aurora says:

    I would love to go – I’m in. Thank you for doing this!

  • Erica says:

    Sounds like an amazing idea! I hope I’ll be able to attend.

  • Danielle says:

    hmmm….i must figure out how to be there…sounds awesome!

  • Sounds right up my alley and I would LOVE to be there! I will as long as it doesn’t overlap my daughter’s graduation.

  • Bob Poole says:

    I love, “I’ll take it.” That must have felt very exciting. I have no doubt that it will be well worth the price of admission. Thanks for dreaming big.

  • Summer says:

    Date saved. 😀

    Genius idea.

  • well I have to say I like the sound of that.

    Portland is a long way from Berlin.

    Nevertheless, I won’t rule it out and will explore some options…

  • G says:

    Very cool!
    Any kind of payment plan option available? I would love to be there but this is about the most important year of my life in terms of making it all happen, so I can’t know this far ahead where I will be…hopefully doing really well and able to come no problem…but what if I am in the middle of a work tsunami to make my own stuff take off?
    So if there is a payment plan option I think you’ll get more people to commit early.

  • julius says:

    I’m planning to go to the USA in 2011, would be great to start in Portland!

  • Delores says:

    Great! School will just be out. I was planning to go to Vietnam and then do the NW but for this I’ll just switch it up. Looking forward to it.

  • Randy Moe says:

    Could be done. I never go to trade shows, pun intended, but may be there. Good luck!

  • I will definitely be there! Never been to Portland before!

  • Josh says:

    Cool, I’ll bring the dip! I would love to go, better start saving now!

  • Will be there! All the way from Melbourne, Australia! There are so many levels of goodness in this opportunity, I can’t pass it up! YAY!

  • Love Portland, love your work, yes I’ll be there! 🙂

  • Fantastic idea – I’ll be there!

  • James Clark says:

    Thanks for the advance warning, I will be on the West Coast in June so it is possible I could attend.

  • Sheila Quinn says:

    I’M SO IN, CHRIS!!!!! 🙂

  • David Hood says:

    Awesome Chris. Adding Portland to my 2011 US trip itinerary now. Thanks! 🙂

  • Aaron says:

    So glad to hear your plans are growing, Chris.

    Also, I just got my advance copy of your book. CANNOT wait to read it and help out!!!

  • Cath Wood says:

    Sounds awesome Chris, well done!

  • Grace says:

    You make it happen and I will be there!

  • Nancy cameron says:

    Dude! Count me in (did I just say dude?)

    Never been to Portland, so here’s a good excuse, other than “just cuz”.

    Make it happen. Think you’ll have more people than you bargained for.

  • Leigh says:

    I’ll probably still be in Cambodia, but if there’s a way to stream talks or watch/download videos after the conference, I’d be interested in that!

  • Sherold Barr says:

    Hi Chris – I am thrilled with this news. I am your mother’s age and yet I am over-the-top inspired by you and people of your generation – GenX and Millennials. So i am one of your people here in pdx and I would love to help with this. I am a wise mentor. I want to harness my generation and your generations to save the planet. So – count me in.

    P.S. I am writing short essays aka chapters for an eBook – Ten Things I Wish I Knew Before I Was Thirty. A baby boomers letter to GenX and Millennial. Please check it out here, and if one of the tenants (it’s a manifesto in disguise) appeals to you, I would love to have you give me a quote or a piece to go with that particular essay. I have others in mind to add to it. I am tenacios so I will ask Naomi. I see her in a few of the top 10. Thanks for inspiring us.

  • Angela says:

    I will so make it!!

  • Amanda says:

    Since you’re not planning to come to Australia on your book tour – will be make a major effort to be in Portland to take it all in. Bring it on!

  • Lauren Rains says:

    See you then! I have always wanted to check out PDX too!

  • Rebecca says:

    Hi Chris,

    I know we’re never met or talked, but I’ve been following your blog for some time. I’m so impressed you’re going for it with this event. It’s going to be incredible.

    I live in P-town and I’d be happy to help with preparations for the summit if you need it. Just let a girl know.

  • j. says:

    PDX is tempting enough with the vegan barbecue food cart (made *for*, not *of*). Depending on cashflow, my location, tickets, and this not selling out before I know if it works or not, I’ll “pencil” it in.

    Besides, I *like* nekkid man statues.

  • Monica says:

    99.9999999999% YES! Freak accidents are the .00000000001% “No.”

  • Nick says:

    Hey Chris,
    Sounds Awesome!
    If logistics are friendly, I’ll be there!

  • April says:

    I’ll be there too! Hey–looks like your event is nearly sold out! 🙂

  • Jessica says:

    This sounds great! So excited for it and happy to see your success 🙂

  • Simone says:

    Even if it rains in Portland in June, I’ll still be there!

