With the dozens of weekly events hosted by startups, media companies and digital ad agencies, every week feels like a tech celebration in New York City. In early June, the official Internet Week kicked off, a festival of dozens of offbeat, visual events that brought the Internet to life including the 15th Annual Webby Awards and The Webutante Ball, Internet Week’s prom for proud geeks. This year, over 20,000 people attended the festival, up from 15,000 last year. With so much to celebrate and so much more ground to cover, New York City’s tech community seems to be begging for a reason to rise to the occasion more often than not.
One of New York City’s most well known faces, Richard Blakeley, the former Editor-in-Chief of Gawker.TV and now managing editor of strategy and content for Thrillist.com is also the mastermind behind The Webutante Ball, an event that my dear friend once told me I was “killing my career” by missing. Tickets for this year’s Webutante Ball sold out in less than 24 hours and the event raised over $50,000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation with the help of matched funds from Google’s Sergey Brin. Now, Blakeley is launching a new partnership with Internet Week New York called “Websdays,” a monthly networking party for the New York City Internet community, which will only be open to only a limited number of guests each month.
“The Webutante Ball has been remarkable for bringing so many people together, and I’ve watched them emerge with new jobs and lasting friendships over the years. I want to extend those connections year round,” says Blakeley. “Websdays is a networking event for anyone on the web — welcoming developers, digital marketers, bloggers and entrepreneurs. But unlike crowded parties with long lines and limited space, it’s an exclusive soiree with plenty of room to promote conversation over cocktails.”
“Unlike other cities, New York City’s tech community is extremely diverse, with innovative work happening across the board – from media, startups, and the arts to fashion, finance, and government,” said David-Michel Davies, chair of Internet Week New York. “We wanted to create a year-round event that captures the festival’s spirit and becomes a place where people from across the community can meet and share ideas over a few cocktails.”
As technology companies tap into the powerful creative industries of New York City, ripe opportunities for collaboration and innovation are inevitable. The movers and shakers in this town are never content to mellow in their digital silos. “New York City is powered by real life connections, and amazing innovation can unravel when the right people are in the right room,” says Blakeley.
The inaugural Websdays party will take place next week on Wednesday, July 27th from 8pm to midnight at 200 Orchard, located at 200 Orchard Street in New York City’s Lower East Side. Tickets are $10 and will be available at Websdays beginning today, July 20th.