The Conference Comeback: What We Learned at Consensus 2022
It seems like not that long ago, in the depths of the pandemic, that we were questioning whether or not we would ever return to the offices, let alone to company travel and conferences. Thanks to modern medicine and hand sanitizer, those days are behind us, and conferences are back with a vigor and enthusiasm that is more monstrous than ever. Our team at KCD PR just returned from CoinDesk’s Consensus 2022 in Austin, Texas, which had its most successful run yet. After two years of virtual summit and moving south from their prior home base of New York City, more than 17,000 people braved over 100-degree weather and the threat of a crypto winter to discuss, discover, and celebrate all aspects of Web3.
GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT
While the conference topics all involve and are ultimately powered by the web, it was clear that everyone present was ready to dive into the space in person. Many companies in attendance were born during or experienced their growth explosions during the COVID-19 pandemic, so this was a first chance for them to get out in front of customers, investors, and other creators. Similarly, a myriad of individuals became interested in and began investing in the space within the last few years and were thrilled to be surrounded by and have the opportunity to learn from like-minded people. Speaking sessions were full to the point of standing room only, and many could have gone on much longer if time allowed for as many questions as attendees had for each presenter. All were eager to engage and share with one another in real time and non-virtually. While the internet allows for ease of access to information, nothing quite moves at the speed of a live conversation, and everyone had plenty to say.
ALL ARE WELCOME
One reverberating conversation at the conference was about the welcoming nature of the event, attendees, and entire world of decentralized finance. While any developing industry needs to be open to newcomers in order to grow, the crypto space proved itself to be more than open to them; it was encouraging, nurturing, and appreciative of those coming in as a blank workbook. There were numerous sessions focused on crypto basics and how-to’s, aimed directly at those new adopters and people attending the conference to gain as much knowledge on the space as possible.
Along with newcomers, it was especially uplifting to see all the support for women in the space. Since traditional finance has always had a bad reputation for being an exclusive club of “banking bros,” the assumption that the same would happen with the “crypto bro” seemed a natural one to make, potentially discouraging women from feeling welcome to dive into the space. However, the conference was a melting pot of defi aficionados from all walks of life and backgrounds, and there were no “bros” to be found. This showcased another positive aspect to joining a developing industry: that everyone is coming from somewhere else, entering on a level playing field and learning together.
CRYPTO WINTER IN THE HEAT OF SUMMER
While the state of the market was certainly a topic of conversation during the event, the red lines on everyone’s screens when checking their investments were doing nothing to dampen the mood or discourage any discord. In fact, the general mood was optimistic and truly excited. The sheer number of attendees speaks for itself to show the faith in, reverence for, and support of the space. Topics were forward-facing and looked to the future, discussing what is coming next for Web3: how the metaverse can be used for good, how crypto may soon be regulated by the government, promoting efficiency in mining, and more.
Overall, it was incredibly refreshing to see people excited to interact in person and share what they are working on with others in the field. Consensus 2022 didn’t only foster an educational and informative environment for all in the crypto space but showed the value of learning and growing as an industry, and what can come when a group of like-minded individuals are in the same space. So, while can’t ignore that the crypto market is down, the energy and zest for the digital currency was kept alive throughout that weekend—and we’re optimistic it will keep up.