30 Awesome Things at ETHDenver

Random Observation/Comment #751: This year’s ETHDenver event has had more attendees than all devcons combined.

Why this List?

No surprise – ETHDenver was super cool. 20k+ applications with a 7k+ waiting list at some point. I loved rejoining the conference scene and all the incredible side conversations with new comers and OGs. To facilitate the openness of the Web3 culture, I learned quite a bit while observing the attention to detail for the planning. Kudos and deep thanks to the whole team of organizers and volunteers.

  1. Free Conference – The conference will always be free to accommodate all the students and global interest. There are special VIP tickets you can pay for (Sporkwhale tickets), but devs/buidlers are treated like VIPs.
  2. It’s about buidling – The developers are the key to growth and inclusivity. Tools are open source and resources are available with super helpful developer relations and CTOs directly working with new projects and cool ideas.
  3. Hackathon-first in event – A lot of events have the hackathon as an afterthought. The whole ETHDenver event is focused on hacking with the shilling and institutional side of conference attending much later.
  4. Mix of Ethereum and other L1s – We all know that if ETH wins, we all win. The landscape of Ethereum killers all likely have diversification into ETH and some ETH advancements. I like deployment diversity on now a multi-dapp store dapp focused world.
  5. Rapid COVID tests – There’s no vaccine mandate, but you need a negative COVID test to get in. I think the organizers paid a service $10s-of-thousands to support these tests for the full duration of the conference.
  6. Almost 2 fully booked hostels and cheap hotels – The ethdenver crew helped get discount rates for less expensive living around the neighborhood directly providing help to get the devs and students overseas.
  7. Direct usage of Metamask for redeeming food truck tokens – I love the Arbitrum issuance of bufficorn tokens for redemption at the food trucks. We need to improve the tipping culture of tokens, but it was super cool having some of the local goodies nearby.
  8. Spaces for dedicated events for companies – There were a lot of breakout hacking spaces that you can choose from if you’re putting up temporary spots for panels and talks.
  9. Cool catering – I love food at events and the organizers got super creative. Yay donut wall and salad bar with literal planted pots fresh picked salad.
  10. Full streaming capabilities – Everything is freely streamed on Twitch with full replays already available on ETHDenver’s YouTube channel.
  11. Super friendly volunteer staff – 100+ volunteers helping across the board from the SporkDAO. It’s definitely not an easy job to herd cats.
  12. SporkDAO collaborationSporkDAO rocks. Join and contribute!
  13. Event bufficorn NFTs – There’s no shortage of showcasing how you can leverage the network to run a successful event. Deep partnership with POAP builds tons of awesome collaborations.
  14. Bufficorn theme – Who doesn’t love Bufficorns!?!? I’m just lucky I got some stylish pajama pants.
  15. Metaverse connectivity via Gamerjibe’s “Virtual Castle” – If you can’t attend in person, you can still walk around and see a replication of a virtual environment. Virtual castle was a good way to talk to random people from the comfort of your browser.
  16. Super cool highlighted artwork – I loved the 6th floor hidden area. Chill vibes from creative artists.
  17. Lots of hacking space – There’s no shortage of places where you can sit down with your laptop with your team and just code. Since the start of the event was all for devs, it was really easy to see where teams settled and collaborated.
  18. Lots of socialization spaces – On top of hacking, there was still a fair amount of bean bags and side conversations to be had all through the event.
  19. Herculean scheduling / hacker side-by-side setup and streamlined – If you just look at the event schedule, you’ll see what a scheduling nightmare looks like. As a pro-tip, don’t get too aggressive and just try to hit 2 workshops a day.
  20. Really cool multi-building venue – If everything was just at the Sports Castle, it would have been a bigger nightmare. The 6 buildings on the same block really provided some room to breathe and places to connect.
  21. Free water, drinks, and snacks throughout the event – Clearly not a place to extract value for food and drink. Even though it did suck that the lines were long, I think it kept things relatively open inside the castle.
  22. Minimal shill booths – I liked that the shilling booth footprint was lightweight. It didn’t feel like a career fair with obligation to hit every booth.
  23. Lots of crypto t-shirts – I’m pretty sure I have enough shirts to last me a few months. Shout out to the MetaMask baby yoda shirt.
  24. Surprisingly clear communication – Above and beyond how hard it might be for talking to contributors and sponsors, I found the sharing of google docs and live stream calls to be super efficient.
  25. Hashtags and social media coverage – The ETHDenver bump is real. It’s so easy to get involved and the footprint is significant.
  26. Food DAOs blessing the masses with pizza, beer, and cannabis – For those stuck on line, the pizza DAO people came through with free pizza for everyone. I love the model of joining food-based DAOs as subscriptions.
  27. Eth poker – While I’m a bad poker player, I do like the idea of creating a poker night amongst those that love gambling. 4 ETH winnings not huge, but who knows how much that’ll be worth in 5 years.
  28. Hackathon exposure – The judges were all influencers and the shark tank method of 3-4 minute pitches with Q&A was super efficient. I really liked how there were two speaking podiums so you could just go back and forth and prep for next and pack-up back-to-back. To be honest, if you’re not hacking, you’re not taking advantage of the event exposure. Relationships drive everything in this industry.
  29. Crypto-style side events – We keep it weird and creative. I’d go to a crypto-hosted event over any traditional banking event. No judgment. You do you.
  30. Awesome people – I think this year’s event was super friendly and open to new joiners to the space. I feel like the developer focus makes this a no-brainer for the growth of this industry without too many buzzwords.

~See Lemons Love ETHDenver