Flash Bus Update and Schwag Bag Extravaganza

First, the bad news. If you live in Seattle, Portland, Chicago, NYC, DC, Boston, San Francisco or Buffalo -- those Flash Bus cities are now sold out. In fact, the whole tour is over 3/4 sold out.

So if you are looking to grab a seat at a remaining city, don't wait too long. There are several more cities on the bubble.

Second, the good news. You may have noticed we pulled in … some sponsors. And you're gonna like this part.

NOTE: Apologies for the long post. It's a big goodie bag.

When Joe asked if I would like to be a part of this little adventure, I said yes in a heartbeat -- without even taking into account just how good Joe is at marshaling resources. Don't get me wrong. He's no Scott Kelby. But he is very good.

Leading Off: Adorama and Manfrotto

Joe's relationship with Adorama is not unlike mine with MPEX. They are good folks, and Joe has always been grateful for their professionalism and support.

Adorama's Jeff Snyder is like Max Klinger from M.A.S.H. He can get you anything. That can be a lifesaver.

More important, some of you may not know how Adorama stepped up to the plate and rescued the huge images from Joe's Faces of 9/11 exhibit. That meant a lot to him. There was never a question that he would want to partner with Adorama. And they stepped up in a big way.

Their financial and administrative support not only made TFB possible, but also that it could be done in an affordable way. On top of that, they are also doing special deals like special bundle pricing on DVDs, etc.

And can I just mention Monica at Adorama, who has worked on the logistics of the tour with Terminator-like efficiency? She is a one-woman army, and I am in awe.

Joe also partnered up with with Manfrotto, with whom he has had a long and storied history. Manfrotto offered critical financial support, too.

This kind of help is crucial, especially in the beginning when many, huge checks are going out the door to secure venues, the bus, insurance, etc. and not a dollar has yet come in. I am very much a babe in the woods when it comes to this sort of thing and I have learned so much by watching the process.

Long story short: from here up the support is heavy lifting, but behind the scenes. From here down, the support all flows directly to the folks who will attend one of the TFB events.

The Schwag Bag:

When word of out little plan started to leak out, several companies expressed interest in being involved. So we thought, well, we could certainly do a cool schwag bag. So that's what we did.

I'll preface this by saying the items below are fully expected to happen. But no guarantees, because if something happens beyond our control I do not want this post to be a contract. Just sayin'.

LumiQuest is proud of their new Ultra Straps, and wants to put one of the stretchy, grippy mod mounts in every bag. Oh, and if you have not tried one of these yet, you are gonna like it.

Those brand new, "snap-lock" frio cold shoes are coming, too. These things are awesome. I have half a dozen frios, and *love* them. For reasons of timing/manufacturing, they are doing a card insert with a code to get it by mail via the web. (Free shipping, natch.)

Rosco will be doing (but of course) a streamlined version of the Strobist Collection Gel Kit (minus the multiple copies, but each different gel is included.) These are the gels you use most, hand picked by Rosco and myself. Schwing.

ThinkTank is kicking in a Flash Bus card wallet. Suffice to say that if it is like any of my ThinkTank bags, it will be damn-near indestructible. Come to think of it, my Airport Security bag will get another 13k miles on it this spring…

Peachpit Press is there, and we are still waiting to hear what they are doing. I'm thinking it is discounts on books -- and they have some cool books. Stay tuned on that.

Nik Software is offering discounts on software and upgrades. Oh, and they just did a radio interview with Joe and I, too. Check it out here.

Datacolor is doing discounts on their Spyder monitor calibrators -- and a Flash Bus notebook, in case either one of us happen to utter something worth writing down. (If we don't, you can always doodle.)

Tether Tools, for you tetherers, is offering a Jerk Stopper cable retention device (with purchase).

PocketWizard is doing a Flash Bus poster. I have not yet seen it, but I am sure looking forward to it.

Our goal was to make the whole day a no-brainer value, and I think we did it. On top of that goodie bag, we will be giving away all kinds of cool stuff on each stop. Because, well, why not?

We're talking stuff like LumiQuest SB-III's and LTp's, Spyder calibrators, Tether Tools USB tethering cables, Nik software, Justin Clamps, Tri-Grips at each stop. You wanna be there.

Oh, and just because how often do you get the chance to stick the word "numnuts" on your bumper, the official TFB euro sticker goes into the bag.

That was my idea. Just so you'll be able to ID the other flash geeks in your city -- even at highway speeds -- for years to come.

So if you are already coming, see you there! And if you are still on the fence, I hope we just knocked you off of it.



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