Welcome to Conferences in a Virtual World!*
As many of you may have recently seen, Sir Snorfkin attended the most recent instance of the DYGYCON blockchain conference with ears open regarding upcoming developments, new projects, interesting games, new connections, and more! Regardless of whether or not you attended the conference, Sir Snorfkin has compiled the highlights from this event. This review will take up a slightly different style, as we will be looking at the Good, the (not so) Bad, and the … FISHY?!? Curious to read on? Let’s dive in!
*Transparency note: The views expressed in this review are solely based on observations and research conducted by the author. The author has not received any sponsorship or payment from DYGYCON for writing this article, and the opinions formed are independent of any external influence.
Firstly, although the DYGYCON event was organized by the team behind Splinterlands, the up-and-coming blockchain game, the event truly surprised with the variety and diversity of projects. Among the various booths were content creators, NFT collectibles and utility projects, blockchain games, search engines, marketplaces, Dapps, and much more. The broad spectrum of organizations there is sure to make this event stand out amongst other niche blockchain conferences, and are likely to attract attendees to future editions to come.
Gamification and Fun
Everybody loves a bit of gamification, but how often can you say you’ve been rewarded for it at conference? The event was hosted in a virtual conference hall designed by Gamerjibe, and as such allowed users to truly explore the conference center. There were collectibles to obtain, and a plethora of activities which could be conducted to obtain NFT awards for participation, networking, and even taking part in shenanigans! However, DYGYCON went above and beyond with its mysterious Convention Quest, which offers the promise of lucrative items and treasures, and the quest expands beyond the event itself, thus adding to the allure. Those who took part in this pseudo-scavenger hunt are sure to profit from what lies at the end of the journey. Lastly, attendees could also challenge Splinterlands’ pros to a match and win countless prizes!
DJ Snorfkin in the Party Room: Is this my new calling?
As mentioned, the DYGYCON event rewarded users who completed achievements, but all attendees could sign up for free items, which are currently being distributed as NFTs on the wax and Ethereum blockchains! There were tshirts, unique artworks, and much more, so even if you just want to come to future editions for free swag, this event will be sure to deliver. Did you attend and want to receive even more swag when signing up for Splinterlands? Then check out the Extra Card Tip at the bottom of this article.
DYGYCON hosted a multitude of unique speakers and insights on developing projects, and all of these presentations were truly intriguing. As a brief overview, here were some of the highlights:
- Ultrarare.uk: Ultrarare announced a collaboration with Splinterlands, and even auctioned off a 1 of a kind card!
- Marketsquare: a soon to be launched project of ARK, making it easier to discover blockchain projects, connect, and more!
- Gala Games: Co-founder Jason “bitbender” Brink presented many major developments coming to Gala Games, and even hinted that there are many games soon to come to the gala games universe.
- Superworld: CEO Hrish Lotlikar presented plans for how super “citizens” can interact with the Superworld universe, even in Augmented Reality.
- Womplay/Spielworks: An exciting new project showcasing the potential to make blockchain gaming the new norm for users globally.
- Many other projects stood out, almost too many to count!
The Organizers and Support
DYGYCON was a blast, but it wouldn’t have been a success without a strong organizing team. Regardless of what room, there was always someone from the team guiding attendees on where to go, how to interact with the virtual conference area, and also providing support in case of bugs on the platform. Without this, the event would’ve surely been a disaster, and the team also managed to organize a highly successful live NFT auction (perhaps even the first ever held?). A big round of applause to all the staff who spent time putting this event together and making it fun for attendees.
The (not so) Bad
As a reviewer who evaluates things with a critical mindset, it comes as a pleasure to say that in all seriousness, there was truly nothing bad about the DYGYCON event! While nothing was bad, per se, Sir Snorfkin definitely has suggestions for how the event can be strengthened in editions to come.
As a first-time attendee, it would have been nice to have a “map” of the conference hall, as it was hard to remember what booths were in which rooms. In addition, it would have been beneficial to have an overview of speakers, rather than relying on the live stream to see what speakers and organizations were in the lineup. For future editions, it would be great for attendees to receive some sort of welcome packet with general information so that they can know what and who to expect, as well as when and where.
