AIP-64: IRL Events Feasibility Study — Recap

Note: this may be the first “Report” of a funded AIP to hit Discourse and so, without any frameworks or templates to follow, I’m just going to share all the learnings from our feasibility study, the sentiments of the survey-takers and the recommendations of event industry professionals moving forward.

Please feel free to correct me if there has been a recap/report done already that I may not be aware of and provide a link so that we may all learn together.


AIP-64: IRL Events Feasibility Study — Recap

tickets

From the start, the main motivation for creating this study was to determine how desperately the Ape and ApeCoin communities wanted a large-scale festival, similar to an ApeFest; utilizing the skills, talents, and experiences from within our own community of token holders. Fire.

TL;DR
Turns out, not as much as we thought…

Wait what, you’re saying you don’t want an ApeFest?

…and certainly not as much as apes been tweet-posting about wanting one - :laughing:.

wen apefest 1

In a ways, it wasn’t a total surprise. We humans and apes tend to react emotionally and will scream “wen our own ApeFest” while still high from the experience of attending an NFT.NYC or some other NFT event, but as euphoria settles and rationality enters really… who has the time for this stuff?

Which when you think about it :thinking: , was precisely the reason for this study in the first place. Boom, purpose fulfilled. :microphone:

Besides, we’re all hoping that Yuga Labs actually does spin-out from NFT NYC and create their own - our own ApeFest and take on GoldenVoice and Coachella🤞🏾.


RATIONALE

Events are a major part of Apecoin DAO’s mission of driving Web3 culture forward and there’s a pretty sizeable budget set aside for this endeavour:

With this in mind, we began the study talking to event organizers, brands and sponsors about a large-scale festival, basically an expanded version of an ApeFest, to get feedback, ideas and general support. And while most supported the concept, we received plenty of alternative ideas for many other different types of events — festivals, meetups, conferences, retreats, expos, etc — which had us heading back to the drawing board in order to redesign the survey.

What we decided upon was to have the community vote on one of three options — an annual large-scale festival, a series of mid-sized regional events or an Apecoin presence in multiple meetups, expos, events throughout the year. You’ve already seen the results, they’re at the top of the page.

IMPLEMENTATION

Prior to moving forward with the steps to implementation as we had spelled out in the proposal itself, we received several DMs from fellow BAYC/MAYC community members with offers to help out with the website, survey and social media outreach — details, costs and credits listed below:

  • We picked up the domain eventsbyapecoin.xyz for sub $10 and the Twitter handle @eventsbyapecoin at zero cost
  • We created a survey on Tally.so and tabulated the data on Airtable, which required APIs which required a premium plan of $29/mo for 3 months
  • We launched the survey at survey.eventsbyapecoin.xyz on September 15th and ran it until October 31st
  • Fellow MAYC token holder designed and developed the website.

  • We hired another token holder to manage our Twitter who brought in many BAYC/MAYC degens to increase survey engagement
  • We spent $700 on several ads and Twitter Polls resulting in 7,393 impressions:

  • Total Spend for entire set-up and study: $10,190

Note: Twitter Handle, Domain, Website, & Data Repo will be converted and transferred to follow-up AIP if/when it is proposed and if/when it passes and may also include the costs for setting-up a legal entity (TBD)


RESULTS: High-Level

Beyond the obvious, let’s provide a little nuance and context derived from our many conversations with pros in the industry alongside some of the narrative hidden in the deeper data:

  1. Voters do NOT want a Festival Powered by Apecoin — was a little surprising
  2. Most members want a Regional Series of Events — not surprising as our own conversations revealed members prefer to own/produce their own festivals/events
  3. Industry professionals and event organizers overwhelmingly recommended a support team
  4. USA is the location of choice — but we should put that down to our lack of survey reach beyond the US Market:

Location summary


RESULTS: Deeper Dive

Large Scale Festival — aka ApeFest — aka Web3 Village

We spoke to several potential sponsors and brands for a Large Scale FestivalMagic Eden, NiftyKit, Hennessy, Evinco, Holaplex, Ledger, WAGMI Utd, FWB, Proof/Moonbirds, and others — and while they all expressed interest in participating in principle, they all wanted to wait until the pitch/sponsorship deck was out.

And by sponsorship deck they specifically meant; location, venue, date, format, attendees, ticket prices, marketing, production team, vendors, other sponsors, etc., all the things that the DAO still needs to determine and secure. Classic chicken or egg situation, uggh.

Okay, while we’re here, an extremely important point to bring to light about Large Scale Festivals is the amount of time it takes and the number of moving parts involved to truly pull-off a great event. So even if we, the community, had voted for a Large Scale Festival, and given the current AIP process, the event most likely would not be taking place until Spring 2024 at the earliest.

Now, let’s add to this the current macro-economic market conditions and the probability of launching a successful new event with enough brands, sponsors, vendors, attendees, and media is pretty slim. Let’s dig a little deeper.

