You get off of a red-eye flight and hop straight into the Uber. After twenty minutes and an upstream battle against traffic, you arrive at the hotel. The concierge takes your bag; you trudge through the lobby, go to the front desk. Check-in. From there, you wheel your luggage and drag yourself to a middle-level floor. You have to sleep, although that 5th cup of coffee makes it really hard. You get some work done, before finally settling down for the evening. Tomorrow is a big day. In the morning, you have to attend yet another conference on blockchain.
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The alarm goes off earlier than you would like it to, but low and behold; you need to get up. So you put on your suit for the 2nd time in 3 weeks, not bad you think to yourself. You head downstairs, through the lobby, and into the conference hall.
Immediately, you feel underwhelmed.
The website said “8,000 attendees.” The conference started three hours ago, but you only see a lot of anxious salespeople in overly dressed suites, and some maintenance people setting up the water station.
It’s still early, you tell yourself. But deep down you think about how there is not one actual attendee. Instead, there are empty booths of vendors that want to say they were there for the photo opportunities, ad presence, and increased digital footprint. Zero personnel. Typical.
Once your publicist comes, he will straighten everything out. He told you this was a good conference after all. He’ll be here any day now.
They’re not alone. There are also the B2B fly-by-nighters that want to sell you the shirt off their backs in exchange for a Grand Prix package that is, in reality, coal in a box.
Then there are the marketers that promise you the moon and back for your social media channels. Then, when the ink dries on the contract, you find your Telegram channel filled with bots that say the same generic things every day, and you find your Twitter inundated with an inflated number of likes, retweets, and comments. These are the sharks that run rampant in the water.
You stand cross-armed at your booth, dripping in anticipation. You check your phone to see if your publicist reached out to you. Two hours go by. Nothing.
As a consolation, one of the event coordinators comes by, finally. You ask about that ICO Pitch you spent $10,000 for. She has bad news, and you can barely understand her. It’s rescheduled, to a time not yet known. Even worse, they still don’t have the location down. It keeps changing. The person that you spoke with on the phone three days ago assured you that everything was finalized, the live stream was set, and hundreds of people would be there for the pitch. Now you doubt those promises.
Walking back and forth from the water station to the coffee station, to the booth, you see a person that doesn’t look like he’s about to sell you something. He asks about your project, token offering, legal status, etc. You are so excited to have someone ask about what you’re doing … finally. Fifteen minutes later, boom. He hits you with, “well you said your company didn’t have a smart contract security auditor, so I just wanted to tell you….” (you sink inside a hole of what’s left of yourself).
Another ninety-grand wasted on a conference you should have never been to in the first place.
Back to the drawing board.