Impact Report: EthDenver Impact Report

Impact Report: EthDenver Impact Report

This retrospective reviews the work done and performed during EthDenver. This feedback is taken from the Harmony Event Operations team and other Harmony core team members and contributors. It is not meant to be exhaustive, but it does provide some guidance and accountability into what worked and what did not.

Initiatives that worked that we should continue:

  1. Running Harmony-driven events, once per region per year, much like “Paris Blockchain Week”.
  2. Hosting on-going side-events, seating / meeting areas, with constant light food and beverages. (i.e. the Harmony Hub).
  3. We need to double down on wristband / culture plays, but with the addition of a “call-to-action”. For example: download the 1Wallet.
  4. We should do initiatives like Project X again. I believe the team walked away from that experience 10x more knowledgeable about the funding process. Ultimately, we do all of this to get great projects to build on Harmony. By decentralizing the funding process as we did, we were able to scale out the number of people we had on the ground that were scouting great projects. Every Conversation started with “What are you building... can we help?” That is huge.

Initiatives that DID NOT work that we should stop:

  1. Having everyone show up at the same events. Gets crowded and we won’t get the optimal network effect. We should spread out.
  2. Party less. While fun, it is not only disruptive but it exposes us to criticism from the community that we are spending too much on partying vs. working.
  3. Ignoring or putting on hold daily tasks like responding to grant applications. We can’t ignore the community because we are at an event for 2 weeks.
  4. We need to stop winging our presentations and start scripting them. We need to work with talented people to make sure that every time we hit the stage we are walking away knowing for sure that we hit a home run. We need to orchestrate every keynote for maximum impact in the shortest amount of time.

Ideas for improving at later conferences:

  1. The hacker space should continue throughout the entire conference. Other projects rented coffee shops next door during the main event Thursday through Sunday - we should do that as well.
  2. A “Blue Out” day where we ask everyone to wear our swag. We gave out a ton of it and we could have done more with it.
  3. Capture more emails and contact information. Next years “deadmau5”-level event should require everyone to download 1Wallet and get an NFT as their ticket.
  4. A/B Test our promotional materials. Every “wallet download” or interaction should be marketed in multiple ways to really see where the engagement is coming from.
  5. Video team needs a rental car for temporary stowing of gear and quick transport between events.
  6. Every location needs a proper location scout complete w/ videos/photos of all potential venues, restaurants, promotional signage opportunities and places NOT to go. Main flagship parties need to have the best locations scouted WAY in advance to secure the best of the best.
  7. We MUST HAVE developers at the booth. We should NEVER rely on volunteers to man the booth. We need to have someone on hand that can answer the hard technical questions. If devs aren’t available, volunteers need to pass a competency exam that can show they can converse w/ attendees.
  8. Event Ops sync every morning. Identify logistics for the day and action items per person.
  9. Plan shipping / transport well in advance to make sure we have quality people managing them.
  10. Hire volunteers for specific days to ensure manpower.
  11. Separate team accommodations from scholars. It will be MUCH easier if the group making the adjustments has the ability to do so.
  12. Be more mindful of intentions and objectives at events. What are we trying to achieve with this event, how will it help our ecosystem.
  13. Have a central theme for the whole conference. One core focus.
  14. Publish the schedule with clear and concise calls-to-action.
  15. Identify Harmony Core and Fellows in a clear way so those attending know who to reach out to and chat with.
  16. Deploy a “Who / Where / When” calendar at least 1 week prior or within 24 hours of confirming events.
  17. Double down on the Harmony Hub. Great way to meed developers and projects. Have it open the entire time and make sure Core and Fellow team members are there at all times.
  18. Invite more grantees to speak and run hackathons at the Hub.

Survey Results:

The team was asked to rank, on a level of 0 to 10, 5 questions regarding the performance of Event Operations. The questions and the average response is listed below:

  1. Event Operations worked effectively as a team.
    1. Result: 8.3 / 10
  2. Event Operations worked effectively with the venues, sponsors, and event managers.
    1. Result: 9.2 / 10
  3. Event Operations fulfilled the goals of Harmony at EthDenver.
    1. Result: 8 / 10
  4. Event Operations met their deliverables.
    1. Result: 7.8 / 10
  5. Event Operations produced high quality work.
    1. Result: 8 / 10

Qualitative Feedback:

What is the BEST thing about your experience at EthDenver?

The way the team connected with everyone. Our presence was very strong.
How everything simply got done. Everyone stepped up to help.
The energy and prominence of Harmony as a team and as a brand.

What was the WORST thing about your experience at EthDenver?

We need more help at large conference so we can still complete our regular work and treat our bodies better.
How we treated our bodies. We need to prioritize eating and sleeping during these extended duration events.
Neglecting regular tasks and responsibilities.

Would you want to work with Event Ops again?

Absolutely. the team is amazing.
1,000% Yes.

Narrative Conclusion

The Harmony team went above and beyond to execute for EthDenver. That can be seen in both the impact we had at the event and how many bodies we left on the ground due to our efforts.

Li, Giv, Jack, Matty, Adrian, Sam, Boris, Abraham, Brian, Essa, Rachel, PJ, Rosa, Danny, Jacky, Amy and more all got sick during their time in Denver. Some with covid (we had a few trips to the hospital) some with a persistent flu that still has them operating at less than 100% production. The standard day started at 7:00 AM and didn’t finish until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. This was NOT the product of an over-indulgence in parties, but rather hosting duties, prep work for the next day, putting out fires or making sure that simple logistics like providing compostable flatware was taken care of.

The Harmony Hub served over 4,000 meals to builders during BuidlWeek. Harmony team members staffed technical support booths, funding booths and were regularly seen at the Covid testing line (which wrapped around the corner) handing out warm beanies and hoodies to those who didn’t prepare for the sub-freezing temperature in Denver.

We put on two separate events focused on amplifying Africa, the builders, the culture and the people there. We put on an entire day of events focused on women in Web3. We facilitated over 300 new participants in the web3 ecosystem to attend their first hackathon and we funded over 40 projects through a new experimental “Project X” that had the core team constantly asking “what are you building and how can we help?”

The long term impact of Harmony at EthDenver is still unknown. However, some short term, flashy impacts include: being included in Andrew Yangs’ Lobby3DAO, being invited to speak at the World Economic Forum, coverage of our Africa initiative in CNBC, CNN and NowThis. While we can always keep improving, it is not a stretch to say that this was the single most impactful event Harmony has ever produced and I was proud to have played my tiny role in organizing it.

Enough with the event now. Let’s build.

— Sam Harrison