ONE Conference

ONE Conference

November 10 thu - 14 mon

ONEConference - Top Line Stats

1000 people, 5 days: Thur as the pre-conference, 3 full days of workshops and events, 1 day of retreat or hackathon.

Focus on branding, merchandise, partners, showcases, videos – the full experience of building and social interactions.


ONEConference will align every facet of Harmony into one cohesive vision, from products, to values, to messaging... It will be our way of telling the world “This is who we are and this is why you should care.”


Every great production starts with a unified vision. A unified vision starts with communication. This is why the first step to make ONEConference a reality is really to focus on driving the focus of who we are as a company, what we stand for, what we have achieved, and where we want to go. The best person to do this would be a top line communications manager.

No movie goes into production without a script. ONEConference should be no different. We need to 10x our packaging of the messaging and the marketing (click to see my entire writeup on this).

We need to have clear messaging on our website, clear direction on roadmap, and we also need to make sure that we find a solution for the ever growing (and un-scaleable) Notion problem, namely not being able to package the messaging correctly, and putting our partners at risk by new (and veteran) team members giving away confidential IP or information of our partners.

Once this foundation is laid, the event portion is actually pretty easy to do: Create value with events that engage developers and our community, present it on stage, etc... It’s very similar to a band playing live music: The hardest part is writing the song. The easiest part is performing it.


1) Hire head of Communications (Vision)

2) Hire head of Marketing (Strategy)

3) Start crafting the messaging of Harmony, focusing it

4) Create campaigns that can can lead to the big event

5) Create a keynote that will encapsulate the entirety of what we are doing as a company

6) Connect what we are doing to memories (bring in culture, concerts, activities, walks, talks, etc). This helps stick the landing of our messaging

7) Engage the press. Incentivize them to attend

8) Build a content strategy around the event, Pre, During, and Post

9) Celebrate the accomplishments at the end, invite our partners and press


Our measurable impact would come in many forms:

1) Leading press attending and following up with coverage of our event

2) Partner expansion (how many quality partners can we engage)

3) Wallet adoption

4) Word of mouth great memories (will they tell their friends 6 months from the conference how amazing it was)

5) VC Investment in us and our partners

6) Team unity

7) We have a clear path forward and the team knows what they are building towards

8) We finally plug the holes in comms and marketing

State of EVM Today: Ethereum Gets All The Glory

ETHDenver was quite the ride... Harmony really cemented itself as a blockchain that can own a conference, oftentimes with our side-events outshining the headliner Ethereum. Our Harmony Hub was the talk of the town, providing a premium space for people to work and code. Our strategy of booking Deadmau5 was a complete success due to the gating of the flagship event using premium wristbands for entry only available by talking to our team. Our keynotes and panels were full in attendance. Even our booth was very active compared to other projects. Anyone who spent time talking to those in attendance knew that we made a major impact... How did the press feel? They didn’t even realize we existed. The Verge wrote an entire article about the conference and managed to reference many of the things we did, but didn’t mention us by name once... Why? Because this was Ethereum’s conference... not ours.

Headliners Always Get The Press

In many ways this reminds me of touring in a band... no matter the size of the opening band, all of the press and glory is given to the headliner. Sure, some people will show up for the opening band, and sometimes the crowd will leave saying that the opening band had a better show than the headliner... but at the end of the day, the headliner gets all of the buzz and media before, during, and after the event.

Current Examples of Headlining Artists

Some current examples include Bruno Mars, The Weeknd, and Justin Bieber, arguably the biggest artists in the world... They are all currently on the road bringing out Anderson .Paak, Doja Cat, and Jaden respectively as openers for each of their individual tours... all of which can sell out their own venues if they decided to headline. But who gets the press? Bruno Mars, The Weeknd, and Justin Bieber. While this helps grow the opener’s fanbase, it’s not until that opening band decides “they are big enough to headline” that the narrative changes. The press starts to talk about YOU and not another project.

