Snowcial, a gabfest that combines social media and outdoor winter recreation, makes its annual appearance in South Lake Tahoe in mid-January.
Begun four years ago as a way to celebrate the connection between snow sports and technology, Snowcial has evolved into a must-attend gathering of marketing, media, travel, digital technology and tourism pros, and skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts. From its core group of 30 attendees at the inaugural event in 2008, Snowcial has blossomed tenfold, with more than 300 participants expected at January’s conference.
“We saw there was a definite need for something like this,” said Russ Pecoraro, a spokesperson for Heavenly Mountain Resort, one of the main hosts/sponsors/founders of Snowcial. “We thought that this would be a cool marriage of these lifestyles. … It didn’t hurt that the epicenter for social media was a three-hour drive away.”
With attendees at past Snowcials from as far away as Norway and England giving it a global feel, Pecoraro said the event is firmly rooted in the Bay Area-Tahoe nexus. “We are mostly focused on the folks in the neighborhood,” he said.
The conference, which runs January 18-21, consists of daytime riding at Heavenly and late-afternoon and evening seminars at Harrah’s and Harveys hotel casinos, with a little revelry and gaming thrown in. Featured speakers include Joe Fernandez of Klout, Jonathan Crowley of foursquare, Justin Kistner and Hope Frank of Webtrends, Rob Katz of Vail Resorts, Jon Burns of Discovery.com and Mark Ervin of IMG Worldwide.
Registration fees for the event run from as little as $450 to attend just the seminars to $1,450 for the “whole enchilada” – four nights lodging, four days of lift tickets, dinners, seminars, swag, concerts, etc.
“We’re absolutely open to anyone who would like to attend,” Pecoraro said.
Further information and registration forms can be found at Tahoe Snowcial.