In the evolving landscape of the Polkadot Ecosystem, the orchestration of events has played a pivotal role in fostering community engagement, showcasing advancements, and creating spaces for collaboration. Until recently, the responsibility for Polkadot events rested with the Web3 Foundation, with execution managed by an events team within Parity Technologies. This team held a multi-faceted role encompassing Tier 1 events, Tier 2 events (3rd party engagements), and the foundational infrastructure supporting the entire spectrum of Polkadot events.
Tier 1 Events:
The core of Polkadot’s event strategy included Tier 1 global flagships, notably sub0 - The Polkadot Developer Conference and Polkadot Decoded - The Global Community Flagship. These events served as milestones, bringing together developers, thought leaders, and enthusiasts from around the world to celebrate and advance the Polkadot ecosystem.
Tier 2 Events (3rd Party Engagements):
The events team facilitated Polkadot’s presence in major industry events through sponsorships, exhibition stands, speaking engagements, and side events. This inclusive approach allowed Polkadot to participate in key gatherings such as Token2049, EthDenver, Coindesk Consensus, Korea Blockchain Week, Messari Mainnet, and others, further expanding its reach and impact.
Polkadot Events Infrastructure:
Beyond event execution, the team established and managed the infrastructure critical to the success of Polkadot events. This included registration systems, streaming capabilities, archival processes, networking platforms, mobile applications, and the events.polkadot.network website. Furthermore, the team extended support to other entities within the ecosystem, fostering a collaborative environment in event creation.
The events team, comprising five dedicated contributors, is currently in the process of winding up its operations. Post-January 2024, there will be no dedicated team managing events for Polkadot as previously structured, marking a transition period for the Polkadot event landscape.
In response to this changing landscape, Madeline and Joern are taking the initiative to establish Decentered Studio, an events management company committed to continuing the legacy of Tier 1 events like sub0 and Polkadot Decoded. With a focus on seamless execution and a keen eye on future trends in web3, Decentered Studio aims to not only ensure the continuity of existing projects but also explore additional Polkadot events aligned with emerging topics and industry verticals.
As an example of this commitment, sub0 Asia, planned for March 2024, is already in the pipeline, demonstrating the dedication to delivering on planned initiatives and contributing to the growth and vibrancy of the Polkadot Ecosystem.
Decentered Studio is poised to become the driving force behind Polkadot’s event landscape, providing a dedicated and forward-thinking approach to event management that aligns with the evolving needs of the Polkadot community and ecosystem.
Company Brief: Decentered Studio
Decentered Studio - an entity incorporated in Berlin, Germany - specializes in the production and execution of flagship events for the Polkadot Ecosystem. Currently, our focus revolves around events such as sub0, The Polkadot Developer Conference, and Polkadot Decoded. Beyond these flagship events, we offer a comprehensive suite of services to cater to the diverse needs of the Polkadot community.
Our team is passionate about fostering community collaboration and believes that events are a powerful catalyst for ecosystem growth. We are excited about creating immersive experiences that not only highlight the technical advancements of Polkadot but also strengthen its community bonds.
- Flagship Event Production:
- Responsible for the end-to-end execution and production of key Polkadot events.
- Collaborative planning with the Polkadot Ecosystem, other future decentralized marketing teams and Web3 Foundation to ensure content relevance and community engagement.
- Custom Event Initiatives:
- Development and execution of industry-specific event and investor relation events/initiatives to enhance brand awareness and attract new users to the Polkadot Ecosystem.
- Team Retreats:
- Facilitation of team-building retreats for companies within the Polkadot Ecosystem, fostering collaboration and innovation.
- Consulting Services:
- Expert guidance on event execution, coordination, and production for the Polkadot Ecosystem.
- Advisory services for event treasury proposals within the Polkadot Ecosystem.
