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March 17, 2021

For The Economist Events, A Virtual After-Party Builds Global Networks

An international news readership gets together on the dance floor.
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To attract a solid guest list, event planners are becoming more focused on global networking. More attendees are logging into online events this year, making connections across countries easier and more natural. 

If you can find ways to encourage guests to mingle, especially with guests they might not otherwise meet—events get interesting again.

For The Economist Events’ recent Innovation@Work Virtual Week, event directors for the international news group worked with Virbela to put together a virtual after-party with DJ Jazzy Jeff.

Musical Engagement

DJs perform live streamed sets all the time, though, so upping the engagement is a natural next step. At physical events, an open floor would encourage conversation. Getting people to interact during a video set is harder. 

To overcome the event-dampening impact of video only, The Economist Events went virtual. Holding the party in The Virbela Speakeasy™ made it life-like. The virtual club space has a stage, screens, a balcony, and a legit dance floor. And since guests are represented by avatars, the dance floor was packed.

“It was fantastic to be able to offer our attendees such a novel and out-of-the-box networking opportunity,” shares The Economist Events Programme Editor Helen Ponsford, “Virbela was a superlative partner—the perfect fit for this event! I enjoyed seeing the concept of the virtual office brought to life in such an engaging way, and it sparked debate among our attendees about whether this kind of approach will go mainstream.”  

DJ Jazzy Jeff is a mainstay in The Virbela Speakeasy™, where he commands high-energy parties that blend golden-age hip-hop and popular mid-century soul tracks. The whole crowd was on the dance floor at The Economist Events after-party—no virtual experience necessary.

Virbela Chief Strategy Officer Glenn Sanford, who spoke on an Innovation@Work panel, noted, “People kept joking that they dance better at a virtual event than in real life.”

About midway through his set, DJ Jazzy Jeff asked where everyone was from. For a DJ, this is a pretty standard party call, but at a virtual event, the answers come from all over the world. France! Amsterdam! Los Angeles!

With a virtual after-party, The Economist Events team was able to host an international audience in a fun, social space with a memorable headliner.

You can host your own events in The Virbela Speakeasy™ or design your own virtual event spaces, too. Request a tour to get started.

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