What an absolutely phenomenal experience VeeCon was. Where do I even start? Let me start with two MAJOR highlights. First, I got to meet the man himself, GaryVee. Unbelievable. Here are the pictures, and a link below to my tweet about it.
I got to shake Gary's hand Friday afternoon at the selfie station, where he signed one of my copies of Twelve And A Half. He complimented my Tom & Jerry hoodie, and asked how my VeeCon was going. What a gift and a pleasure to just have a human moment with him, that’s all I wanted, and that’s what I got.
Yam, Raph, and World of Women
Another HUGE highlight was getting to meet Yam Karkai. For anyone reading who doesn’t know, she’s the artist and founder of World of Women NFT. I made sure to say hello to her at the World of Women holder’s party on Saturday night at Rand Tower, and she was kind enough to take a picture with me. What a genuine person who’s leading the charge for women and diversity in the NFT and web3 space. Earlier in the day, I got to meet her partner and WoW co-founder Raph as well, who was handing out pins to everyone waiting in line for a hand-signed t-shirt from Yam at the Pepsi NFT Land activation space. I conversed with Raph earlier this year over email, so it was very cool to meet him in person - super nice guy. Also met Kashvi, one of the WoW mods. It meant a lot to me to bridge the gap between the digital and in-person experience by meeting the WoW folks. It made everything I’ve experienced as a holder that much more meaningful and real. So special!
Next on my list of favorites was the friendship building and networking at VeeCon. Just by reaching out and saying hello, I made genuine connections with folks from India, Singapore, and Argentina who all had shared experiences with me through NFTs. GaryVee himself said that we were going to make lifelong friendships at VeeCon, and I really believe that to be true. I spent hours hanging out, discussing the space in detail with new people, getting to share and learn.
From a brand perspective, considering that I am studying copywriting and advertising, there was so much to absorb and consider. Aside from GaryVee’s personal brand personifying itself in unparalleled magnitude, there were many amazing NFT brand activations in the Pepsi NFT land, and very interesting perspectives about conventional brands entering the web3 space in some of the speaker panels. My takeaway from the NFT land and Candy Digital activations is that in-person brand activations remain relatively the same between conventional brands and NFTs. In fact, I’d argue they’re even more important to NFT projects because it gives people the opportunity to engage in-person with the project, and bridge that gap between discord and digital to actually experiencing the project in-person.
Listening to Keith Grossman’s (TIME President) perspective on brands in The Rise of NFTs in Media panel was quite insightful. He talked about how the relationship between brands and audiences is reversed in web3, something brands must adapt to, and many are not prepared to because many COO’s and such are not ready to adopt a new mindset. This made a lot of sense to me. He also mentioned something that I’ve already felt and agreed with, which was that mass-adoption of NFTs isn’t likely to happen until we no longer have to learn and go through seven or eight seemingly-complicated steps to properly interact with web3 and NFTs. The average user just isn’t prepared, interested or willing to do the work required to adopt web3 platforms (not to mention they are often turned off by all the bad press about scams and environmental issues). A day will come when NFTs themselves aren’t even mentioned anymore because they’re so integrated with what the experience of the internet is, and things will be much more user-friendly and adoptable. That’s when we’ll have mass-adoption. Until then, as GaryVee says, it’s on us to continue to educate ourselves and others as best we can, so that we, as the early-adopters, can help foster a positive experience and growth of the space.
What I’ve covered here is really just the high points of my VeeCon experience. There was so much more. All-in-all, I’m as excited as ever, inspired, and ready to continue learning and growing in the space. And I’m also going to find a way to get a VeeFriend, and find my way back to VeeCon 2023. LET’S GOOO!!!!