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Nov 8, 2022

London's Burning?

Jack Burt
Jack Burt

Writer

It’s easy to take jabs at Web3 related meetups – not only is the Web3 community composed of eclectic figures, but also, the market is nascent, so meetups, conferences, and conventions are working through industry awkwardness.

We say all this because this past week (Nov. 3rd-4th) was NFT.London, a conference held in the same vein as NFT.NYC (actually from the same people), that appearingly flopped . . . or, as it turns out, only kind of flopped.

Photos/posts from the event came rolling in over the weekend – many of which were mocking NFT.Londons’ poor attendance, shoddy art gallery setups, and overly ambitious speakers list (819 speakers!)

Two photos in particular (seen below) became fodder for prime bear market shitposting. NFT London Speaking Event

NFT London Art Exhibit

The photos seem to speak for themselves — but upon further digging, we learned that they don’t really speak to the truth of the whole event.

For one thing, it seems that NFT.London was a super mixed bag in terms of attendance. Some speaker engagements were empty, but others were well-attended and lively, like the one shown below.

NFT NYC London Group

But even more importantly, it seems that (just like NFT.NYC) the most attended and animated events were the collection/project-specific meetups. Once again, the photos speak for themselves; wherever there was music, drinks, and conversation, places truly got packed.

NFT NYC London Party

Which brings us to the broader question of why these web3 events are attended in the first place? Is it to sit in a chair and hear a few individuals dish out their hypotheses for the future of NFTs, or is it to grab a beer and chat about rug pulls with strangers you’ve only spoken to virtually for the past three years? Perhaps a bit of both, but NFT.NYC, and now NFT.London, suggest that folks care more about the connections and conversations than they do about the lectures.

NFT NYC London Speaker List

And that’s not to say that speaker engagements and traditional conference models are inappropriate for web3 — for many this is a chance to hear the long-form opinions from market leaders on a topic they care deeply about — but, there’s certainly room for pause in terms of organizational focus.

After all — besides the potential for monetary gain — many folks in crypto come for the promise of exchange without authority, and to ask thousands of decentralists to sit tight for a string of monologues . . . well, maybe that’s missing the mark.

Punks Meetup Picture


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