Illustrators, Drag Queens and Bartenders – Oh my!

You know what they say about all work and no play. So when the pandemic pulled the rug out from under our IBC plans last month, we opted to be anything but dull.

First, we took our #IBCShowcase panel from the ordinary to the extraordinary with the help of our partners at ThinkAnalytics, the irrepressible Colin Dixon, and a graphic illustrator who captured our personalization story from beginning to end. But the real trick? That was to bring home the essence of the after-hours IBC experience.

It’s tough to materialize Amsterdam on Zoom, but I think we pulled it off. We had an artist who sketched Amsterdam scenes. A bingo room with drag queens, because it was a drag not being in Amsterdam. A cocktail lounge, because all of us were missing “The Beach.” And, of course, a LOT of imagination.

Our invitation-only crowd – think of it as a beta test! – cruised between Zoom rooms that were devoted to art, nightlife and just the right amount of the risqué. It wasn’t quite dinner in the Jordaan, an evening cruise on the Prinsengracht or the three-ring circus of Leidseplein denizens, but it transported us briefly to another place .

Josh, our illustrator, exercised families’ creative muscles in the art room. Brooke and Gert – who couldn’t love those camp getups and the massive wiener-and-bun earrings? – kept the bingo room jumping. And Amanda, our Amsterdam-savvy mixologist, concocted drinks and wove stories in our virtual cocktail lounge. She left us with three themed offerings and more:

  • The Firstlight Sunrise, a combination of New Amsterdam peach vodka, orange juice, pineapple juice and an orange wheel garnish;
  • The Firstlight District, a blend of Bourbon or Rye whiskey, sweet vermouth and Campari garnished with an orange twist; and
  • The Firstlight Mint Tulip, which combines vodka, cranberry juice, St. Germain, lemon juice and a sprig of mint.

We’ve shared the recipes for all three and more here.

In the end, we did what we do best at Firstlight Media. We stretched the bounds of experimentation, innovation and creativity to create connections. And we made sure that everybody – in this case, our customers, prospects and partners (and, frankly, ourselves!) – had a good time.

While we can’t wait to get back to IBC – the real IBC – next year, we had so much fun with our virtual social that we see more of them in our future. Reach out to your Firstlight contact to find out how you can get in on the action.

Paul Pastor