Generally, when event organizers and their sponsors and brands look to put on a new event, a Feasibility Study is conducted (much like our AIP-64). This can cost brands anywhere around $50–100k. We worked with one such study for another DAO to look at the market conditions for 2023:

  • The biggest risk is attendance:

  • Demand is soft going into 2023

  • Takes at least a year

And while year one is most likely a money-loser, this could carry-on longer given current market conditions:

In summary, it could be just as well that the community voted against producing a Large Scale Festival… as 2023 does not look like a good time to be launching a first-time event.


Series of Regional Events

After multiple calls with token holders looking to create their own festivals, it became quite clear that most folks were turning to the DAO, not for collaboration purposes or sharing aligned missions, but for funding. So while the opportunity remains for some segments of the DAO to come together to create a series of coordinated events, the DAO should be prepared for multiple proposals to be presented by individuals to “do their own thing”.

To be clear, we believe there is a definite need for a series of regional events, held in areas underserved within the US and at venues outside of the US, led by experienced local organizers. These festivals can be great vehicles to increase local engagement and to expand membership.

And while it will ultimately rest on the DAO to approve all these events, we also think there is a great opportunity to create even better outcomes via strategic coordination, shared best practices, talent and treasury: 1+1 = 3.

So while the Series of Regional events received the most votes in our survey, and while we continue to invite everyone interested in putting on a mid-scale festival to write-up a proposal, our research has motivated us to provide the DAO with an even more important and vital service… an IRL Events Working Group with an aim to onboard more wallets to the ApeCoin ecosystem:


ApeCoin Everywhere

We held many conversations with industry veterans, event organizers, brands and sponsors, and took multiple DMs from fellow token holders, and the one thing that seemed inevitable to everyone was that the DAO would be receiving many, many more proposals in the future for funding IRL Events. While this was a welcomed expectation, the challenge we all realized was that the current process wasn’t set-up to handle the variety nor the volume of requests.

We concluded that both large scale and mid-sized events and festivals ought to continue drafting proposals within the existing process and that our own focus should be to serve the smaller events and local meetups, faster and with a broader reach; the origins of ApeCoin Everywhere.

So back at the whiteboard, we brainstormed and came up with what we figured would be best for the DAO:

  1. Faster, streamlined funding for smaller events, meetups, hackathons, workshops, exhibitions, etc
  2. Light-weight vetting of organizers and grant requesters
  3. Simplified KPI’s, reporting and accountability
  4. Providing talent resources, promotional items and support materials
  5. Coordination of IRL events: Master Calendar, Maps, Directory
  6. Support for members to launch local NFT educational efforts to safely onboard non-crypto people to Web3 — an opportunity to become a local voice of authority
  7. With the main purpose to increase $APE awareness, adoption and utilization

ApeCoin Everywhere

It was clear to us that the DAO would need an IRL Events Working Group. We continued on and penciled out some of the roles and responsibilities of a Support Team/Working Group and how this could work.

Idea: The Events Support Team is a Working Group within the DAO that provides support for all things IRL Events that don’t require their own AIP:

  1. The Events Support Team manages their own treasury, which is a portion of the DAO’s budget for events, through a gnosis SAFE multi-sig
  2. The Events Support Team manages the IRL Events Prop House to fund sub-$xx grants
  3. The Events Support Team creates, manages and updates an IRL Events Best Practices Manual
  4. The Events Support Team creates and manages an IRL Events SWAG and Promotional Items Store including the design and fulfillment of ApeCoin branded products for conferences, meetups and the like
  5. The Events Support Team is comprised of DAO members with event industry experience and contacts, working on a full-time and part-time basis
  6. The Events Support Team grows as the community creates more and more IRL events, offering additional opportunities for members to be involved
  7. The Events Support Team designs, creates and manages an ApeCoin Master Calendar of Events, Events Map and Directory

Keep in mind that this list is not 100% inclusive of all the roles and responsibilities, and may not even make the final cut of a follow-up AIP, but as a concept drawn from multiple interviews and discussions with industry professionals it provides a robust platform from which to build.


FINAL THOUGHTS

There are over 100,000 $APE Coin token holders and just over 6,000 profiles set-up in Discourse. And much like the participation rates in the forums, we reached less than 1% of token holders for our survey results. Add to this the extent of our mostly US-centric reach and obviously our study doesn’t truly reflect the sentiments of the DAO.

We did however have 1-on-1’s with many industry professionals and event organizers to help understand the macro-environment as we head into 2023 - there’s a reason why NFT-London was sparse in attendance and why many of the same people attend the same big conferences. And while there is excitement and energy for the well-known events planned next year, time will tell if everyone’s just competing for the same small audience.

We believe that rather than take on the expense and efforts and burdens of creating our own events, the DAO will be best served by a working group set-up to support existing events, smaller local meetups and exhibitions, and hackathons and workshops created to onboard non-crypto people to Web3 and for crypto folks to learn about $APECoin.


We do expect to submit a follow-up AIP to this study that proposes the formation of an IRL Events Working Group, much of which has already been detailed above. Our AIP will integrate the ideas and feedback from about 30 members that have already expressed interest in taking part in this working group, the majority of which have extensive event industry experience. No roles and individuals have been determined as of yet, but we do expect to launch with a core group of 5-7 committed members and to grow from there.