Capacity - Being Conservative Is Key

For all these reasons, I feel that Harmony is at a point in it’s career where it has grown big enough to host it’s own conference. We can finally leverage our own ecosystem to showcase to the press that we are the main attraction. However, I do want to air a level of conservatism when approaching this. If you overestimate the attendance, your conference will look weak. 1000 people for a 10,000 capacity venue looks empty. 1000 people in a 1000 person venue looks packed. 1000 people in a 500 person venue looks like a mass frenzy. We need to make sure to under-book and over-deliver when it comes to the scope and scale of our own events.

Managing Expectations

Last year’s DayONE event attracted right around 450 people. One could argue that we could have fit another 50 people to really make it feel “sold out”. Another factor in attendance was that it was our “home turf”, with many friends and family able to attend.

A Failure to Plan is a Plan to Fail

We had zero time to promote DayONE (about 2 weeks of promo from what I can remember). To really make an event a success, you need to give people time to plan and make travel arrangements. Six months is the ideal amount of lead time... even four months can work. This also allows our ecosystem partners and potential Web3, Web2, and Retail (non web) sponsors time to endorse our event, helping ease the cost.

Proposed Event:

5 Days

Wednesday: Arrival and Orientation (Dinner, evening event)

Thursday: Workshops, Harmony Hub, Hackathon, 1Wallet activation, Side Events (Curate events to showcase our ecosystem)

Friday: Higher Stakes - Workshops, Harmony Hub, Hackathon, 1Wallet activation, Side Events (Curate events to showcase our ecosystem)

Saturday Day: Keynote events during the day, invite major guest speakers

Saturday Night: Wristband only big event activation

Sunday: Retreat (Hikes, wind down, TGI)

Costs: Depends on city, scholars, venues, etc... Recommending we start with a budget of $500k and be creative about how to get the best bang for the buck with that budget.

City Selection:

The city that you host it in matters A LOT. I encourage everyone to consider the EMOTION or VIBE that you get when you think of a city. That emotion or vibe dictates the entirety of the programming. It can influence how you are perceived as a company.

Here are some proposed cities, as well as their advantages and disadvantages:

San Francisco

Emotion: Silicon Valley Tech Bros

  • San Franciso - Pros
    • Hometown crowd
    • Low overhead to bring people to the event
    • VCs in abundance
    • Silicon Valley scene
    • Can scale, lots of hotels
    • Retreat in North SF, Golden Gate Park, or even Sausalito
  • San Francisco - Cons
    • Dirty city
    • Venues are expensive
    • “Sleepy” vibe
    • Cold in the winter
    • Hard to get around... (Uber/Lyft... not walkable)

Los Angeles

Emotion: Influential Culture Hub / Amplifying Culture / The megaphone of culture

  • Los Angeles - Pros
    • Culture Capital of the World
    • Close enough for a percentage of hometown crowd (SF to LA)
    • Amazing entertainment, great experiences
    • Most diverse selection of amazing restaurants
    • Can scale, lots of hotels
    • Perfect weather in the winter
  • Los Angeles - Cons
    • Far enough from hometown to discourage a percentage of people from attending
    • Will need to house team in hotels, added cost
    • Traffic - Must pick a neighborhood and STICK WITH IT:
      • Hollywood
        • Entertainment Capital of the World
        • Most central location to side events
        • Tons of Activation Venues ($)
        • Dirty, Homeless Rampant
        • Access to NeueHouse event space (by invitation only)
        • Hollywood Sign Hike
      • West Hollywood
        • Higher end Hollywood ($$)
        • Higher end Activation Venues ($$)
        • Semi-Central to most all side events
        • Cleaner, less homeless
        • Runyon Canyon Hike
      • Downtown
        • High walkability score
        • Biggest event spaces (can scale bigger over time better than Hollywood)
        • The dirtiest, most homeless
        • Access to NeueHouse event space (by invitation only)
        • Not central, Hollywood is the closest destination (30 min Uber)
        • No hiking
      • Beverly Hills
        • Highest end venues ($$$)
        • Least amount of homeless, clean
        • Further from most side events (isolated)
        • Franklin Canyon Hike
      • Venice / Santa Monica
        • This is almost a different city, with traffic you are stuck there
        • Harder to scale, more boutique hotels and venues
        • Beautiful activations if you snag the right venues, but very few venues exist and they are expensive ($$$$)
        • Access to NeueHouse event space (by invitation only, space opening Summer 2022)
        • Walking on The Strand

