As I write this there are 11 hours and 57 minutes until 2008. Entrepreneur Jann Yogman is banking that you are going to celebrate New Year’s Eve this year. He started New Year’s Nation, which is a ticket broker and organizer of New Year’s parties in big cities across the U.S.
Last year he launched with a virtual event that drew 5,000 people in five cities. They were connected by streaming video. Tonight there will be eight cities. If you want to book tickets in say, Los Angeles, it will be $150. Then you can watch partiers in New York, Boston, Seattle, or one of the other cities.
Yogman is good at getting people to the party and is well-connected. He once filled a bar with 700 guests in less than a month by calling people he knew and asking them to do the same. Then he hosted his own New Year’s parties in Manhattan every year. They were such a hit that Yogman saw an opportunity. He got some financing and is working out the technology to keep expanding.
Instead of the telephone, Yogman is using Google Adwords and a MySpace campaign to advertise. To kick things off, he sells the first 100 tickets in each city for $100. He even has an affiliate program (but it doesn’t look to be very organized, with just an email address and few details).
Next year, Yogman hopes to add a six or seven more cities. Some [boring] people are skipping the parties altogether and spending New Year’s online, experienced virtually through Facebook.