NFT.NYC Event Recap: A Lackluster Conference Salvaged by Underground Meetups and Hidden Gems
If you knew where to look, NFT.NYC played host to a slew of independent value-packed events and gatherings.
Referred to as “The Super Bowl in the NFT space,” NFT.NYC stormed the city of New York last week. In all of its marketing efforts, NFT.NYC billed itself as a premier web3 & NFT events for 2022. And wow, was it…. not.
While the conference itself was a let-down in almost every way (from the lackluster venue, to the non-existent expo hall, to the lack of standout panels in participation), the real value was found in the form of underground NFT meetups happening all over the city.
From meetups hosted in intimate settings to sprawling exhibitions that took over an entire floor of venues, there was something for everyone who ventured off the beaten path.
If you knew where to look (or more accurately, who to talk to), there were some incredible hidden gems to be found at NFT.NYC. Here’s my recap of the best and worst of NFT.NYC 2022.
Depending on when you registered, the cost climbed north of $800 per ticket. While there wasn’t really a clear indication of what the $800 investment would give you, thousands of NFT enthusiasts jumped in and flocked to the Big Apple thinking the event would be VeeCon 2.0.
As far as location goes, nothing beats New York! There are so many corners of the city to conduct meetings, community get-togethers and parties. Getting around is a breeze, and there are several options of accommodations to fit (most) budgets.
The show was based in Times Square, so the Marriott Marquis served as the main headquarters for the event. This is where the registration took place, lunch was distributed, and the main conference hall was located.
The Conference Vibe
NFT.NYC was a VERY heavy ‘presentation focused’ event. If your expectations were to go and sit in a conference hall all week… then this WAS the event you were expecting. If you were like me, and expected to see & meet with projects (both big and small), solution providers, and maximize your networking capabilities… then (like me) you were surely disappointed!
The talks themselves were very surface level and uninspired. There was no ‘unpacking’ of problems or proposed solutions. It felt more like a string of project and vendor updates with a few thought leaders peppered in-between. Presentations were very quick (10-15mins) and therefore very repetitive, touching on the same basic points such as “How to Launch an NFT Project” or “What Steps To Take in Launching an NFT Project.” Wash, rinse, repeat.
The event coordinators tried to even split presenters across multiple venues (like Radio City Music Hall) but even that was not coordinated correctly.
In addition to the show badge, you were required to sign up and receive a ticket from Ticketmaster to enter the venue. While it was free to registrants, attendance was limited and designated to specific time slots. Many people were also having issues loading the tickets to their app on their phone, which created a line of frustration that stretched up 6th Ave and around 51st St.
All-in-all, if you took away the location, the cost, and the conference hall setting… there wasn’t anything special about this event.
But there IS hope…
As I stated earlier, if you knew where to look (or more accurately, who to talk to), there were some incredible hidden gems to be found at NFT.NYC.
The crypto and NFT space as a whole is facing a painful time in its short-lived history. The timing of the conference presented a unique opportunity for likeminded creators and web3 developers to brainstorm and strategize solutions for surviving and thriving through this period.
Beneath the surface of the disappointing official event lived an entire network of underground and off-site events, parties, and gatherings.
Most of these events were hosted by projects (both large and small), who took the opportunity to host IRL events with their members (Vee Friends, VaynerSports Pass, Doodles & Probably Nothing to name a few). It was at these events where networking and thorough discussions took place.
Finding such events, however, was not as simple. In fact, one of the strategies that worked best for me was to reach out to anyone in the space who was in NY to coordinate meetups, as well as to leverage the contacts I made at each event to see what other events those people had going on throughout the week. And thus, a vast chain of underground networks shed light on all the unofficial events hosted under the umbrella of NFT.NYC.
To recap this recap…
The trip to NY was definitely worthwhile! Any of us trying to understand, learn, launch projects, or simply break into this space could have found value, even if it meant hunting it down!
The point of this recap is not to knock the presenters on stage both at the Marriott venue or at Radio City Music Hall. As always, I applaud success stories and appreciate the sharing of their experiences and knowledge.
The event simply didn’t align with my goals or expectations for being present at the event.
If NFT.NYC was looking for constructive feedback, this event should have been held at a proper conference center (i.e. Javits Center), thus opening the opportunities for projects to display themselves in a booth-like setting to which they would reach a much larger audience and even allow them to promote their off-site events on a grander scale.
In my opinion, unless there are changes made to the official show’s format, there are many more lucrative ROI opportunities with NFT projects who host off-site events rather than the ticket itself.