TOKEN2049: The 'unconference' with mirror men and llamas

The crypto currency event that redefined what content and experiences should look like at a conference.

Elaine Byrne, Project Director, Sledge talks about attracting senior leaders by adopting an unconference approach...

The organisers of TOKEN2049, the leading event for the crypto industry, sought to host their first European event in central London in October 2021. Due to the close-knit nature of this community and the immense value they see in face-to-face networking, it was vital that this be an in-person experience, and that it attract an audience of primarily C-level decision makers.

Known for defining what’s next in the crypto space, TOKEN2049 wanted to stay true to its reputation, by adopting an unconference approach, and ensuring the event featured a varied range of sessions, meet ups and workshops with the sector’s pioneers, influencers, early believers, and opinion leaders.

The unconference approach

The two-day event featured 100+ speakers, and a unique content programme which was specially designed to resonate with the forward-thinking crypto audience. Together the speakers delivered insightful sessions across two stages and in a varied range of formats, such as TED style talks in lieu of longer form keynotes, as well as panels, discussions, and soapbox presentations.

In keeping in line with the unconference approach, TOKEN2049 featured baristas that entertained guests as they made their creations, and surprising stunts at every turn, including interactive mirror men artists, LED drummers, and the presence of llamacorns. Part llama, part unicorn, they are the conference's spirit animal and symbolise the next stage on from a crypto unicorn - a company valued at more than $1billion by venture capitalists.

The event also featured an immersive exhibition comprising 39 booths, where guests could explore and meet with key suppliers to the industry, and a VIP lounge which was equipped with a livestream to the main stage content.

Sledge designed, produced and managed the entire event, a remit that involved managing show rehearsals, technical run-throughs and onsite crew, designing the staging, and overseeing all sessions from a production and technical perspective - ensuring a seamless and engaging experience from start to finish.

The team developed roaming entertainment solutions to surprise and delight, created the exhibition space - including the design of two custom booths, produced branded content such as opening videos, video stings and transitions, designed, produced and installed all on-site branding, and handled the registration process, catering, VIP experiences, and welcome drinks for guests, speakers and exhibitors.

Additionally, to ensure TOKEN2049 could indeed go ahead as an in-person experience, Sledge played an important role in evolving the event’s format and capacity in line with changing restrictions, and updated its COVID-19 health and safety plan accordingly.

Decision makers and information sharers

The event was an immense success, first and foremost because it was able to be held as an in-person experience. It attracted over 1,000 entrepreneurs, investors, developers, industry enthusiasts and global media from more than 50 countries. Of these, 76% were C-level executives, highlighting that the event format and programme appealed to TOKEN2049’s target audience.

Over 100 journalists attended the event, which resulted in coverage across key local and international titles such as Bloomberg, Business Insider, City A.M. and Financial News London.