Blockchain events are always significant for all participants. It brings industry players together to exchange ideas regarding the blockchain industry. Such events have continued to shape and reshape the highly growing blockchain market and reposition it for industry-wide adoption. Therefore, events like the Blockchain Life 2021 in Moscow came as welcome development for most people in the blockchain industry.
The shortfalls of Blockchain Life 2021 Event in Russia
Most people are not ready to embrace the digital economy
One would have thought that most things are highly digitized for an event about a revolutionizing technology like blockchain. This wasn’t the case for the surprising amount of attendees as they came for the event with printed tickets. Although people bought the ticket electronically, they had to present a printed format during registration. There were options where people can get their tickets scanned from their phones or tablets but these irritants detracted from what should be the focus.
As an invited partner to this event, there was nothing special for us. The organizers made it look like it was only the VIP ticket holders that were welcomed at the event. There was no place for standard and business ticket holders to sit down. That’s quite a shame for an event of this magnitude. The only thing business ticket holders enjoyed at the event was access to a coffee break room and a green line on their tickets instead of the blue one for standard tickets. The tickets for the event were categorized into 4: standard, standard plus the materials, business, and VIPs.
Seems the organizers later recognized the high level of injustice they have meted on the business ticket holders. They had to slash their ticket price by 40% while the standard and VIP tickets went up 50% and 30% respectively.
Also, having a place for your car was a big issue during this event. The venue opened for business a few years ago and has risen to position itself like something majorly outstanding. According to the website, they are the world’s largest media space. However, the reality is that the venue is a fairly small building almost at the outskirts of Moscow. Although the venue is next to a major highway that is constantly showing commercials, it is quite ironic that the event never appeared on those commercials.The only people allowed to park their car in a venue far from downtown and inconveniently located are the VIP ticket holders. This fact is well beyond ridiculous, in my personal opinion.
While the WiFi network was “provided” for attendees in the venue, Internet speed was too slow as to be effective. Mobile Internet was faulty for 80% of the territory that important messages and calls were missed as complained by those around me. They had to send messages using hotspots which were super crowded — and completely unsafe healthwise. That’s a big disgrace for an event of this magnitude and an irritating inconvenience for those who need to relay crucial information to their home offices. There was enough seats for VIPs but not enough for the regular ticket holders.
Poor value creation
The organizers didn’t provide a convenient business lounge that would encourage business meetings among participants and things in that regard. It was more like a “social” gathering of sorts for blockchain enthusiasts. As the Blockchain Life 2021 event went on, I kept hearing many mentions for after parties. Meanwhile, most people never attended the party for many reasons and one of them being that the tier 3 artist (Djigan) never showed up. The organizers had to quickly replace him with a relatively unknown tier 4 artist with a little over 500k subscribers on YouTube. There was little or no mention of some value that is useful from a professional angle. The situation at the afterparty was the lack of everything even for VIPs, left alone everyone else. And to think that people paid FULL VIP ticket price at the end of day 2 just to get to this afterparty!
The registration process was efficient and effective; the organizers tried very well in this aspect. There is a separate registration table for the press and about 5 other registers available to register other people for the event. It was a seamless process with no hiccups.
Without a philosophical outlook on things (the benefit from seeing people suffering from the resilient virus), this could have ended up as one bitter story for me as the Cryptopolitan representative to do this review. Initially, I wasn’t provided with any PRESS ticket, but the lowest grade Standard ticket. I had to fight for a PRESS ticket for convenient access to plain water. That’s right, the only source for water (unless you’re a Business or VIP) was a little food court right by the bathrooms area with an endless line. And yes, it was VERY hot at the event, obviously due to the lack of foresight in estimating the size of the crowd vs air-conditioning provisions.
Let me mention at this point an unfortunate incident which highlighted for me the lack of decorum and training of others in the space. One of the organizer’s representatives, named Aglaya, was so arrogant and never paid attention to keep her attendees comfortable. But, thanks to a guy at the ticket stand (Mikhail!) who actually was trying to help me obtain a PRESS ticket, and that was how my first day at the event ended. So, beginning of Day 2, Mikhail approached me and gave a white bracelet, which gave access to the VIP lounge.
But that was not the end of the story. It has only been a couple of hours since I obtained the white bracelet. I’ve just got done with my interview in the VIP lounge and saw Aglaya, one of the organizers who was handling me earlier. When I started walking towards her to ask how everything was going at the event so far, she impolitely interrupted me with a rude statement that the press cannot be in the VIP lounge.
She also questioned why I was granted the bracelet by another organizer. She escorted me to the ticket lounge where Mikhail was working and I became a witness of a very disgusting scene. They were arguing and then Aglaya took scissors and publicly cut the bracelet off my arm. By then, I’ve decided that I’ve had enough of this and decided to leave immediately. The aftertaste of the event was spoiled.
Anyone would believe that an event of this magnitude will be great in every aspect of it. However, the reverse was quite the case in this regard. In fact, most of the attendees got far less than they had hoped for.
The harshly and haughtily arrogant treatment was uncalled for and merits a closer look with what’s happening in the crypto space – some people are beginning to lack sensitivity, refinement, or intelligence. Arrogance is the camouflage of insecurity, says my buddy Tim Fargo The mask of superiority should never fool you or make you feel any lesser.
This incident is not an isolated observation. All my life I’ve been confronted with the crass attitude of those in the industry. Being crass is focusing on the cost of everything, or other inappropriate aspects of things. No matter how you may want to analyze it, Blockchain Life 2021 wasn’t the best that the organizers could do. If we ever hope to get it right in the forthcoming editions, then we must tell the truth no matter how bitter — for growth.
I’d like to be a better man and shrug off this unfortunate incident as a part of growth, taking notice of those in the community who made another gathering of believers heartening for me. We took our chances at the possibility of contracting the virus because to be afraid and never step out of our comfort zones is a great disservice to mankind. This event is a defiance of the “alien spawn”. Mankind will prevail and continue to make advances in the Blockchain technology space despite the cost in time, money, efforts — all lives should matter!
These stalwarts of the space more than made up for the bad vibes and inconveniences of Blockchain Life 2021 in Moscow: Vladimir from https://www.devere-group.com/, Sergey and Alexander from https://hempico.ru/ (who thought that hemp can be so legal and so tasty as tea!), Max from https://arkon3d.ru/en/, Roman from Cipher Messenger. Thank you all for the atmosphere of the crypto community, and thanks to the organizers for only one thing – bringing people together.
“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much” – Helen Keller