The supersonic pace of progress in the industry requires high connectivity, rendering face-to-face encounters redundant, especially since a large number of crypto creators and investors are anonymous.
And yet, live events are also on the rise. Mushrooming crypto startups, accelerating institutional adoption, and growing interest from TradFi investors all feed the need for crypto- and blockchain-related seminars and expos.
Unfortunately, those events have now outgrown that need. Targeted to local or international crowds, they are held nearly every month, and the hard truth is that few complement online communication channels in a meaningful way. It’s easy to end up at a show that has a big name but little content, and whose sole purpose is commercial gain. If you’re itching to meet other crypto enthusiasts in person, make sure you’re signing up for an event that’s worth your time.
What’s the gain?
The primary goal of crypto events is to provide an opportunity for face-to-face networking and boost the sense of community. Organizers brag about confirmed speakers and exhibitors to whet potential attendees' appetites' for meeting crypto heavyweights in person. For creators, it’s an opportunity to boost public profile, attracting potential investors. Notable events feature top-notch leisure activities, from after-parties to retreats, to help make networking memorable. Some trade shows double as cultural events, hosting NFT exhibitions, Metaverse escapades and workshops, with artists and art dealers in attendance.
That said, crypto events can also be a source of valuable investing tips from industry experts and an opportunity to take a sneak peek at the latest in blockchain technologies. The most established expos feature a mix of founders, CEOs and executives of major crypto companies, plus early adopters, crypto evangelists, avantgarde creators and successful investors. A good crypto event is the best of crypto Twitter, Telegram and Discord all boiled down and encapsulated into two or three days.
Pick the right one
The easiest way to assess the quality of a crypto event is a reputation check. Some, like Token2049, Blockchain Life Forum or TNABC, have been around for years, and previous editions saw thousands of guests. Others are organized by major crypto players, like Blockworks’ Permissionless or Consensus by CoinDesk.
You can also examine the topics that dominate the panels. Do they seem random, like someone just googled “crypto trends”, or are they carefully curated? A good expert talk should focus on a specific problem or opportunity while shining a light on major currents. Most importantly, though, it has to speak to your needs. If you’re after a specific technology, check out the list of exhibitors as well. Does it look like the right neighborhood?
Next, make sure that the organizers are doing a good job. Is the event you’re looking at sponsored by respected crypto companies? Is it taking place at a quality venue? Does it have a good-looking website with a reasonably detailed agenda (depending on how close to the dates we are)? Are the tickets expensive enough to cover the perks that the event promises, but at the same time affordable and inclusive? One positive sign to look for is a student rate or significantly cheaper early bird tickets that allow up-and-coming crypto stars to make their first connections.
Before you go
Some of the most noteworthy crypto events take place in the US, major Asian metropolises such as Singapore and Tokyo, and Western European capitals. If you can’t make it that far, consider a virtual event or sign up for streaming from an in-person expo.
Keep in mind that attending an event requires more effort than following a YouTube channel. If you return home with no new insights, you’re likely to regret going, and it can make you skip other, more valuable events.