If you’re interested in shaping the future of IRL events supported by ApeCoin and wish to commit your time and efforts to this IRL Events Working Group, please fill out this survey.


THANKS
Our thanks to everyone that took part in the survey, the many industry professionals, brands and sponsors that shared their feedback and to the admins, fellow members and ApeComms Team for their continued support and advisement.

SSP
“IRL is Magical”

10 Likes

Magical indeed! This recap was a fascinating read, thank you @ssp1111!

I have much to say, but the first is that upon visiting the survey link you provided, I’ve filled out all required fields but am encountering some errors.

  1. Discourse Handle: only allows for numerical entries, no letters.
  2. Twitter Handle: appears to not register one’s handle correctly. For example, I’ve typed in “@LogicallyCrypto” and the error message reads “please enter a part followed by @. @LogicallyCrypto is incomplete” and no subsequent variation of that entry is permitted.
  3. Discord Handle: see #2

I love these results, love the initiative and look forward to hopefully lending my skills to this upcoming AIP.

Fascinating that people not only don’t want a Large Scale event, but that you went with Option C despite the results. Well-reasoned, of course and I don’t disagree. It’s just an interesting set of results.

Anyway, I hope you can move to fix the survey. I’d hate for qualified, passionate potential contributors to be discouraged from participating.

5 Likes

Ok, a follow-up: the form is forcing users to enter an email address.

For example, in “Twitter Handle” I can’t just use @LogicallyCrypto. I was forced to enter LogicallyCrypto@gmail.com. This came after countless attempts to figure out where I was going wrong.

The Discord Handle also requires the same: email address format. My Discord is “Chris aka Crypto Logically #2279.” I was forced to enter “ChrisakaCryptoLogically#2279@gmail.com” in order for it to submit properly.

Just some feedback, hopefully the Reform format will allow for changes to this template. Again, would hate for users to be discouraged by this hiccup.

[NOTE: none of those are my actual email address, just workarounds I entered to identify the problem]

4 Likes

Thank you @ssp1111 for the recap. I’m thinking to organize an IRL event in China since there are many people interested in web3 in general or Ape while they may not be ApeCoin holders. I’ll have to ask you for some details of the past events held in the US and learn from them. Overall it’s a good way to catch people’s attention to Ape, and I want to apply for the events in 2023. :smiley:

6 Likes

I love that you did such an in-depth feasibility study, disproved the original assumption, and arrived at a different result. Great job with the research.

I’m looking forward to the creation of another working group to facilitate smaller events and local meetups!

4 Likes

Haha - thanks for the form feedback – try it now

Try it now. Using a new form builder from a pretty new startup – always love supporting fellow founders.

Thanks for the kind words. Just a few thoughts:

  • In-depth - yes
  • Disproved original assumption - yes
  • Arrived at a different result - not really

I still think that anyone that wants to produce a mid-scale festival or event should consider working on getting their format, dates, location/venue, etc together and then write-up a proposal. Hopefully, they’ll take note of the macro-economic conditions and adjust accordingly while also factoring in the AIP process.

We just felt that the DAO also requires an Events Support Service/Team to help propagate multiple smaller local, meetups, workshops, educational events with a KPI measured by # of new wallets.

That’s where I can provide value and it’s the next step to this proposal. Hopefully, like-minded members with event experience will lend their expertise to the follow-up AIP.

Cheers
SSP

2 Likes

Thanks for the reply ChrisL.

Looking through the results, unfortunately we didn’t get any responses from China (again, that is due to our own limited reach) so I don’t have anyone I can connect you with locally.

But as you say, you can learn from the events held in the US, determine what might work in China and start small. Always have the end in mind - meaning who is the audience, what is the purpose of the event and how does this benefit the ApeCoin DAO?

Start with actual dates, locations, venues, format and get them sort of penciled in before writing up a proposal idea - keep in mind the macro-economic environment and the AIP process.

Good luck with those tasks, we’re here to help when you have them in hand.

Cheers - SSP✌🏽

2 Likes

Thanks for the suggestions. Those are good questions to start with. Actually I was not asking for local connections. I have the resources or could reach out to most (if not all) connections of IRL events in China. That’s why I’d like to try and maybe I could be the response from China for you soon. :smile:

4 Likes

Great work SSP! Loved reading the thread. IRL Events are always great to have :slight_smile:

3 Likes

Hey hey Chris,

We have a follow-up IRL Events Working Group proposal coming soon – is that something you’d be interested in, especially as a Regional Lead? It’s a very part-time role to begin with, but sure could use some representation in China.

Let me know,

Cheers - SSP

2 Likes

Yo @ssp1111 I’m absolutely interested in this role. Actually I’ve recently connected with some web2 big brands in China who are interested in Ape and could have potential exposure in the IRL events. One thing is, crypto is sensitive on the legal side in China so I have to be very careful about the title. Let’s move to DMs and talk about the details. Cheers. :smile:

3 Likes