GovHack ETHDenver 2024 - Impact Report - Hack Humanity

Arbitrum GovHack - ETHDenver 2024 - Impact Report


The ArbitrumDAO GovHack took place over 3 days, hosted together with Hack Humanity, a combination of Governance Bootcamp and Open Community showcase during the week before ETHDenver.

The fastest way to grok the GovHack vibe, accomplishments and potential for the future is to watch the 3-minute aftermovie here:

This event was conceived by Hack Humanity, see the original pitch, forum post, it was then co-designed with ArbitrumDAO, the Foundation and ecosystem partners to leverage the collective intelligence of its members with the goal of enhancing the Arbitrum ecosystem.

It aimed to not only accelerate the DAO’s operations through the development of governance-related projects but also to foster deeper relationships and attract those curious about DAOs, thereby expanding the community.

The Results

  • Codesigned Mapathon with 8 key tracks of focus identified
  • 10 final tracks established by the community in the event
  • 100+ Bootcamp participants
  • 200+ total participants
  • 23 teams established
  • 23 proposals submitted: 100% submission rate!
  • 5 winning finalists
  • $15k prize pool awarded
  • 16 projects demo-ed at the Open Community Day
  • 9.1 star rating and 67% NPS from participants

Thank you to the delegates and community leads who participated intentionally and consistently over the three days. You played a significant role in making this event a valuable growth experience for the DAO. A special thanks goes out to:

Alex (Savvy), Disruption Joe & Shawn (Plurality Labs), DK (Premia), CoinflipCanada (GMX), Soby (Xai Games), Krzysztof (L2Beat), Cattin (SeedLatam), Griff (Giveth, General Magic), Limes.eth, 404 DAO, Matt (Blockworks), Dan (Vela), Frission (Tally), Daniel (RnDAO)

Objectives & Goals of the Arbitrum GovHack

The Arbitrum GovHack, a 3-day experience held during ETHDenver, was designed to foster growth, trust, and innovation across the Arbitrum ecosystem. This initiative addressed the inherent challenges of building within distributed organizations, where governance ideation and collaboration thrive on deep relationships. However, such relationships are often hard to develop in rapidly growing digital spaces characterized by anonymity, sporadic rhythms of engagement and limited face-to-face interactions.

GovHack set out to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Accelerate how we work together as a DAO and an ecosystem

  2. Deepen human relationships & support systems among DAO contributors

  3. Identify and take action on cross-collaboration opportunities

  4. Attract DAO curious bystanders to learn more and get their hands dirty

  5. Ship in-depth proposals for long-term engagement


To ensure these objectives were met, Hack Humanity employed various strategies, including building:

These efforts aimed to ensure that the event:

  • was value aligned with the DAO constitution
  • relevant and strategically aligned with DAO needs and goals
  • attracted the right talent
  • curated good problems to work on, these were represented as Tracks and Challenge Statements
  • appropriate and effective incentivisation mechanisms to attract the right talent, matched to the right problem, resourced with what they need to innovate

Tracks and ideal Talent Profiles identified

This ambitious set of objectives sought not only to accelerate the pace of innovation and collaboration within the Arbitrum ecosystem but also to establish a model for how distributed organizations can foster deep trust and cooperation, crucial for achieving governance ideation and collaborative success.

Deliverables, KPIs and Milestones:

  • Consult on organizational focused calls with the Foundation team prior to GovHack

  • Lead mapathon process, public governance calls with delegates and community members to identify potential working groups, hackathon Tracks, Challenge Statements, Contributor Talent profiles

  • Outreach, recruitment, and assess and consulted for advice on participants, built the team of co-facilitators, mentors, judges

  • Design incentive mechanics, prizes, submission criteria, judging criteria

  • Design and facilitated in-person working groups on Day 1 and Day 2 of GovHack

  • Interviews with delegates and community members during GovHack

  • Lead impact report & governance call for the ArbitrumDAO community after the ArbGov Hack event to discuss what was successful, what could be done better, and potential next steps

  • Design custom GovHack t-shirts & stickers for participants and crew

  • Media & storytelling: 3 daily recap videos produced, daily tweet threads posted on Arbitrum’s social account, live interviews conducted with key stakeholders and participants, aftermovie, panels, and demo day recordings.

  • Community Showcase Day on Day 3:
    5 Final Pitches
    3 Panels
    16 demo day showcases of existing Arbitrum projects

Achievements and Outcomes

Expert Educational Talks

At the Governance Bootcamp Day 1 & 2, two educational talks were hosted by Disruption Joe and Devansh Mehta to give participants more insight into how their proposals fit into the DAO and offer guidance around forum writing and submissions.

