The Virtual Economic Forum, a niche media player, was responsible for bringing Europe's first virtual worlds and online games conference and expo to London. VEF also hosted monthly Virtual Worlds Salons in London and Berlin, published regular content and was a focus-point for the sector at the time.
The inaugural Virtual Worlds Forum, held in October 2007 at Canvas in Kings Cross, welcomed 500 executives from online games, brands, tech and media, and was profitable in the first year. Capitalising on the growing interest in the business opportunities in virtual worlds, Keynoted by Lord Puttnam, with 80 speakers from over twenty countries, VWF was ahead of its time in many ways, creating a network of companies looking to leverage this exciting new technology in a growing industry.
Our regular Virtual Worlds Salons in London and Berlin were a sell-out, and a destination for those looking for business networking in a relaxed environment. Our relationships with industry players and enterprise / brand clients enabled us to make real and lasting business connections.
VWF08, scheduled for 6th - 8th October 2008 responded to challenging market factors (including a global recession) and we were expecting a profitable show and 800+ participants from 22 countries to a four stream, 120 speaker, 2 day conference, with expo, workshops and networking parties. Our 50 supporters and partners included FT.com, SXSW and Fortune Magazine. Forced to cancel at the last minute, Team VWF pulled the rabbit out of the hat and hosted Virtual Worlds Unplugged at the Hospital Club in Covent Garden.
The Virtual Worlds Forum was about creating a community around the burgeoning virtual worlds and online games space. Our daily blog started in 2007, and we published regular podcasts and occasional research material, all designed to stay at the heart of the community.
Sasha is the founder of the Virtual Economic Forum, the think tank for virtual worlds and online games, which delivered regular content about the emerging virtual worlds sector.
An entrepreneur with over twenty years' experience and a strong track-record in business-to-business media, Sasha has consulted and developed events and business strategy for clients including the Guardian, CMP, IIR, the AOP, Incisive Media and Thomson / Reuters. Sasha also works at a strategic marketing level for wealth management and professional services firms, digital agencies and technology companies. Blogging since 2002, Sasha wrote a regular literary magazine column.
After the unfortunate cancellation of the VWF08 due to an unrelated shooting at the venue, VEF has hosted its last event. Sasha is now actively looking for new opportunities, is available for consulting projects and can be contacted via email.