Last week, right after everyone returned to their desks following the holiday break, and in time for the New Year, Ramon Ray (pictured at right), a self-proclaimed Technology Evangelist, and Editor, Smallbiztechnology.com, announced that he sold his popular Small Business Summit and Small Business Technology Tour to BlogWorld. For the last few years, Ray, and his co-host Marian Banker, business growth consultant at Prime Strategies, hosted the Small Business Summit in New York City.
While Ray notes that the sale did not include the popular Small Business Influencer Awards that he and co-host Anita Campbell promote each fall, the transaction was based, according to Ray, on the timing to grow these events bigger than they already are.
I took some time last week to catch up with Ray, who answered a few questions for SMB Nation regarding the sale, and the future of these events.
SMB Nation: Why did you decide to sell the Small Biz Summit and Small Biz Technology Tour to BlogWorld (also, were the Small Biz Influencer Awards included in this sale?).
Ramon Ray: The Small Business Influencer Awards were not included in this sale. We decided that it was time to grow them bigger than they are and BlogWorld can help make that happen. One of my skill set is helping big companies reach small businesses through event sponsorships and the other is creating awesome experiences for attendees. With BlogWorld, we can do this at a MUCH bigger scale.
SMB Nation: What made you decide to sell to BlogWorld, as opposed to another entity?
RR: First and foremost, I connected with the BlogWorld executive team, Rick, Dave and Scott. Second, I've been in their community, and at their events for some years now. Thirdly, they are one of the few companies doing what I'm doing and doing it (events) to the market I identify wit.
SMB Nation: Will there be any changes to the format, content, locations, etc. now that the shows are owned by BlogWorld?
RR: At this time, it's too soon to tell what changes might occur. However, any change will be better, that is for sure. Hopefully better speakers, better format. But my hope is always excitement, energy and awesome information.
SMB Nation: How much of involvement will you and Marian now have in the planning of the shows?
RR: Marian is moving on to what she loves and that is building a community for those 60 or over - http://www.meetup.com/The-Platinums-age-60-plus/members/50609752/. I will be involved to work with BlogWorld to develop events for growing businesses.
SMB Nation: What can attendees expect now going forward...will the shows still have the same energy and pizazz that you fueled them with over the last few years?
RR: If I am involved then they will always have energy and pizazz…that's for sure. I think, no, I know that attendees will love the 8th Annual Small Business Summit coming in late Spring 2013.
P.S.: Ray also noted during our discussion that it has been great knowing the SMB Nation from whome he has learned so much from when he and Marian were building out the summit, especially during the early years. He also told me about the awesome dinners he and Harrybbb would have when brainstorming ideas for his summit!