  1. Principles for Implementing a Pluralist Grants Framework] by Disruption Joe
  1. “Writing for the Forum” by Devansh Mehta

Expert Pitstop

On Day 2, we curated an “Expert Pitstop” team of knowledgeable stakeholders to offer live feedback and consultation as teams prepared their proposals for submission. The Pitstop ran for several hours, allowing each team to spend dedicated time with delegates and get the right context and inputs to create more viable proposals.
The Pitstop proved itself invaluable, and was commented on as one of the most valuable offerings of the whole event, talented teams could rapidly get their ideas levelled up with rare access to key decision makers and knowledge holders in the DAO.

Pitstop included: CoinFlipCanada, DK, Disruption Joe, Tnorm

Feedback on the format and value of the Expert Pitstop:

“There are a lot of people who have already been working on proposals, and having a lot of the delegates in the same room allows you to move very quickly - you get some feedback, action it, go back for more feedback, iterate and refine it and that is quite valuable.

The education cycle and getting buy-in and understanding politically what is going to be viable for the DAO takes months, and who is paying for those months? So being able to short-cut it and fast track it is incredibly valuable to increase the throughput of proposals that can actually see the light of day.”

-Daniel Ospina, RnDAO

Summary of Proposal Submissions:

23 proposals were submitted on Day 2 of the Governance Bootcamp, following the established submission guidelines: a written proposal + 3 min video pitch.

Proposals can be found here: Arbitrum GovHack Submissions

5 judges selected 5 finalists by the end of Day 2.

The Judges:

These finalists went on to each deliver a live pitch on Day 3’s Open Community Day. Winners were selected by community vote by those in attendence.

Results of Community Vote and Finalists breakdown:

  • First Place: Team 13 - DAO BD Strategy: proposes initiating a DAO Business Development program using Questbook to attract projects from other chains and the Web2 space to Arbitrum, with an initial focus on the gaming sector and a $150,000 grant pool. Full proposal here.

  • Second Place: Team 11 - Introduce Contributor Onboarding to Arbitrum DAO: proposes a streamlined onboarding process for Arbitrum DAO contributors, featuring automated emails, videos, and a detailed handbook, aiming for efficient integration. The plan seeks 50,000 ARB tokens for a three-month project implementation. Full proposal here.

  • Third Place: Team 20 - Contributor Mining / Get the Contributors Paid: proposes creating a Human Capital DAO within Arbitrum to introduce contributor mining, aiming to attract and retain talent with scalable incentives and fostering a culture that significantly values contributions. Full proposal here.

  • Fourth Place: Team 8 - Better BD / Branding for Gaming in ARB: aims to boost Arbitrum’s gaming sector through targeted business development and enhanced branding efforts, targeting a 25% growth in gaming projects and faster market launches. The strategy involves consulting services, a comprehensive study of vendors, and establishing a dedicated website for preferred vendors, with a budget of $105K-$115K. Full proposal here.

  • Fifth Place: Team 5 - Backup Sequencers: Team 5 suggests enhancing Arbitrum’s network resilience by introducing backup sequencers to reduce downtime and censorship risks, proposing Coinbase and Node Guardians as electable backups. This strategy aims to safeguard user experience and DAO revenue, requiring minimal code changes for implementation. More information on the proposal is available here.

Final Pitches Video Playlist

To view the remaining 18 submissions, visit Arbitrum GovHack Submissions on the Forum.

Impact on Arbitrum DAO and Ecosystem

Accelerate how we work together as a DAO and an ecosystem

Participants signaled an increase in confidence around the proposal submission process and DAO priorities. Anecdotally we heard multiple times from top delegates that they’d accomplished more in 2 days than in months.

"It’s been an interesting few days at GovHack. The DAO has created a backlog of initiatives and ideas that we’d like to explore, over the last 6 months. In 2 days of same-room collaboration, with a bunch of talented and creative minds, we were able to take action and drive change forward. The amount of work that’s been done in this 2-day sprint is way more than I had ever anticipated.

-DK, Delegate and Founder

Deepen human relationships & support systems

Many people were excited to meet people in person that they’d been working with online for months. Our surveys also indicate that many new connections were formed, which is important as the majority of participants also signaled that they were new to the DAO.

“There are a lot of great people in Arbitrum that you only meet on the other end of a computer screen.

In most of web3, we don’t have those personal connections. We don’t have the ability to go out and meet with somebody, we talk to them through platforms and a lot of times those forms of communication are not good for async relationships. So this is bonding. this is the chance to go meet somebody you had a disagreement with and build a human connection, so that the next time when you disagree with somebody or see something differently, you know it’s a human on the other end - and it just makes life so much easier when I can see that I know that person, I have a personal connection with them and they just see things differently than I do.

So this is web3 bonding - this is what this is.”

-Shawn L. Grubb

Identify and act on cross-collaboration opportunities

The dedicated IRL environment and structured program offered opportunities for projects and partners to connect in new ways and evaluate key challenges together.

Example: proposal from an emerging collaboration between Event Horizon, 404DAO, