Even with torrential rain battering Newark, VOICE attendees ventured out to meet like-minded colleagues, re-connect with old friends, and get a sense of the city's night scene.
Networking kicked off at 7 pm with the VIP reception at the Newark Museum. As VOICE guests took their seats and enjoyed light food and drinks, Newark's city officials stood in front to share how excited they were to have VOICE be a part of their city.
The dinner gracefully closed by bringing together all the (much appreciated) VOICE sponsors, and with the promise that VOICE 2019 is going to make this week one to remember.
Sponsors and attendees at the dinner in Newark Museum.
A 5-min walk from the museum, other attendees were filing into the dimly-lit Barcade for some well-deserved food, drinks, and socializing.
Rock music blared in the background, beer glasses clinked together, and arcade games flashed as guests chattered and laughed; exchanging stories from their recent travels and what VOICE sessions they plan on going to.
Between the drinks and classics like Galaga and Tetris, a few attendees were huddled together making business connections and planning for meetups later in the week. Others were more interested in taking a break from business, focusing only on calling the bartender for another round.
Attendees mingling and playing arcade games at Barcade in Newark.
"It's really a good opportunity to meet the community, see old friends and see how the community has grown," said Sanjay Pothen from Emerson College. He was perched on the couch surrounding a small table scattered with half eaten bar fare and empty champagne glasses. Next to him, Garrick Gauch nodded in agreement. Sanjay went on to note that most people in the bar already knew each other, revealing the closeness of the VOICE community.
Garrick, the founder of Voicelets, shared what drew him to Newark in the first place: "There's not many of us exploring how Voice can affect education, so I'm really interested in connecting with people who also care about how Voice can help students learn in and out of the classroom." He eagerly added that his booth is set up and he's looking forward to meeting people curious to know what Voicelets can do.
Across the room, next to the bar stood Beth Stewart from Voice Over, holding a glass of wine and happily chatting with two VOICE attendees she'd just met.
"It's wonderful. I'm meeting people and the interactions are really good—even in a casual, noisy place like this. It's fun!"
Although 10 PM was inching closer and everyone had an early morning ahead, the bar showed little signs of slowing down. Spirits were high, conversation was flowing, and VOICE members from all over the world were finally together in a small bar on a rainy Newark night.
Ready to join us at VOICE 2020? Pre-register here and nab a Super Pass for half the price. If you're not ready to buy, you can still sign up to stay in the loop for next year's tickets. Don't miss out.