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NFT.NYC 2023

NFT.NYC took center stage in the Web3 world, attracting big players and hopefuls eager to explore the potential of the metaverse. While traditional brands took a break from their metaverse activations following Metaverse Fashion Week, the true trailblazers of Web3 delivered with a plethora of afterparties, exclusive dinners, meet-ups, panels, and gamified activities.

Established in 2018, NFT.NYC has grown from a one-day event with 400 participants to a three-day showcase that now attracts a global audience of C-suite executives, VIPs, and enthusiasts. The pressure was on for participants, which included Adidas, Cult & Rain, Gmoney, and more, to reignite metaverse optimism, following the crypto winter and its recent disrepute.

So, which activations across the calendar performed well, and where did the event fall short of its lofty expectations? Jing Daily takes a closer look.

One of the highlights was the invite-only Future+ launch event, hosted in partnership with Samsung LED. Featuring a number of curated panels discussing topics ranging from the future of phygital to the power of gaming, the conference brought together pundits from top Web3 startups, including Exclusible, The Fabricant, Hape, Arianee, DressX, and more. Founder of Future+ and creative production agency MAD Global, Ashumi Sanghvi, said the inaugural event accumulated more than 300 visitors and received an impressive response.

Meanwhile, Gmoney’s World Connect 02 Treasure Hunt challenge combined POAPs (Proof of Attendance Protocol) and physical “treasure” pins that could be collected by fans at various New York haunts, generating a high level of engagement. According to Kenneth Loo, co-founder of Chapter 2 agency, “a total of 7845 POAP mints were created using 1854 different devices.”

Adidas celebrated its #ALTSbyadidas ecosystem and genesis NFT drop with its “ALT[er] Ego Motel” meet-up, powered by Web3 record label Probably A Label. The event featured live music and entertainment and generated a great turnout and response across socials. Scavenger hunts were also a recurring theme of the week, with Adidas hosting its own treasure hunt activity.

However, the schedule’s lesser-documented side events failed to resonate with the masses, largely due to complications with curation and poor organization by coordinators, which left a number of panels both underwhelming and grossly under capacity. These pain points serve as a lesson in Web3 survival, demonstrating what happens when profit and numbers are prioritized over well-thought-out and meaningful experiences for the community.

As Web3-native and enthusiast @vvwvvw_eth tweeted, “NFT NYC this year is extremely boring, tbh. Everyone is just repeating the same things, very superficial.” While big activations from big labels might overshadow the failures, lackluster turnout and feedback imply that the event still has a way to go in boosting enthusiasm and leveraging appeal.

Success at these types of events depends on brands placing community at the heart of their projects, rather than the prospect of clout. Despite the absence of hyped players like Bored Ape Yacht Club, the calendar still generated strong media exposure and buzz online, proving that the industry is still feeling bullish about Web3’s future.

Overall, NFT.NYC 2023 was a success, with some notable highlights and areas for improvement. As the metaverse continues to evolve and grow, events like these will play a crucial role in shaping its future.

Written By: RuPaul Charles

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