Why You Should Join Me at Consensus 2024 – with Sam Ewan, SVP at CoinDesk

Sam Ewen is the senior vice president, head of media innovation and experience at CoinDesk, and the driving force behind Consensus, one of the largest and most well-known events in the Web3 space.

Ready to upgrade your Web3 marketing strategy? Don’t miss Consensus 2024  on May 29-31 in Austin, Texas. It is the largest and longest-running event on crypto, blockchain and Web3. Use code CMOSTORIES to get 15% off your pass at www.consensus2024.coindesk.com

In our conversation, we explore the exciting lineup of speakers, themes, and experiences that await attendees at the upcoming Consensus event in Austin.

  • The diverse range of topics covered, from the future of money and emerging technologies to brand-building and real-world use cases
  • Insights from industry leaders and innovators, including BMW's head of Metaverse, Adidas' Web3 studio lead, and entrepreneurs like Ben Leventhal of Resy and Eater
  • Unique networking opportunities, including invite-only events, lounges, and interactive experiences like the Karate Combats event
  • Tips for attendees to make the most of the event, from preparing for networking to following up effectively post-event
  • The vibrant atmosphere of Austin, with its walkable streets, diverse culinary scene, and lively music culture
Consensus 2024

Unveiling the Future of Web3 at Consensus

Step into the heart of the blockchain revolution as Consensus, the largest Web3 event in North America, returns with a bang. This year's edition promises to be a melting pot of innovation, where the brightest minds in the crypto ecosystem converge to shape the trajectory of this transformative technology.

Consensus is a true "big tent" event, embracing the entire spectrum of blockchain, crypto, and Web3 domains. From decentralized finance to Ethereum, Solana, and Bitcoin, this gathering leaves no stone unturned, offering a comprehensive exploration of the ever-evolving crypto landscape. Brace yourself for an immersive experience where developers, investors, brands, and enthusiasts alike can learn, network, and forge the path forward.

One of the standout themes at Consensus this year will be the impact of the Bitcoin ETF and Wall Street's embrace of crypto. This landmark event signifies a pivotal moment for the industry, as traditional finance recognizes the potential of digital assets. Discussions will delve into the ripple effects of this development, exploring how ETF-like products are gaining traction across Asia, Europe, and other regions.

The conference will also shine a spotlight on the future of money, culture, and technology in the crypto realm. With the recent Bitcoin halving, attendees can expect insightful dialogues on the implications of this event and its broader impact on the industry's trajectory.

For those interested in the entrepreneurial side of Web3, Consensus offers a dedicated platform for startups and developers. Aspiring founders and coders will have the opportunity to connect with potential investors, fostering collaborations that could shape the next wave of innovation.

Keeping pace with the rapid advancements in the space, emerging technologies will take center stage. Attendees can explore how brands are leveraging blockchain to forge deeper connections with customers, and dive into the realms of gaming and immersive worlds. Additionally, the convergence of AI and blockchain will be a hot topic, as experts discuss the potential for these technologies to validate and verify truth, raising thought-provoking questions about the future of humanity in an AI-driven world.

Perhaps most exciting are the discussions surrounding real-world use cases. From the tokenization of real-world assets to decentralized data projects, Consensus will showcase how Web3 technologies are transcending the digital realm and impacting various industries. Attendees can gain insights into decentralized mapping, AI compute, and weather data initiatives, where contributors are rewarded for their participation in these large-scale data projects.

Unlocking Web3 Opportunities for Marketers

For web3 marketers and brand builders, Consensus is a must-attend event. Unlike traditional marketing conferences that often default to the basics, Consensus dives deep into the cutting-edge strategies and experiments shaping the future of branding in the decentralized world.

One of the highlights is the Brand and Creator Summit, where attendees can gain insights from the most innovative marketers and entrepreneurs who are building brands for the long haul. Hear from visionaries like Pia, the head of metaverse for BMW, as she shares the automaker's journey in partnering with NFT communities and creating immersive experiences in virtual worlds like Fortnite, Minecraft, and Roblox.

Erica, who leads the web3 studio at Adidas, will also grace the stage, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the iconic brand's experiments and partnerships in the space, including their recent collaboration with Steph Curry.

