May 2, 2014
Watch out, DC: the tech nerds are taking over this weekend. In coordination with Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, cocktail hours, brunches, and parties will be held all weekend by publications like Vanity Fair and The New Yorker; however, it seems that Silicon Valley is also a little lovestruck with “Nerd Prom” this year, with additional events planned by tech giants Google, Facebook, and Yahoo!. Among the events from the tech industry, though, tonight’s StartUp RockOn’s 2.0: The New Media Party is the one event that professes to truly exhibit the spirit of technology, and what’s more, is organized by DC’s own Event Farm and HyperVocal.
“[While] there are a lot of tech parties happening [this weekend], all of them are [merely] sponsored by technology companies – they won’t have any actual technology [at their events],” said Event Farm CEO, Ryan Costello.
Backed by the likes of Microsoft, AOL, Yelp, and Viacom, 2.0: The New Media Party will take place at the Carnegie Library and will focus on the intersection of Hollywood, new media, and technology. “The concept behind [the party] is to celebrate new media…and the future of content: how it’s created, how it’s distributed, and how it’s consumed,” said Costello. Leveraging Event Farm’s Near Field Communications (NFC) platform, “HOVER”, guests at tonight’s party will get to experience revolutionary ways through which media can be delivered to people.
Each guest at tonight’s event will receive a personalized NFC badge at the door that will serve as a kind of magic wand throughout the night. With these badges, guests can interact with some pretty sweet technology. For one, they’ll get to interact with little BlabDroids that will engage them in tailored conversations (written by one of the writers from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) per the personalizations embedded in guests’ NFC badges. There will also be “content globes” suspended above the dance floor through which guests can download music immediately on their phones, as well as an interactive gift wall.
In recent years, the White House Correspondents’ Dinner has become one of the landmark events in the Washington social scene. Traditionally attended by senior government officials and members of the White House press corps, the event (and the weekend of the event) has developed into a bacchanalian-grade, weekend-long party, attracting Hollywood celebrities and New York comedians to come mingle with the likes of Eric Holder and Biden himself. With the increasing influence of technology in society, it’s no surprise that the industry has taken on a more pronounced presence on the Nerd Prom scene.
Also happening tonight is a party organized by Google and Netflix at the US Institute of Peace. Tomorrow night, Facebook and BuzzFeed have teamed up for a party at Jack Rose in Adams Morgan. If you’re trying to get in on any of the action this weekend, though, then you’re out of luck: all of the events are invite-only. At least you can drink along to the Kentucky Derby, right?
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