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NFT-ticketed convention welcomes 7,000 patrons

ASM Global-operated US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis recently hosted VeeCon, which ASM Global claims is the first-ever NFT-ticketed convention.

Launched by media mogul Gary Vaynerchuk, the inaugural VeeCon, which was produced by VeeFriends, was attended by 7,000 patrons from 47 states and 70 different countries. Some 83% of attendees were first-time visitors to Minnesota, according to VeeCon spokesperson, Maha Abouelenein.

According to calculations from VeeFriends, the event contributed an economic impact of $21m (£17.3m/€20.1m) to Minneapolis.

VeeCon is a multi-day conference with discussions and performances from leaders in the worlds of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and popular culture. The line-up included best-selling authors, icons in business, music, art, Web3 and sports.

Speakers included filmmaker Spike Lee, actors Mila Kunis and Eva Longoria, authors Deepak Chopra and Mark Manson; YouTuber Logan Paul, former One Director star Liam Payne, as well as artists Pharrell and Snoop Dogg.

Venue staff were trained on how to verify access through the show app because it was an NFT-ticketed event. Some 10,255 NTT tokens, which included access to VeeCon for three years, were purchased before the event.

Ron Bension, president and chief executive of ASM Global, said: “It’s more important than ever to gather communities together in person.

“Hosting VeeCon offers US Bank Stadium and ASM Global the opportunity to lead these large-scale events back to life. This launch event continues the upcoming business-meeting boom that we are seeing in Minneapolis and worldwide.”

US Bank Stadium is usually the home of the National Football League (NFL)’s Minnesota Vikings, but for the event the floor featured a main stage with 3,500 seats, four side stages, a Ferris wheel, a batting cage, lawn games, six food trucks and more.

The four-day event featured nightly concert performances by Wyclef Jean, GARZI, Lian Fan, Immasoul, Lil Polo Tee, Fresco Trey, Miquel.

John Drum, general manager of US Bank Stadium, added: “We were honoured to host the first major gathering of the VeeFriends community. There’s a ‘wow’ factor for attendees and first-time guests when they come into a venue like ours that has hosted Super Bowl LII and the 2019 NCAA Men’s Final Four.

“It was exciting to maximise the versatility of the stadium for a B2C event like this, and the VeeCon team took advantage of the unique space the venue offers.”