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, garnering substantial press coverage for a launch event, and 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.
The Virtual Economic Forum was founded and led by Sasha Frieze who has over twenty years experience as a business marketing leader and producer of world class events.
Sasha is a well-established and respected media and events industry professional, whose strong track record included roles as a Director of an informa plc Conference Division and SVP Events for the market-leading Industry Standard magazine.
In her early career, Sasha was a global marketing consultant for IIR, and started out at the award-winning advertising agency Grey. Sasha has also gained significant professional services experience in the TMT practice at international executive search firm Spencer Stuart.
An entrepreneur at heart and often at the forefront of media innovation, Sasha's specific experience in the conference and events industry has led to consulting for a number of clients including News UK, the Guardian, Incisive Media, UBM and Thomson Reuters.
Sasha is a Fellow of both the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Royal Society of Arts, a graduate of the University of Manchester, a visiting lecturer in event management at Westminster University and judges a number of industry awards.