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NFTs Take a Bite of the Big Apple

Reflecting on some of the best things we saw during NFT.NYC

July 1, 2022

3 min read
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Last week, what seemed like the entire Web3 community descended upon New York City for the fourth annual NFT.NYC conference. The gathering provided a good barometer of just how much the space has grown over the past year, and reinforced the undeniable fact that excitement and passion remain at an all-time high despite a recent cooling of the crypto markets. One need look no further for a proof point than the number of registered attendees for this year’s event, which more than tripled to 15,000 – and that doesn’t even account for the thousands who were in town solely to network at more than 350 satellite events.

Given that our roots run deep in NYC, a group of Parcel people laced up our walking shoes and hit the streets to meet new friends, mingle with old ones, and immerse and educate ourselves on the latest happenings from across the industry. Read on for a few of our top highlights and takeaways:

Word on the Street

As part of our escapades around Manhattan, we hit the streets to hear what everyone from crypto-natives to newbies think about NFTs, Web3, and the metaverse. Their answers did not disappoint.

The Bird is the Word

There were a few words and phrases that got thrown around frequently throughout the week. If you were to pull a word cloud for NFT.NYC, “Community,” “Building,” “Interoperability,” and “Finding Your Tribe” were four that would undoubtedly show up in large font. Despite the frequency of their usage, they point to one underlying truth: on the whole, the Web3 space features individuals who recognize the power of collaboration and operate with the belief that we can build better together.

If You Build It…

Despite uncertain markets that have taken hodlers on a rollercoaster ride, people are building. Quite literally. Mona hosted a day-long buildathon that featured serious hackathon vibes, complete with a dark basement and neon mood lighting. It was a perfect encapsulation of their creator-first approach, and attracted everyone from first-time builders to OG members of the Mona community.

Open Real Estate in Times Square?

(Recently-rebranded) Over the Reality creates a digital layer over a physical location in the real world, and is completely upending how we think about real estate. To showcase the possibilities of their platform and in the spirit of celebrating the creator community, they hosted an ARt gallery right in the heart of one of the busiest places in the world, Times Square.

Showing Brands The Way

As more brands adopt NFTs as a way to engage with and reward their consumers, communities and creators will hold more power than they ever have before. Our business development wunderkind, Melanie Goldsmith, shared Parcel’s perspective on this topic during the panel, “How NFTs Will Change the Way Brands Interact with Consumers Forever,” alongside folks from The Remade, Atomic Number 8, and more.

During the conversation, Melanie noted that successful brands are quickly appreciating that NFTs extend far beyond simple static jpegs – the best ones take the time to develop a deeper understanding of their community’s needs, and prioritize utility, collaboration, and community above all else. Doodles perfectly encapsulates this concept, having leveraged the momentum of their wildly popular NFT project to build a fast-growing brand, and by all accounts “won” NFT.NYC with another standout IRL activation, the reveal of Doodles 2, and the addition of Pharrell as their Chief Brand Officer.

Less is More

A common critique from many attendees stemmed from the information and programming overload experienced throughout the week. More than 1,500 speakers were registered to participate in the conference alone; on top of that, a majority of the satellite events offered can’t-miss panel discussions from key stakeholders including The Sandbox, Spatial, and Voxels.

Our POV? Do less! While the conference organizers should be applauded for their commitment to providing a platform for a large portion of the community, it resulted in duplicative conversations that generally suffered from a lack of substance (a natural byproduct of conversations that maxxed out at 20 minutes). By scaling back – or taking a South by Southwest-style approach that focuses solely on satellite events around the city – the NFT.NYC team can carve out a place among the best Web3 events on the calendar.

If we missed you during NFT.NYC, drop us a line on Twitter or Discord and let us know where in the world you’ll be popping up next. And don't forget to hit the “subscribe” button on YouTube for more content that educates and entertains!

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