Consensus 2018: How Not to Host a Blockchain Summit

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Consensus 2018, held in New York City, was the largest blockchain gathering in the world this year. The three-day conference featured a series of flashy events highlighting blockchain projects, ICOs, partnerships, venture funds and many other things. Owing to the intense media hype created by the conference’s host,¬†CoinDesk, conference attendees arrived with extremely high expectations but most ultimately left disappointed, which translated into a disappointing market performance this week.

Here are a few critical points that this summit got wrong:

Exorbitant Ticket Pricing

A ticket for Consensus 2018 would have set you back¬†roughly $2,000 this year. The outrageous ticket pricing limited the attendees to largely high-income individuals, like Akon, alienating the general public. Even Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterian slammed the high ticket prices saying,”I refuse to personally contribute to that level of rent-seeking.”

Inefficient Management

The ticket sales alone resulted in upwards of $17 million in revenue for CoinDesk. One would think the company would utilize this capital to properly organize the event, but this was simply not the case. For example, attendees were forced to wait over an hour to collect their entrance badges.

Jacob Donnelly, Director of Marketing at CoinDesk, apologized¬†for this inconvenience¬†by saying, “Whilst we apologize for any delays, Consensus 2018 has received overwhelming interest and is the largest blockchain-focused event ever held in the United States. We are working to reduce the wait time.” Not exactly apologetic.¬†

Amateurish Talks

CoinDesk did not seem to recognize their core audience. They should have known that the people attending the conference were already acquainted with the technology. Instead, most of the talks were superficial, lacking any real insights into upcoming developments or the fundamental problems facing the industry.

Pandering To Bankers

There were many instances where it felt like CoinDesk was using the event to gratify the bankers. The vibe of the event seemed to be that of “let’s make the men in suit happy by discussing ways to use their money to¬†lobby Congress in favor of crypto instead of shorting the market.” In this regard, it is understandable why the conference was held in New York City.

While it was able to attract the Wall Street types and certain twitter personalities, it ultimately isolated the crypto-developers and their teams that represent the core drivers of the entire industry. CoinDesk has previously been accused of being too cozy with¬†establishment¬†organizations and Digital Currency Group’s¬†interests.¬†

Hypocritical Payment Options

For a company that makes its living off cryptocurrency, it seemed absurd that there was no service available in the entire conference¬†which could have been bought using crypto. CoinDesk doesn’t seem to be putting its [digital] money where its mouth is, so it seems.

Unsuitable Location

If the organizers were really serious about promoting cryptocurrency, they would have hosted the event in crypto-friendly Wyoming or Zug, Switzerland. However, they would certainly fail to sell as many tickets at the price they managed to charge in New York City.

Alienating Crypto Organizations

Huge organizations like Ethereum, OmiseGo, Cardono, and IOTA boycotted the event this year. IOTA cofounder David S√łnsteb√ł said, “IOTA Foundation will not attend Consensus after their repeated bias against all projects that DCG is not invested in, and for false reporting.”

TokenPay has also been an outspoken critic of Consensus due to its limited international representation.

Final Take

Consensus has been extremely popular, due in large part to the amazing CoinDesk PR team that can hype anything under the sun. If they continue making the same mistakes every year, they are inviting other crypto and blockchain conferences to replace it. CoinDesk and other organizers of Consensus should learn from these obvious errors if they want to remain the top blockchain conference in the coming years.

More: Ethereum Creator Vitalik Buterin Blasts CoinDesk’s Reporting Practices
Interesting: Not All Big Banks Hate Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official position or opinions of SludgeFeed. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice. Always conduct your own due diligence before making investments. 

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