But it's not just about the big names; Consensus also shines a spotlight on trailblazing entrepreneurs like Ben Leventhal, the founder of popular food apps Resy and Eater, who is now building Blackbird, a web3-native brand written entirely on-chain. Leventhal will share the stage with Luats, the creator of the Pudgy Penguins universe, offering a unique opportunity to learn from both established and emerging players in the space.

Attendees can also expect insights from industry giants like Walmart, as they explore the retailer's approach to the metaverse and digital spaces that could potentially disrupt their physical footprint. This forward-thinking mindset exemplifies the innovative spirit that permeates Consensus.

Whether you're a seasoned marketer or an aspiring entrepreneur, Consensus offers a wealth of knowledge and networking opportunities to help you navigate the rapidly evolving web3 landscape. Prepare to be inspired, challenged, and equipped with the tools to build brands that transcend the boundaries of the physical world.

Networking and Side Events Galore

Beyond the main conference agenda, Consensus offers a plethora of networking opportunities and side events that truly elevate the experience. The organizers understand that the magic happens when connections are forged, and they've curated an array of activities to facilitate meaningful interactions.

One standout event is the Crypto Combats, a playful yet competitive affair where influencers and crypto enthusiasts engage in friendly bouts, pitting Bitcoin maximalists against Ethereum advocates in a battle for bragging rights. Imagine Nick Carter, a staunch Bitcoin supporter, squaring off against David Hoffman, an Ethereum loyalist, in a three-round bout to determine which blockchain reigns supreme. It's a lighthearted way to celebrate the friendly rivalries within the community.

For those seeking more exclusive networking opportunities, Consensus hosts the Cremo Dinner, an invite-only gathering for senior marketing professionals, builders, and creators. This private event fosters an environment where the industry's visionaries can candidly discuss strategies for onboarding the next wave of crypto enthusiasts, free from the prying eyes of cameras and the public.

But the networking doesn't stop there. Consensus leverages its mobile app to facilitate connections, allowing attendees to search for like-minded individuals, send direct messages, and arrange impromptu meetings or collaborations. Thousands of messages are exchanged through the app, fostering serendipitous encounters that could lead to the next big partnership or investment opportunity.

On the show floor, dedicated lounges and demo areas cater to specific groups, such as startups, investors, and those showcasing cutting-edge technologies. The Genc area, for instance, features a curated selection of innovative games, hardware, and AI products, creating a vibrant hub for attendees to explore and engage with the latest advancements in a hands-on setting.

Consensus 2024

Preparing for a Successful Networking Experience

To make the most of the networking opportunities at Consensus, attendees are encouraged to prepare their pitches and be ready to engage with fellow participants. Having a concise yet compelling introduction can go a long way in capturing the attention of potential collaborators or investors.

Additionally, it's advisable to review the speaker lineup, agenda, and attendee list beforehand, identifying key individuals or companies you'd like to connect with. Leveraging the conference app to schedule meetings in advance can help maximize your time and ensure you don't miss out on valuable networking opportunities.

Remember, the true value of Consensus lies not only in the content but also in the connections you forge. By embracing an open and proactive mindset, you'll be well-positioned to unlock new partnerships, gain insights from industry leaders, and potentially secure the funding or resources needed to propel your web3 endeavors to new heights.

AI Integration at Consensus

While AI presents numerous opportunities for enhancing the conference experience, the organizers of Consensus took a cautious approach to its implementation this year. They conducted extensive research and exploration into leveraging AI for tasks such as ingesting the entire agenda and providing real-time updates to attendees. However, they ultimately concluded that the technology was not yet ready to be fully integrated into an event of this scale and complexity.

Sam acknowledged that while they are enthusiastic about the potential of AI and eager to incorporate it into their business, they felt that they were still about a year away from being able to utilize it in the way they envisioned for Consensus. The live streaming aspect of the event, coupled with the sheer size and scope of the conference, necessitated a more measured approach.

That said, the organizers did identify areas where AI could be leveraged effectively. One such application is in the realm of video content distribution and summarization. By harnessing the power of AI, they aim to expedite the process of generating concise summaries and highlights from the wealth of video content captured during the event, ensuring that attendees and those unable to be present can access the key insights and takeaways more efficiently.