- Event Technology Management:
- Execution and maintenance of event registration pages, ticketing systems, and communication channels for Polkadot Ecosystem events. This includes managing the content of https://events.polkadot.network via a white-labeled integrated events management platform (similar to a CMS)
- Third-Party Events and Speaker Engagement Support:
- While currently limited by our team size, we aspire to expand our services to include support for third-party events and speaker engagement in the future. Drawing from past experiences, where the events team facilitated Polkadot’s presence in major industry events, we understand the value of sponsorships, exhibition stands, speaking engagements, and side events. This initiative aligns with our long-term vision, and once our venture achieves success and expands its team, we aim to provide comprehensive support for third-party events and enhanced speaker engagement within the Polkadot Ecosystem.
Contribution to the Polkadot Ecosystem:
- Community Engagement: Decentered Studio is dedicated to creating events that actively involve the Polkadot community, fostering a sense of belonging and participation.
- Brand Awareness: Through flagship events and industry-specific initiatives, we aim to elevate the visibility and recognition of the Polkadot Ecosystem on a global scale.
- Ecosystem Growth: By providing services that contribute to the success of Polkadot-focused organizations, we actively support the expansion of the Polkadot network with self-sustaining participants.
- Sustainability: Our commitment to the longevity of the Polkadot Ecosystem aligns with the Decentralized Futures program’s goal of ensuring a sustainable funding journey for projects beyond the grant duration.
Decentered Studio is excited to become a proactive contributor to the Decentralized Futures program, leveraging our expertise in event management to strengthen the Polkadot Ecosystem’s foundation for future growth and success.
Learnings and Future Outlook
Recognizing the Need for Polkadot Events:
Our experience in managing Polkadot’s Flagship Events has underscored the crucial role such gatherings play in enhancing brand awareness, fostering community building, facilitating new user onboarding, and providing a platform for the ecosystem to collaboratively innovate. This insight propels us to continue prioritizing and refining our event strategy to meet these multifaceted needs.
Importance of Curated Attendee and Speaker Engagement:
Ensuring the right people are present is pivotal, both for attendees and speakers. To guarantee community collaboration, we will actively engage members for feedback on event locations and dates, ensuring a well-rounded portfolio of regionally accessible and economically sustainable events. For speakers, future on-chain event treasury proposals will include requests for travel support, ensuring top-quality content from diverse perspectives and supporting speakers who might otherwise face financial barriers.
Community Collaboration for Content Excellence:
Content is paramount in Polkadot events, requiring community collaboration and ecosystem expertise to curate successful programming. We are committed to engaging the community to identify relevant and desired topics for our flagship events. Additionally, we will establish a collective/advisory board for event content, fostering quality control through a sophisticated Call for Speakers process, speaker nominations, and outreach guided by the board’s expertise.
Efficient Use of Polkadot Treasury Funds:
Mindful stewardship of the Polkadot Treasury is crucial. We recognize the need for efficient and effective use of funding. To achieve this, we will collaborate with an expert team of event professionals for budget management and competitive pricing. Implementing ticket fees for future events and accepting sponsorships, including logo sponsorships, media and event partners, exhibition tables, demo booths, and official party host sponsors, will contribute to offsetting event costs. By diversifying funding sources, we aim to request fewer funds from the Polkadot Treasury, ensuring responsible financial practices and sustainability.
Request to the Decentralised Future Program
The future Decentered Studio team is asking for support during the setup phase of the new entity, to ensure business continuity and liquidity - specific project funding will still need to come via general treasury proposals. A first one for sub0 Asia 2024 will be going on-chain over the next few days.
In addition to financial support we also recommend and would like to contribute to establishing a decision making framework (or infrastructure) for curating and selecting marketing content. With the disappearance of a centrally coordinated product marketing and Polkadot messaging it is eminent to avoid a gap by creating a decentralized body, rooted within OpenGov structures or using key Polkadot Network governance functionalities.
For the marketing category of events management this would enable a strategic alignment with other future decentralized marketing teams in domains such as social media management, website content, influencer relations management and others. In return tier 1 events will also deliver reusable content in form of high-quality input for social media, websites, to ensure and support multi-channel marketing activities. The mentioned content could be demos, presentations, interviews, podcasts, videos and images.