  • Javier Munoz says:

    My mind-body-soul and all other yet unrealized dimensions of my being are there already in Portland. Is that enough of a commitment? 🙂

  • Susannah says:

    oh my god, YES, count me in 🙂

  • It’s on my calendar. That is all. 🙂

  • Scott says:

    Really happy that this is the week before TBEX11 in Vancouver, definitely planning on going to both!

    Chris do you plan on running the registration through Eventbright or do it in house like the book tour?

  • Looking forward to the details. Sounds like a great idea!

  • I can hear myself singing “Happy Birthday to Me!” all the way! My birthday is that month and I think it’s a great birthday present for me!

  • Matt Stewart says:

    Date set aside, see you there!

  • Jason Gill says:

    I will be there! Perhaps Christina will also. (I mean it would be ridiculous to miss it since I’m five minutes away from it! 😉

    P.S. I found a place in Portland!

  • Christina says:

    Thanks, Chris, for letting us know the date and an approximation of the cost this far in advance. Luckily, I live in PDX (and really had a great time at the last meet-up!) so I don’t have to factor in travel, room, and board costs. I’ve set up a goal on Mint, and I’ll be putting $30 per month into a special savings account just for this. When do you think you’ll be opening registration?

  • Michael says:

    You had me at “tattoo”

  • Jenny says:

    I think I’ll be in the area around this time… so I will totally hit it up! Stoked on how everything seems to be falling into place for me.

  • Katana says:

    Squee! Squee!
    So excited!!!

    If I haven’t moved to Costa Rica I WILL SO BE THERE!!! HAHA

  • rianna says:

    Count me in!

  • Wyman says:

    Plan to be there to talk with other Internet business startups.

  • Cheryl in Europe says:

    Great news ! Especially as it coincides with a rare visit to San Francisco the week before. Count me in…

  • I love the idea. I need to start saving miles and cash for the trip now. Once the dates are solid I will be looking to attend. This sounds like the best thing in the world. I love this kind of stuff.

  • Olga says:

    Thanks for the heads up. Unfortunately I have another conference to attend during that week. I can’t wait to be involved in the next one!

    Cheers ninjas!

  • Chris says:

    Would have loved to come, this really got me excited!
    I just need a way to sneak out the university I’m beginning af in 3 weeks..

  • Corey White says:

    If I’m not in Argentina next June then I will be there!

  • Craig Ernst says:

    Sounds awesome! I decided to keep an eye out since hearing you mention it in your interview with Andrew Warner at 🙂

  • oooh! sounds awesome!! Good luck, I’d say you’ll have a huge turnout by the time it comes around.

  • Sietse says:

    I’ve enjoyed your blog and ebooks so much, so I’d love to somehow contribute to the event, despite my limited time! If you need help with anything, drop me a line and maybe I can do something. Good luck Chris!

  • sarah says:

    I am so freaking excited about this. Definitely want to attend and think 300 dollars for a weekend of activities and workshops is a great deal.

  • Amy Yu says:

    I’ll see you June 3rd, +1 guest.

  • Monique Rubens Krohn says:

    Count me in! Great reason to get to the West Coast and discover Portland Glad to see I won’t be the only Baby Boomer wise woman there!

  • Awesome. This will be so much fun.
    I’m just trying to think how I can get to the US from the UK without flying (and within my budget). Any readers with yachts who’d like some crew? 😀

  • Charles says:

    Hi Chris, got to know about you and your world domination concept a couple of days ago. You are the the kind of guy I’d love to meet. I’ve saved the date. My travel hacking has just begun. See you then!

  • viqueen says:

    ALL weekend I’ve been thinking, why haven’t I been to Portland? It’s one of the few US cities I’ve always wanted to uncover. I don’t know anyone there, and when I bring it up, everyone, I mean, everyone says eeeeeeuuuuwww… it’s so rainy.

    Then today, never had been to AONC, but a lucky link brought me here, and like something magical, I found a purpose, a reason to take me to Portland, with a purpose I can get behind.

    Oh yeah, I’ll be there!

  • Hannah says:

    Sounds wonderful. I lived in Pdx for 9 years before heading to Seattle (and now Minneapolis.) I need to go back and visit friends, so why not make it a triple-header? Yay!

  • Chris,

    I think what you are doing is absolutely wonderful!!! I will certainly be on a flight from NYC to join you guys.

    Best of Luck to you,

    Alvin Harrison

  • I’ll be there and bring some friends.

  • Shannon says:

    Yes, I am looking forward to meeting everyone there! It will be awesome!

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