In Brussels With Solar Impulse [en]

[fr] A Bruxelles avec Solar Impulse, gardez un oeil sur leur blog pour me suivre durant cette semaine! Je m'occupe de leur programme blogueurs.

The week ahead is going to be busy: I’m in Brussels with the Solar Impulse team, taking care of their blogger programme and supporting them in their social media use. It’s great fun but a lot of work!

03.2012: photo has sadly been removed from Flickr by the person who uploaded it.

(photo by Delmi Alvarez, who took part in the blogger visit this morning — check it out on Storify 😉)

Keep an eye on the Solar Impulse blog and my Twitter account if you want to stay in the loop. And if you’re a blogger in Brussels, do come and visit us!


Solar Impulse Blogger and Podcaster Programme for Brussels — This is it! [en]

News of special interest to my Belgian readers, cross-posted from the Solar Impulse Blog. Thanks for helping spread the word about this blogger programme, time is short (happenings are next week!)

Solar Impulse 3

Now that the HB-SIA is safely parked in its hangar in Brussels airport, we’re getting serious about finalizing the details of the blogger programme.

As announced, there are four occasions we can invite you to take part in:

  1. Plane visit: Elâ and I will host a small group of bloggers and podcasters on Monday 23.05 morning 9am at the Solar Impulse hangar for an informal visit of the plane. A chance to meet up, chat, ask questions, take photographs, etc.
  2. EUFORES/EREC cocktail on Tuesday 24.05 evening: an occasion to brush with political celebrity, this cocktail is an invitation-only “intimate” event of about 300 people for which we have a certain number of passes to distribute to bloggers. This will take place in the hangar where the plane is.
  3. Green Week side event with European Commissioner for Environment Janez Potočnik on Wednesday 25.05 evening: this event is slightly more accessible to the general public through Green Week, but we will save you the hassle and bring you in as our guests, again, through a certain number of blogger invitations. This event will also take place in the hangar, of course.
  4. Breakfast discussion with André and Bertrand: Saturday morning 9h30-11am, come to the hangar for a discussion table with André and Bertrand while we all have breakfast together! A chance to ask your questions, talk about anything related to the project, film, photograph, blog, tweet, you name it. For 60 minutes, we will leave the two founders of the project at your mercy 😉 (we trust you’ll hand them back in once piece so they can get to work on what’s left to be done after this, though!)

All are still open (I’ll update this post as needed) but be quick, space is limited. So far, we are able to accommodate all those who have contacted us (you’ll be hearing from us soon), so if you want a chance to meet the team and see the plane for real, it’s worth applying.

We’ll of course have stickers and a certain number of booklets about the project (particularly for those of you coming Monday and Saturday).

An extra opportunity we’re throwing in for you is that if you come to one of these four occasions, we would like to invite you to write a guest post on the Solar Impulse blog. No obligation of course, and we’ll set a time limit (upto July 6th), but we think it would be cool if we open up the blog to other bloggers.

Please use this form to apply for the exclusive blogger/podcaster programme.

If you aren’t a blogger or a podcaster, Saturday afternoon will be open to the general public (you’ll have to sign up though). Keep your eyes open for more news on this blog, or sign up as a Friend in our supporter program and we’ll let you know. If you are a “2.0-type” photographer, it’s worth applying too if you make your photos available through Flickr under a creative commons license (meaning, you allow bloggers and other online people to use your photos to illustrate their writings, as long as they credit you, of course).

Our main aim with the blogger programme is to help spread information and enthusiasm about the Solar Impulse project. So when you take part in the programme, we expect you to help us with that by:

  • producing publicly available content about your experience and the Solar Impulse project on your blog or podcast in a timely manner (we’ll link back to it on our blog, of course)
  • making your photos available under a creative commons license (let us know if this is a serious issue for you)
  • and it’s always appreciated if you disclose that you participated as part of the blogger programme!

What’s next?

If you’re not around to come and see us at Brussels airport, you might still have your chance. Early July (you know how we roll now, we won’t be able to tell you the date until the last moment) the prototype is flying to Paris for Salon le Bourget.

There won’t be much to see at take-off and landing (Paris and Brussels airports are huge, you’ll be better off glued to your screen watching the video stream!) but there will be short in-flight interviews with André (we’re waiting to see how many slots we can secure for bloggers) and probably a press conference upon arrival (to be confirmed). We’re also seeing if it’s possible to give access to the press conference to certain bloggers/podcasters. More soon.

