Keynote speeches by Billy Beane, Shane Smith and others filled the house.
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg at IWNY 2012
Empire Entertainment once again had the pleasure of producing the 5th annual Internet Week New York festival, which featured hundreds of events around New York City between May 14 to 17, 2012. This year, the unique event, which celebrates NYC’s thriving Internet industry and community, was headquartered at Soho’s 55,000 square-foot event space, 82 Mercer.
Festival co-founder David-Michel Davies aptly described the continuing need for such an event by saying, that, these days, it is the Internet instead of television that is at the forefront driving pop-culture today. Indeed, Mayor Bloomberg further corroborated this stating at his on-site press conference, “New York City is the place to be if you’re a growing tech start up,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Our tech companies are looking for talent, and we want to make sure that everyone – no matter where they live today – knows about these jobs and is able to apply for them.”
Having grown-out of its previous home at the Metropolitan Pavilion, the 4,000 guests milled about the enjoying presentations ranging from Buddy Media's "How to Master Social Advertising," Flavorpill's "Sifting for Culture on the Internet," to Yahoo's "Big Data, Big Solutions," and mingling with online-celebs including David Karp, founder and C.E.O. of Tumblr, David Carr, columnist for The New York Times, Mitchell Baker, Mozilla Foundation chairman. With more than 2,500 visitors each day and 500 companies represented, the space was strategically organized to create more intimate spaces for these exchanges, including three stages and various lounges furnished by official design partner Design Within Reach. The second floor transformed into a hub of innovators sharing and exploring ideas with each other in over 100 formal presentations and discussions.
Highlights of the week included:
· The opening day party at Internet Week HQ followed by the after-party at Tribeca Grand, featuring Performances by DJ Michna, MDNR, and Wild Belle
· Keynote presentation by former Oakland Athletics General Manager, Billy Beane.
· Recreating Startup City, the New York City way. Startup City was once hailed as the home of Silicon Alley during the initial tech boom of the early 00's and is now in the midst of an even more exciting wave of technological innovation and entrepreneurship. For this reason, Internet Week NY felt compelled to create our own mini-version of this amazing renaissance in Startup City, a curated and creatively designed footprint within the IWNY Headquarters where 12 up-and-coming startups showed the thousands of attendees their offerings.
· Pete Cashmore, C.E.O of Mashable sitting down for a fireside chat with Mr. Davies as he reminisced about starting the largest independent website dedicated to news, information and resources for the connected generation at age 19 back in Scotland in 2005 out of his bedroom while Mr. Cashmore ruminated on the swiftly blurring lines between consumer and producer as users begin to activately creating, customizing and publishing content, not just passively consuming ready made products. Furthermore, Mr. Cashmore explored the notion of social media as a personal filter tool to help us make sense of the world around us while making it more personal and relevant.
The festival once again expanded to a theatre space to accommodate longer presentations and conferences. Taking place on the ground floor of 82 Mercer, MediaPost held two day-long conferences, OMMA Mobile and OMMA Social. APPNATION hosted their conference & demo on all things mobile apps and Mozilla wrapped up the week with “Opting in to do not Track”, exploring new technologies that allow customers to opt out of third-party web tracking.
Empire oversaw the 5th Annual Internet Week New York festival headquarters from conception to completion, coordinating registration for the thousands of guests, stage management and producing all of the presentations in the theater and on both HQ stages, and managing the event sponsors from the design process for their footprints in the space and all of their needs from load-in to load-out.