Conversation and Networking
This event made use of numerous private tables, bean bag areas, and more areas to chat with other attendees, network, and just have fun. What I noticed, however, is that many private chat areas were often not teeming with people, and the most conversation and networking only happened around the booths where presentations were going on. Regardless, conversations were definitely had and connections were surely made. At future DYGYCON events, it would be great if the staff stimulated more attendee-attendee conversation, perhaps through having specific discussion topics per table, or even a dedicated “get to know each other” area for those who are more interested in connecting with others in the space.
This aspect of DYGYCON was very hit or miss. Some booths had multiple staff providing information to attendees and telling them more about who they were and why they were supporting DYGYCON, whereas other booths seemed to be completely empty for almost the entirety of the event. In addition, some booths didn’t offer more than a picture or two or a link to a website, thus making it hard to engage and learn about each particular organization. This is listed in “the bad” not because this was truly a bad aspect, but because experiencing the booth operators who were active and engaging made it clear what the potential is for each booth, and left disappointment when stopping by booths which felt like ghost towns. It would be great to see each booth manned by at least one representative of the sponsoring organization, and in the case of booths where that is not possible (for example individual content creators), it would be great if there was a way to obtain more information (a brochure, nft, signup, anything).
The Time Pressure
In reality, I have nothing but praise for the effective time management of the DYGYCON organizers, as they managed to not only effectively stay on schedule, but they also fit an enormous amount of content within a three hour time period. So don’t get me wrong when I say that the time pressure could be alleviated in the future, as this is solely meant from the perspective of an attendee who would’ve been happy to explore the conference for even more time. As there was hardly a break in the presentations, it felt as though one had to simultaneously focus on the live stream whilst trying to fully absorb the gamerjibe experience. As such, the time pressure could become a bit stressful for attendees who wanted to make the fullest of the gamification as well as the informative aspects of the conference. Thus, in future instances, it would be great to either have keynote speakers spread out by blocks of free time, have all the presentations in the beginning and leave time after, or even record presentations which attendees could watch afterward if they happened to miss the live version. Despite this, it was extremely impressive how the DYGYCON team managed to organize the event, incorporate meaningful content at every minute, and keep things running on a punctual schedule, so kudos to them!
As mentioned before, DYGYCON was organized in collaboration with the Gamerjibe platform, which is a virtual platform where users can engage with each other just as they would at a real life conference! The platform was very easy to use and intuitive, making it easy to dive in and interact with the conference from the first minute. However, it was clear that the platform is growing and still could be improved. For example, being limited to 35 characters per “instance” of a room, left many out from being able to hear the presentations in person. Additionally, some bugs required users to re-connect, only to have to recollect items, or to just be able to see other avatars again. It should be stated that none of these aspects were detrimental to the conference, and it is also important to note that the gamerjibe support team was very proactive in helping users address their issues. In the future, it would be great to have more avatars per “instance,” customize avatar’s gear before an event, and hopefully some of the aforementioned bugs will be mitigated as well. Overall, however, the platform did deliver. If you don’t believe me, try rereading the section “gamification and fun!”
If you didn’t attend DYGYCON, you are probably wondering what in the world was fishy about this event. But it really is that simple, there were a LOT of fish, and even more fishermen! The conference area had a patio where users could roast marshmallows or fish, and as such could partake in the “biggest fish” NFT contest, a one-of-a-kind unique badge for the user who caught the largest fish. Interested in competing, then be sure to show up for the next edition of DYGYCON! (As an additional side note, please comment below this article as support for my petition for the addition of a “littlest chonk” badge for fisherman such as myself who can only seem to catch guppies!)
Sir Snorfkin Reviews: The littlest chonk. 5/5 would fish again!
In summary, 2021’s first edition of the DYGYCON virtual conference was even more engaging and fun than anticipated. Beyond that, the organizing team curated a wide range of presenters, informative subjects, and truly blew the audience away with the amount of content, excitement, and swag. Whether you are new to the blockchain space or are a seasoned veteran, this is an event which I would highly recommend. It will be interesting to see what comes out of the DYGYCON series, and I look forward to seeing and meeting you all at future editions, so be sure to attend and meet up! Wondering how to sign the petition for littlest chonk? Just comment on this article letting me know what you thought and by asking the DYGYCON team to please add this badge!!
Extra Card Tip: Are you new to Splinterlands and want to make the most out of the initial $10 investment? Would you like to obtain an additional card from the Untamed card set? To do so, let them know that Sir Snorkin sent you by signing up through this link.