In Paris itself, the plane will normally be available to the public in the afternoons — but it’ll basically be a path around the plane with many many thousands of people streaming by. So we’re thinking of doing something similar to Brussels: a private visit with a small party of bloggers and podcasters one of the mornings, and another discussion table (like in Brussels) with André and Bertrand. The rest of the time, Elâ and I would be available to receive you by appointment. All this is to be confirmed, of course, but like that you know what we’re planning!

I’m also busy thinking about introducing an “official Solar Impulse blogger” status. It’s still pretty fuzzy for me (so suggestions welcome!) but it would basically entail a certain number of privileges and requirements for the bloggers/podcasters in question.

Blogger Programme for Solar Impulse (Part 1, Brussels) [en]

The article was originally published a few days ago on the Solar Impulse blog — a project I’m working on. See the original article.

Are you a blogger or a podcaster? Are you excited about the Solar Impulse project? We have news for you.

As you might have seen if you’re following us on Twitter or Facebook, I (Stephanie Booth aka @stephtara) am currently working with the Solar Impulse team to set up special access and events around the project for bloggers and podcasters.

Solar Impulse 39

So, now that we’re excitedly waiting to be able to take off for our flight to Brussels (no kidding: we’re holding our breath every day, just waiting for the weather to cooperate fully), I can finally give you some news about what we’re planning.

Update 17.05.2011: this article was published on the Solar Impulse blog before the flight to Brussels, but it has now taken place successfully!

First of all, two words of caution:

  1. the offers in this programme are for established bloggers and podcasters only, that we will accept on a case-by-case basis;
  2. we do not know yet exactly when we’re flying to Brussels (flights are confirmed 24h in advance) — and bear in mind there is a small chance that all the necessary conditions for a safe flight may not be met before Green Week.

That being said, please use this form to let us know if you’re interested in taking part in our blogger programme. You can also simply sign up for the blogger announcement list, which will let you know about anything we plan specifically for bloggers and podcasters.

Current details on what we’re planning can be found below. We’ll be in touch with more as we finalize things, as well as confirmation — or, depending on the success of the blogger programme… more information about the selection process!

For the flight

The whole flight can be followed live on the Solar Impulse website and can also be followed on your smartphone (download the app for iPhone or Android). We have a small number of slots available during the flight if you would like to interview André while he’s in the air (ask him what it feels like to be outside Swiss borders with Solar Impulse!).

Update: departure and landing events are full, unfortunately!

It is also possible for us to invite a few people to the take-off, but as I mentioned, it will be on very short notice. We know it will be on the morning of the day of the flight, though. So, if you’re not far from Payerne and think you can make it for take-off around 8am if we warn you the afternoon before, try your luck!

There is a landing event in Brussels in the evening (around 8pm). Obviously we’ll have a little more notice than for take-off, but it’s still not much. We have a handful of invitations to that event for bloggers and podcasters. (By the way: even if you’re not a blogger, Brussels Airport are inviting 30 of their followers on Facebook and Twitter to be their guests at the landing — follow them for more information on that!)

The Week in Brussels (23-29 May)

During the time the Solar Impulse airplane will be in Brussels (during Green Week!), there are four occasions on which we can invite you — two of which will be open only to bloggers/podcasters (the other two are events which are open to a part of the public, but you’ll be able to attend as our guests).

First of all, a chance to see the plane in its hangar before everything starts — Elâ and I will be your hosts. That will be on Monday 23.05 morning, probably 9-11 (but we’ll confirm the exact time once it gets closer). This will be an opportunity to meet up, get to know fellow bloggers, chat about the project, photograph the plane, etc. The only people there will be bloggers and podcasters (and maybe some photographers!)

The second “blogger exclusive” event will take place on Saturday 28.05 morning, and it will be a discussion roundtable with André and Bertrand. Breakfast included! As we want to keep this conversation “human-sized”, the number of spots for this event is quite limited.

On Tuesday evening, there is the EUFORES/EREC cocktail event. About 300 people will be invited (political and economical spheres), and we have a certain number of passes for bloggers.

Wednesday evening is the side event Solar Impulse is hosting for Green Week. Again, a chance to see the plane and a presentation (we’re expecting about 700 people that evening and the European Commissioner for Environment Janez Potočnik will be speaking).

And also…

We aim to bring a community of bloggers together around the Solar Impulse project, beyond this first trip outside Swiss borders (next stop: Paris, more details vers soon, and who know what after that!) — at some point, we’ll define criteria for an “official blogger” status with visibility on our website.

We’re looking forward to meeting you, reading you, listening to you… and answering your questions about the project! If you have any other ideas, don’t hesitate to let us know using the “Anything to add?” field of the blogger programme form.