Digital Mission to New York FAQ

New York City There's only a short while left to get applications in for the Digital Mission to NYC (deadline today, Wed 23rd July) and there's been heaps of questions about the mission itself. The team have been working flat out over the last few days to respond to email and phone queries.

The main queries have been gathered together and summarised here, which hopefully will be useful for companies thinking about applying for the New York mission, but also those wanting to better understand the hows, whys and wherefores of the application process and the mission itself.

The Application Process - how's it work?

The entry criteria are deliberately broad so the process is as inclusive as possible. Each application will be looked at by the advisory panel, who will assess how well the application meets these criteria. Essentially, applications are answering the question, "Is this company ready to do business in the US, do they have a credible plan or business that will attract clients or investors in the US market?"

The target for Digital Mission to NYC is to take 25 companies along. The final number may be slightly lower or slightly higher, depending on the applications and the feedback from the advisory panel.

The Deadlines - bit short?

Yes, don't we know it and apologies for the rush. Whilst it's not ideal, it does make for some clear focus. Unfortunately, the mavens of the travel industry have decreed that all the details for the Digital Mission companies have to be confirmed a minimum of 6 weeks before departure, hence the haste. We anticipate a slightly more relaxed process for the Digital Mission to SXSWi, Mar 2009.

Fortunately, we've been generously helped by lots of friends in the media, loads of bloggers and many prominent networking groups have helped spread the word. Hopefully, the news has reached pretty much everyone who might be interested in coming along. If you know people, do spread the word though.

The Contribution - £2,500, bit pricey?

To paraphrase the famous song, "New York, New York, so good they charged double". Lots of people have asked about the contribution towards the costs. Here's the skinny. The contribution covers the air fares, transfers, hotel accommodation, an Expo Hall Plus pass to Web 2.0 Expo and a small contribution towards the research costs involved with setting up meetings in New York, networking events, social events and lots more.

By far and away the biggest chunk of the costs overs the flights and hotel. The £2,500 is a guide based on our initial budgeting and also the rising cost of travel - oil prices, ouch! - but we're doing everything we can to cut costs or find extra funds to reduce this. The Web 2.0 Expo coincides with Interop and a UN Conference which means the hoteliers in Manhattan are rubbing their hands with glee at the prices they can charge.

The contribution to costs will be confirmed when successful companies are contact early next week (w/c 28th July).

What do I get - what's happening?

Good question. And number two on the list of the most popular. Here's a bullet point list for handy reference:

  • discounted travel, accommodation and planning services
  • masterclass for doing business in the US
  • itinerary designed around your company's requirements
  • networking events - specific Digital Mission, official Web 2.0 Expo events, and more
  • press and blog coverage of the Digital Mission
  • strength in numbers - more attention and more focus on your company as part of the group
  • pass to Web 2.0 Expo Hall, keynotes and more...

Many of the specific details are still being tied down. The aim is to make this trip as productive as possible for the companies on the Digital Mission. Some of the aspects will be tailored specifically to the companies attending, for example the meetings with clients/partners/investors. Likewise with specific networking events and the reception, where the invite list will be tailored around mission company's requirements.

Still got questions?

There's probably lots of other questions that haven't cropped up, so do feel free to call (020 7183 2923) or email and we'll be happy to help.

Pic: courtesy of Stuck in Customs