I’d like to go to New York….

About two months ago, a date was set for the 20th anniversary fan meet for Blue Man Group in New York. That’s right, Blue Man Group has had their show in New York for 20 years now, and the arrangers are hoping to fill the entire theater on the 30th of July this year. I hope to become one of them.

My vacation plans in recent years have revolved around getting to see Blue Man Group in one form or another. In 2008, I went to Copenhagen, Denmark, for a stop on their How To Be A Megastar international tour, which is more of a concert experience. In 2009, I went to Las Vegas and Orlando to see their theatrical show for the very first time, and to experience the Orlando fan meet that year. I ended up seeing three shows in Las Vegas and two shows in Orlando. In 2010, last year, I went to Stockholm, Sweden, for their more or less travelling show (lasting two months in Stockholm), and managed to catch 7 shows during that week’s stay (meaning, all of that week’s shows). It would have been 8 shows if the Wednesday show hadn’t been cancelled (due to low sales, and no room for advertising due to the Swedish elections).

But, due to my current economy, I can’t quite get it to stretch for the flight and hotel as I would like for this year’s trip. And that’s even the cheapest flight + a full two weeks at a 3 star hotel. And time is running out, at least for the best priced plane tickets.

Last week, an idea turned up. What if I can get the trip itself sponsored somehow? I would already have enough for spending money (including tickets to see several Blue Man Group shows) by that time, it’s just the trip itself that’s biting my bum.

A sponsored trip would take a large chip off my shoulders for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But how would the best way to get a sponsor for this?

Then, it struck me: online auctions.

Tomorrow, when my paycheck comes in, I plan to put up an auction ad on QXL.no, a Norwegian branch of a large European online auctioneering service (comparable to eBay), with additional highlighting and the works. It’s a certain cost, I know, but it’s a lot easier than finding funds for this vacation elsewhere.

In exchange for the sponsorship, I plan to offer advertising on this blog (inside the the blog posts themselves, not just hidden away in the small Google AdSense space below my navigation meny), and going to various tourist attractions in and around New York as a walking advertising board. That is, clothes with visible logos in large print, both on T-shirt(s), backpack, baseball cap, and if needed, pants. In case of rain, I will also have a poncho or an umbrella, also covered in logos. And if my sponsor wants to, I can hand out various effects (buttons, T-shirts, whatever) to random strangers.

I plan to catch everything on camera, both as photos and as video (using my digital camera), and post these on my blog, on Flickr and on YouTube, both to increase the sponsor effect, and to provide a form of proof that I’m keeping my end of the deal.

And, like I did in Stockholm, I also plan to post a daily summary of my experiences, and this time, the sponsor will get exposure in every summary report.

I plan to take a flight out of Ålesund on Sunday, July 17, and leave New York on Monday, August 1. That’s a full two weeks for sponsor exposure, and 15 nights at a hotel. Nothing has been booked yet, but I hope to get this in order barely after the Easter holidays this next week (that is, if I manage to get a sponsor).

I’ll be hammering out the details in a agreement document hopefully by the end of today. I already have made a spreadsheet to calculate the final value price that QXL.no will invoice me from the winning bid, which shows me what I have to set as a starting bid to get the funding I need for flights+hotel (which will be booked either through Expedia or Travellink, another online travel agent that’s in the same price range as Expedia – these two alternate on who’s better priced).

My preliminary queries say that I’ll have to expect a low-cost (but user-recommended) three-star hotel and matching flights will cost 20,000 NOK (or, with the current exchange rates, about $3,700 for you Americans – yes, the Norwegian krone has a big advantage over the US dollar these days) and up. That’s after the winning bid commission is withdrawn, though.

Unless someone else steps in and wants to bypass, I’ll go ahead with the action tomorrow.

Fingers crossed!