EthDenver 2023

Attending First EthDenver Event

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EthDenver 2023 Experience

My First EthDenver

Everyone from the Ethereum community has heard of the renowned EthDenver event. This year, I decided to attend to discover why it’s so popular. It was an opportunity not only to attend my first Ethereum event but also to visit Denver, which I had been wanting to do for some time.

I obtained my ticket for the main conference for free through the SporkDAO organization, which offered free tickets to all participants who joined their DAO. After securing my ticket, I focused on the logistics of the trip. There’s a 2-hour direct flight from Montreal to Denver, so my primary concern was lodging.

Lodging was a notable aspect of this event. There were no hotels near the venue, and I don’t recall if I checked for Airbnbs or if they were all booked, but the hotel situation was certain. Although I didn’t participate in any hackathons and I attended only the main event from March 2nd to March 4th. I stayed at the DoubleTree by Hilton Denver Central Park as it was one of the more affordable options, but what I saved on lodging, I spent on Uber and UberEats. The hotel was isolated, with the nearest food place or coffee shop a 15-20 minute walk away. Despite the lack of hotels near the venue, I recommend staying in the Downtown area for better access to food and amenities.

In this article, I’d like to share some highlights of the event and some areas for improvement from my perspective as a first-time EthDenver attendee.

Highlights of the Event

1) Exposure to DAOs: Talks like the one from Metagov, which detailed the game theory behind DAOs and their functions (Governance, Fund Management, Community Building, Decision-Making, and Resource Allocation), were enlightening. A company named Aragon shared their infrastructure backend and provided valuable insights into creating your own DAO.

2) Meeting the Ethereum Community: EthDenver attracted a diverse international crowd, including attendees from Latin America, Asia, and Europe. The event was a full of enthusiasts from various sectors like DeFi, NFTs, L2s, and gaming, among other sectors. I enjoyed interacting with the community, including influencers from X (formerly Twitter) and learning about Infura from Metamask developers.

3) Podcast Section: The event provided free infrastructure and technical support for recording podcasts, which I found to be an excellent initiative. Participants could book time slots to record with their guests, and EthDenver would send the files afterward for personal use.

4) “A Launch Platform”: I personally used EthDenver to launch (this site). The event proved to be an excellent platform for announcing new products or services, similar to what SXSW used to offer. Bonus points if you are a company making an announcement and you get to interact with users directly at your booth.

5) Merchandise: The quality of the merchandise was impressive, particularly items from Metamask and The Graph Foundation. My luggage was packed with goodies by the end of the event!

6) The Dogecoin Car: This was a highlight that needs no explanation. Enjoy:

Dogecoin Car

Areas for Improvement

1) Accessibility: The distance of hotels from the venue posed a challenge. I struggled with getting Uber/Lyft rides and often had to walk to find a better pick-up location. Future planning could potentially address these accessibility issues.

2) Badge Collection: Collecting my conference badge on March 2nd was time-consuming due to long lines, causing me to miss several talks. A possible solution is to collect the badge a day earlier.

3) Stage Layout and Distractions: The open layout of the speaker stages, amidst the hustle and bustle of the event, made it difficult to focus on the talks. Consideration for a more enclosed or better-structured setup could enhance the experience.

Open Conference

This photo is from Tim Gilles. You can follow Tim’s high-quality pictures from the event here

4) Connectivity: The public Wi-Fi was unreliable, and mobile connectivity was poor, likely due to the high attendee density. Improvements in this area could greatly benefit the attendee experience.

Post EthDenver Reflections

After the event, on Friday, March 3rd, I took the opportunity to attend a Denver Nuggets vs. Memphis Grizzlies game at the Ball Arena. It was an amazing match, and it became apparent to me that the Nuggets were strong championship contenders.

Reflecting on the entire experience, my time in Denver was truly memorable. The city captivated me with its charm, and the EthDenver event was nothing short of spectacular. I am already looking forward to returning in the future (probably not next year, but in 2025). Next time, I plan to stay in Downtown Denver to enjoy easier access to amenities and extend my visit to explore Boulder as well.

For those interested in reliving the event or catching up on what they missed, the 2023 EthDenver playlist is available here. You can also follow the EthDenver YouTube account here for more updates and content from the event.