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Author Topic: Bitcoin Conference 2014, Chicago. Thoughts & comments...  (Read 1845 times)
Richy_T
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July 21, 2014, 03:30:52 PM
 #1

Overall a positive experience. I didn't really learn too much that I didn't know already but some really good speakers and good stuff going on. I'd like to open up this thread for possible comments and improvements (Note, I'm not connected with the organizers but hopefully they will see this).

One thing I think would really have improved the experience would have been some roundtables and/or workshops. This would allow some knowledge transfer in a way not afforded by panels (though the couple I attended were good). There were definitely a couple of newbies who were looking for answers but were really asking the wrong people in the wrong talks and in some cases got wrong answers (I think partly because the questions were not properly understood or the speaker didn't have a grasp on that aspect of the technology). I know a lot of us are used to doing this kind of thing online but if you have a bunch of people in one place, I think you may as well.

I would have liked to see some vendors actually selling stuff for bitcoin at the Bitcoin conference Smiley . OK, so the organizers can't just magic vendors out of thin air but possibly something could have been done. This would have allowed people to experience some real-life bitcoin purchasing and maybe provided photo-ops. This might have been a good chance for the Blockchain.info people to demo their new wallet. Anyone working on a Bitcoin vending machine?

Those are the two main things for now. Though I'd like to suggest the Opryland Hotel as a future venue for consideration. Pretty central to the US population (and close to me Wink )

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CanaryInTheMine
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July 21, 2014, 04:43:17 PM
 #2

Overall a positive experience. I didn't really learn too much that I didn't know already but some really good speakers and good stuff going on. I'd like to open up this thread for possible comments and improvements (Note, I'm not connected with the organizers but hopefully they will see this).

One thing I think would really have improved the experience would have been some roundtables and/or workshops. This would allow some knowledge transfer in a way not afforded by panels (though the couple I attended were good). There were definitely a couple of newbies who were looking for answers but were really asking the wrong people in the wrong talks and in some cases got wrong answers (I think partly because the questions were not properly understood or the speaker didn't have a grasp on that aspect of the technology). I know a lot of us are used to doing this kind of thing online but if you have a bunch of people in one place, I think you may as well.

I would have liked to see some vendors actually selling stuff for bitcoin at the Bitcoin conference Smiley . OK, so the organizers can't just magic vendors out of thin air but possibly something could have been done. This would have allowed people to experience some real-life bitcoin purchasing and maybe provided photo-ops. This might have been a good chance for the Blockchain.info people to demo their new wallet. Anyone working on a Bitcoin vending machine?

Those are the two main things for now. Though I'd like to suggest the Opryland Hotel as a future venue for consideration. Pretty central to the US population (and close to me Wink )
My thoughts are that it was a very diverse group of people (including 1 telepresence robot.)  The session on proposed licensing by NY was the most interesting one for me.  I also enjoyed Flip's presentation very much.  It was an excellent networking opportunity and I met a lot of new people as well.  There were some vendors selling their wares at the show, but it wasn't advertised in a retail fashion, you could just ask to buy it...

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July 21, 2014, 05:13:53 PM
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To be brutally honest, it was a waste of time and money for me to attend.  I could have stayed home and caught up on some much needed housework this weekend.  I also would have learned more spending 2 hours reading old messages on this forum than in the 12-14 hours I spent at the expo (not to mention travel time).

First off, hosting it at McCormick Place was total overkill.  The conference organizer clearly had little idea of what they were doing in choosing to go that route.  This is a conference center, the largest in North America and easily one of the largest in the world.  However they only had a tiny section of a hallway for exhibits and two medium sized conference rooms for sessions.  They could have hosted it at a swanky hotel  by the airport and it wouldn't have cost us locals $21/day for parking.  

Second, of the presentations I went to, only the regulation panel and bitcoin 2.0 panel had any tiny bit of insight that made it worth while.  Not nearly enough to justify spending two days to attend.  

Third, I talked to a few people who lived in the area and attended because they wanted to learn more about bitcoin.  Sucks to be them.  There was nothing at the conference that would have been geared towards educating people about what bitcoin is and how it works.  Aside from the ever present "TO THE MOON" bullshit that seemed to have been included in at least 1/3 of the presentations I sat in on.

It was small.  A few hundred people were there.  I understand it's a nascent industry, but I honestly would have thought there would have been more techies and other financial services sector types from the Chicago area just checking it out.  This tells me that people really aren't that interested in the concept.  

Most tech shows do a call for papers, and require presenters to provide a synopsis of their presentation.  The organizer then chooses among the most promising to speak.  I am pretty sure this guy just asked a bunch of start-up guys to come speak about anything, regardless of what they were going to speak about.   The content was so.... blech.
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August 24, 2014, 05:01:38 PM
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I found it interesting who did not show up.  Notably missing, Coinbase, KNC, Cointerra, and all of the Scrypt vendors.  I suppose the space is so new that many of these companies are not spending their capital on these conferences yet, but it was highly disappointing not to see some of the big boys rep-ing their wares at what would be considered a big event with the most targeted audience they could ever dream of.  Chicago trade shows at McCormick are where big business gets done.

That being said...Spoondoolies, Bitmain, and Rock miners are the only hardware I'd be interested in investing in right now, and isn't it interesting how those were the only mining vendors that were there with booths, which to me, says a lot about a company.

I liked the kick-off party, but I would really like to get a copy of that movie to show to my friends who have been in this with me.  It was like re-living the last couple years of my life again, because I've never been so current on current events as I was with the timeline of this movie.

I suspect next year, it will be even better, and perhaps American exchanges will decide to participate...in major American Bitcoin conferences next time, I'm talking to you Coinbase, Circle, Bitstamp, Bitfinex, and anyone else that wants my business.

Please add more BTC here (my son will apprecciate it when he's older): 14WsxbeRcgsSYZyNSRJqEAmB1MKAzHhsCT
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August 24, 2014, 05:11:44 PM
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Third, I talked to a few people who lived in the area and attended because they wanted to learn more about bitcoin.  Sucks to be them.  There was nothing at the conference that would have been geared towards educating people about what bitcoin is and how it works.  Aside from the ever present "TO THE MOON" bullshit that seemed to have been included in at least 1/3 of the presentations I sat in on.

This tells me that people really aren't that interested in the concept.  

Most tech shows do a call for papers, and require presenters to provide a synopsis of their presentation.  The organizer then chooses among the most promising to speak.  I am pretty sure this guy just asked a bunch of start-up guys to come speak about anything, regardless of what they were going to speak about.   The content was so.... blech.

There was actually a third room with presentations for beginners...I think Antonopolous held one of those discussions, which I sadly missed. 

I've not been to a tech show like you're talking about, but it did feel a little thrown together at times.  I think its highly likely you got to speak if you were a financial backer for the conference, which is how a lot of trade shows work...more money = more speaking time.

Please add more BTC here (my son will apprecciate it when he's older): 14WsxbeRcgsSYZyNSRJqEAmB1MKAzHhsCT
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