Offbeat innovates what remote work means for employees, one metaverse event at a time!
On February 17, Offbeat’s employees had the opportunity to attend a unique event taking place in the company's virtual clubhouse. This is not the first social event Offbeat has thrown in the VR campus, but this event was unique because it was the first time a stand-up comedian was brought in to perform!
Local Atlanta comedian Damon Sumner was the special guest for this laugh-filled VR happy hour. He was physically in Offbeat production studio office space in Midtown, Atlanta. But, employees from all across the country were able to see his set and laugh along with co-workers in the VR clubhouse.
Damon's show was a hilarious moment for the Offbeat team members in attendance, but the community building did not end there, the employees spent time in the clubhouse trying on different avatar skins, goofing around with the clubhouse lawn games, and taking silly selfies. This VR event was the perfect event to close a long week of work.
Offbeat, perpetually at the forefront of media advances, sends all employees an Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset upon hiring to attend the various virtual clubhouse events. Offbeat believes firmly that experiences like this one are an essential part of building a remote-first company culture. These events are meant to strengthen the relationships between employees and continue to grow the company’s culture. Offbeat is not a group that was sent out of the office and is adapting to remote work, rather, remote-first work is an intentional choice for Offbeat and so the cultural moments are too.
Christopher Travers, the Chief Creative Officer of Offbeat and one of the Co-Founders, commented, “Our virtual reality clubhouse has been one of our team's most fulfilling creations. Every time I meet up with someone in the clubhouse, whether it's for work or for a virtual team happy hour, we always find something to laugh about and just have an enjoyable time.” Travers continued by saying, “The connection and presence I feel in virtual reality when alongside my teammates far outpaces that of Zoom, or even video conferencing alternatives such as Gather Town or Wonder. We've tried them all. Nothing compares to embodying an avatar and expressing yourself in real-time as a means of achieving connection—and our virtual reality clubhouse enables that.”
The show itself was the brainchild of one of Offbeat’s newer employees, Morgan Williams. She mentioned the idea in a brainstorming meeting and from the initial pitch to approval, Offbeat was able to make this event a reality in less than two weeks.
Morgan Williams, a Creative Content Associate at Offbeat, working with the Creative and Social Publishers team was the inspiration and then lead on bringing the project to life. When asked about her reasoning for creating the event she said, “I think that the limitlessness of virtual reality could open up a whole new realm for stand-up comedy. One aspect that we really think will add to comedians' performances is avatars. One example we've thrown around is the movie "Ted." The dialogue and the jokes in the movie are funny in-and-of-themselves. But the fact that all the raunchy jokes are coming from a teddy bear makes the jokes even funnier.”
Morgan continued her thoughts on the event with, “I also started thinking about what stand-up in the metaverse could mean for the next generation of comedians. Consider all the amazing stand-up comedians who never came to be because they were too nervous to get on stage. Performing stand-up under the guise of an avatar could give a lot of future comedians the courage to get up on stage and put their humor on display. This could be the boost of courage that propels them to perform in front of a real-world audience!”
At Offbeat we are constantly striving to create the most interesting and innovative virtual experiences we can. This VR Comedy Show happy hour was just one of many events we have planned in our Virtual Clubhouse.
Does this sound like an experience you would be interested in? You should drop a line.