While the full integration of AI into the core conference experience may still be on the horizon, the organizers' willingness to explore and experiment with emerging technologies underscores their commitment to staying at the forefront of innovation. As AI continues to evolve and mature, future iterations of Consensus may very well incorporate more advanced applications, further enhancing the attendee experience and solidifying the event's position as a leading platform for exploring the intersection of technology and the decentralized world.

Embracing the Austin Experience

For those attending Consensus for the first time, the vibrant city of Austin offers a wealth of experiences beyond the conference itself. As Sam advises, it's best to stay within a 10-15 minute walking radius of the convention center to maximize your flexibility and minimize the need for transportation. Austin's walkable nature allows you to seamlessly transition between conference activities and exploring the city's offerings.

Hydration is paramount, especially during the warm late-May weather. Carrying snacks and wearing comfortable shoes will ensure you maintain your energy throughout the long, action-packed days. Austin's renowned food scene presents a delightful opportunity to refuel and indulge in culinary delights. From the iconic breakfast tacos and late-night taco trucks to the mouthwatering barbecue joints, there's something to satisfy every palate.

However, Austin's gastronomic delights extend far beyond the expected. Sam enthusiastically recommends seeking out the city's innovative fusion restaurants, where you'll find unexpected gems like exceptional Japanese cuisine, despite Austin's landlocked location. Exploring the diverse neighborhoods and their culinary offerings is an adventure in itself.

"Austin is a great food city. And so everything from the breakfast tacos and the taco trucks late at night to all of the barbecue that happens there. But there's also a ton of innovative chefs in Austin. So I would really seek out what are some of the more interesting restaurants and neighborhoods because you'll go and you'll find some of the best Japanese food I've ever had is in Austin, and yet they're not near an ocean."

Beyond the culinary delights, Austin's vibrant music scene is a must-experience. Whether you're a country music aficionado or an electronica enthusiast, the city's local bars and venues offer an eclectic array of live performances. Stumbling upon an impromptu gig is part of the charm, allowing you to immerse yourself in Austin's rich musical heritage.

As the conference draws to a close, Sam recommends packing a change of clothes to combat the inevitable perspiration that comes with the late-May heat. Embracing the Austin experience means being prepared for the elements while indulging in the city's unique blend of culinary delights, musical offerings, and laid-back charm.

Securing Your Spot at Consensus

If the prospect of attending Consensus has piqued your interest, head over to consensus.coindesk.com to secure your tickets. The organizers offer various pass options, including student and developer discounts, ensuring that the event is accessible to individuals at different stages of their web3 journey.

Additionally, Sam encourages listeners to follow Consensus and CoinDesk on social media platforms like Twitter, as well as join their Telegram channel, to stay updated on the latest announcements, events, and opportunities. These channels serve as invaluable resources for attendees, providing real-time updates and facilitating connections within the community.

For those seeking a special discount, a dedicated link is available in the show notes, offering a exclusive opportunity to save on your Consensus experience. Don't miss out on this chance to immerse yourself in the heart of the web3 revolution and forge lasting connections that could shape the future of this transformative technology.

Mastering the Art of Networking and Follow-Up

One of the most valuable aspects of attending a conference like Consensus is the opportunity to forge meaningful connections with industry peers, thought leaders, and potential collaborators. However, the sheer volume of interactions can be overwhelming, making it challenging to keep track of the numerous conversations and encounters. Sam offers some insightful tips to help attendees maximize their networking efforts and ensure effective follow-up after the event.

First and foremost, Sam emphasizes the importance of being proactive in facilitating connections. He suggests changing your phone's screen to display your Telegram QR code, allowing others to seamlessly connect with you by simply scanning the code. This streamlined approach eliminates the need for manually exchanging contact information and ensures that you capture every potential connection.

Additionally, Sam recommends taking photos with the individuals you meet and jotting down brief notes about your conversation. This simple yet effective technique serves as a powerful memory aid, enabling you to recall the context and details of your interactions when following up after the event. By referencing specific points from your discussion, you can craft personalized and meaningful follow-up messages, increasing the likelihood of fostering lasting relationships.

