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Feb. 2, 2016, 9:30 a.m.
Business Models
the information beijing

The Information is offering members a perk: an exclusive trip to “meet the right people” in China

The $399-a-year site covering the tech industry expects subscribers to pay their own way, but promises access to “people only the most well-known execs typically meet.”

Technology site The Information is inviting some of its subscribers to join it on a trip to China next month.

This isn’t a junket. Attendees are responsible for paying for their own travel, lodging, and other costs. (One assumes subscribers to The Information can handle the tab.) What’s in it for them: “several events with well-known entrepreneurs, executives, and investors from China’s largest and most promising technology companies like Xiaomi, Tencent as well as a host of startups.”

“We are working hard to put you in the same room with the people only the most well-known execs typically meet,” Jessica Lessin, founder and CEO of The Information, explained in a post. (Almost all content on the site is behind a paywall, but this post isn’t.)

As you know, we’re very excited about China at The Information. And so, we’re thrilled to invite a small number of our subscribers to join me for a special opportunity for exclusive, on-the-ground access to technology leaders in Beijing the week of March 14, 2016.

We’re looking for a small number of U.S. entrepreneurs, executives and investors to join us to share their experiences on the ground in Silicon Valley or wherever their home base is…As you know, one of the most important things about business travel is meeting the right people…Space is limited to keep the events intimate.

Lessin wouldn’t comment beyond saying that the company is “heads down” preparing for the trip.

The idea of the China trip makes sense for a site that is all about premium access. The Information only publishes two stories most days, “deeply-reported articles about the technology industry that you won’t find elsewhere.” For this, readers pay $399 a year or $39 a month (the China trip is only open to annual subscribers). Members also get access to a private Slack channel, commenting privileges, and special events like a subscriber summit.

Lessin, a former technology reporter for The Wall Street Journal, launched the site in 2013; it now has thousands of subscribers (“multiples” higher than 2,000, Lessin told Business Insider recently).

The site’s business model “totally scales — and it gives us control over how it scales,” Lessin told Digiday in January.

POSTED     Feb. 2, 2016, 9:30 a.m.
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