Las Vegas

Emotion: Gambling

  • Las Vegas - Pros
    • Cheap Hotel and Flights (central airport for even international flights)
    • Scaleable
    • International Destination (vacation spot)
    • Built for Conference
    • Recommended by Ann (Booking Agent): MGM Grand
    • Central to LA and SF
    • Because it is so cheap to house and fly people, we can fly in scholars from all over the world to artificially increase attendance
    • Great weather in the winter (warm days cold nights)
  • Las Vegas - Cons
    • Distracting (Wayyyy to many blinking lights everywhere)
    • Gambling Association
    • Not hometown crowd, some people might not show up

Palm Springs

Emotion: Retirement, Golfing

  • Palm Springs - Pros
    • Cheap Hotel and Flights for CA residents
    • Unique Culture (mid-century modern)
    • Great weather in the winter (warm days cold nights)
    • Walkable downtown (small shops and restaurants)
    • Joshua Tree Retreat
  • Palm Springs - Cons
    • Lack of young entertainment (much older population)
    • Tough to scale (lack of conference centers, hotels are very spread out)
    • Sterile conference, very much a conference hall vibe
    • Only real venue is the convention center
    • People from LA will need a big reason to drive 2.5 hours in traffic to attend.
    • Flights are less common (connecting flights for outsiders)

Santa Barbara

Emotion: College Town, Beach

  • Santa Barbara - Pros
    • Cheap Hotel and Flights for CA residents
    • The beach!
    • Great weather in the winter
    • Walkable downtown (small shops and restaurants)
    • Beach Retreat
  • Santa Barbara - Cons
    • No real event space, would need custom build-outs
    • More wedding-style event spaces
    • Flights are less common (connecting flights for outsiders)
    • People from LA will need a big reason to drive 2.5 hours in traffic to attend.

International and Domestic Cities:

  • Ibiza - Emotion: World Class Party (everyone will come)
    • Epic place to host rAAVE style events, more of a concert theme than a conference theme
  • Berlin - Emotion: The Los Angeles of Europe
    • Music capital of Europe
  • Vancouver - Emotion: “America, but in Canada” (more American toward the west, more French toward the east.. Quebec as an example)
    • Canada is one of the most crypto friendly countries in the world, but cold in the winter
  • Atlanta - Emotion: The culture hub of the south
    • Hollywood’s second home, major tech hubs... more movies are made in Atlanta than in Hollywood as of 2016
  • Chicago - Emotion: Cold, Windy, Clean, Beautiful
    • Very clean, very scalable, but cold in the winter
  • San Diego - Emotion: Comicon, College Beach Vibes
    • Cheaper than LA/SF, close to beach, scalable
  • Tokyo - Emotion: Blade Runner 2049
    • Biggest metropolitan area in the world - 37 million people
  • New York - Emotion: Concrete Jungle, Anything is possible
    • Most populous city in the United States, The worlds melting pot
  • Lisbon - Emotion: Old world, young soul
    • Major crypto hub, but already activated by ETH, Barcelona same crowd
  • London - Emotion: Posh, Cloudy, Dapper
    • Not many crypto conferences going on here, either an opportunity to come or a sign to avoid it
  • Dubai - Emotion: Excess, World Class Entertainment and Dining
    • Very crypto friendly, but halfway across the world for our team

Closing Thoughts:

Peter said that the Amazon way of doing things was to start with the headline and build out the narrative based on that. I recommend we do the same... Since it is our event, what message do we want the press to leave with? What articles do we want published about us?

  • “Blockchain for Billions”

The advantage of throwing your own event is that you control the narrative. We should start with that mindset and work backwards to create the most memorable event that will continue to grow in scale and scope over time. Whatever event we do, we should under-promise and over-deliver at all costs, creating the narrative that this event is a big deal and that each year it is the event to watch for.