However, timing is crucial when it comes to follow-up. Sam cautions against bombarding new connections with messages immediately after the event. The hectic pace and late nights can leave attendees drained, and an onslaught of follow-up messages may be overwhelming. Instead, he suggests waiting a week before reaching out, allowing both parties to catch their breath and recharge.

"Hey, we met last week. I wanted to give you some time to rest, but I would love to follow up on the thing we talked about. And I think that people actually respect that versus three messages by the time they've gotten back home from the airport. And that feels already sometimes too much."

By following these simple yet effective strategies, attendees can maximize their networking efforts, forge meaningful connections, and lay the groundwork for fruitful collaborations and partnerships that extend far beyond the confines of the conference itself.

Consensus 2024

Preparing for Consensus

As the excitement builds for Consensus, it's essential to take the necessary steps to ensure a seamless and rewarding experience. The first stop on your journey should be consensus.coindesk.com, where you can secure your tickets and explore various pass options, including student and developer discounts. Don't forget to check the show notes for an exclusive discount link, offering you a special opportunity to save on your Consensus experience.

Staying connected and informed is crucial, and the Consensus team has made it easy for attendees to do so. Follow their social media channels, particularly their Twitter handles (@Consensus and @CoinDesk), to receive real-time updates, announcements, and insights leading up to and during the event. These channels serve as invaluable resources, keeping you in the loop and ensuring you don't miss out on any exciting opportunities.

Additionally, Sam recommends joining the Consensus Telegram group, which serves as a hub for on-site updates and networking opportunities. This platform allows attendees to connect with fellow participants, exchange ideas, and stay informed about any last-minute changes or events happening during the conference.

Should you have any questions or encounter any issues during your preparation or attendance, the Consensus team is readily available to assist you. Don't hesitate to reach out to them for guidance, whether it's regarding ticket purchases, accommodation recommendations, or any other inquiries you may have.

By taking these proactive steps, you'll be well-equipped to navigate the Consensus experience with ease, maximizing your opportunities for learning, networking, and immersing yourself in the vibrant web3 community.

The Consensus Experience

As the anticipation builds in the month leading up to Consensus, the team is abuzz with activity, meticulously polishing sessions, finalizing speaker lineups, and ensuring that every narrative is crafted to perfection. For Sam, this period is a whirlwind of preparation, as he oversees the curation of the highly anticipated Brand and Creator Summit, a day he personally hosts.

However, the true excitement begins once the first day's events have concluded and Sam's hosting duties are fulfilled. This is when he can truly immerse himself in the Consensus experience as an attendee, soaking in the wealth of knowledge and insights shared by the industry's brightest minds and most innovative thinkers.

During this time, Sam's focus shifts to observing how attendees interact with the various event spaces and stages. With a keen eye for detail, he takes note of where attendees' attention is drawn, how they navigate the show floor, and how they engage with the various experiences on offer. This invaluable feedback informs future iterations of the event, ensuring that each year's Consensus is a seamless and captivating experience.

Beyond the physical spaces, Sam finds himself inspired by the thought-provoking discussions and forward-thinking perspectives shared by the speakers and panelists. These sessions ignite a spark within him, fueling his passion for the industry and generating a flurry of ideas for how to elevate the Consensus experience even further.

As he immerses himself in the vibrant atmosphere, Sam's notebook becomes a canvas for capturing these insights, jotting down ideas for potential improvements, reimagining certain elements, and exploring new avenues for innovation. It's a process of continuous learning and growth, driven by the collective wisdom and creativity of the web3 community.

With each passing day, Sam's excitement builds as he witnesses the convergence of brilliant minds, groundbreaking technologies, and visionary ideas that shape the future of the industry. The Consensus experience is not merely an event; it's a catalyst for inspiration, collaboration, and the relentless pursuit of innovation that propels the web3 ecosystem forward.

Consensus 2024

Embracing the Future of Web3 at Consensus

As the curtain falls on another exhilarating edition of Consensus, the largest Web3 event in North America, we are left with a profound sense of excitement and anticipation for the future of this transformative technology. Over the course of this immersive gathering, attendees had the opportunity to delve into the depths of the ever-evolving crypto landscape, exploring the realms of decentralized finance, Ethereum, Solana, Bitcoin, and beyond.

From the impact of the Bitcoin ETF and Wall Street's embrace of crypto to the future of money, culture, and technology in the decentralized realm, Consensus served as a melting pot of innovation, where the brightest minds converged to shape the trajectory of this burgeoning industry. Emerging technologies, such as the convergence of AI and blockchain, took center stage, raising thought-provoking questions about the potential for these technologies to validate and verify truth, and their implications for the future of humanity.

Perhaps most compelling were the discussions surrounding real-world use cases, where attendees gained insights into the tokenization of real-world assets, decentralized data projects, and initiatives that transcend the digital realm, impacting various industries. As we leave Consensus, we are emboldened by the realization that Web3 technologies are no longer confined to the virtual world but are actively transforming the way we live, work, and interact with the world around us.

For those seeking to navigate the rapidly evolving Web3 landscape, Consensus offered a wealth of knowledge and networking opportunities. From the Brand and Creator Summit, where visionaries shared their insights on building brands for the long haul, to the exclusive Cremo Dinner, where industry leaders candidly discussed strategies for onboarding the next wave of crypto enthusiasts, the event provided a platform for meaningful connections and collaborations.

As we bid farewell to Consensus, we are left with a renewed sense of curiosity and motivation to engage further with the Web3 ecosystem. The connections forged, the insights gained, and the visions shared have ignited a spark within us, fueling our passion for this transformative technology. Let us embrace the future of Web3 with open arms, ready to explore the boundless possibilities that lie ahead.

Sam Ewan, SVP at CoinDesk at the Web3 CMO Stories podcast

Sam Ewan, SVP at CoinDesk 


[00:48] Could you please provide a brief overview of Consensus for our listeners who might not be familiar with it yet? 

[02:48] What are the key themes and discussions that will be highlighted at Consensus? 

[05:07] What are the expectations and key considerations for Web3 marketers attending Consensus or engaging in the gem community? 

[09:44] Are there any specific new experiences or features at this year's event that will make it particularly special? 

[11:45] What's your advice for networkers preparing for the conference with all the side events? 

[13:52] Did you utilize AI for organizing the event as well? 

[15:35] Do attendees have access to the side events as part of their pass? 

[16:30] Any tips to think of ahead for attendees who might get sidetracked from planned presentations due to networking opportunities, and how to manage follow-up tasks afterwards? 

[19:24] What are you personally most excited about during these upcoming days filled with learning and networking opportunities? 

[21:15] For first-time visitors to Austin attending the conference, what advice would you offer them to make the most of their experience beyond the event itself? 



“Our goal is not to focus just on Defi or just to focus on Ethereum or Solana or bitcoin. We want to be the everything show so you can come and really learn and meet the people who are building the ecosystem, from developers to investors to brands to attendees, really.” 

“We always try to make sure that there's stuff for people to do, so that could be anything from parties and happy hours. This year we partnered with the team at Karate Combats, who are throwing basically an event where they're pitting everything from influencers to cryptom maxis together and having them have playful fights for bragging rights, potentially. “ 

“Our 3MO dinner is for the senior most marketing people and the senior most builders and creators. And it's invite only, it's private. But our goal is the people who come in this room are the ones who are building this industry for the public to see.” 

“I literally changed my screen on my phone to my telegram QR code so people can connect with me. And I say to them whether we take a photo or just tell me how we met, because I will meet 200 people that those three days, and I won't remember you unless I have a photo or you can tell me the conversation we had.” 

“I do think the follow ups are key. I also don't think you need to follow up the next day. Right. A lot of people are there and their days are packed and their nights are even busier and they're not getting a lot of sleep and this and that. So waiting till the next week, but'not the worst thing.” 



Consensus: https://consensus.coindesk.com/   DISCOUNT CODE: CMOSTORIES 

Coindesk: https://www.coindesk.com/ 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/coindesk/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CoinDesk 



Twitter: https://twitter.com/SamEwen 
Telegram: https://t.me/CoinDeskGlobal 



About the author, JoeriBillast

Fractional CMO
Web3 Marketing Strategist
Bestselling Author on Amazon
Host of the Web3 CMO Stories podcast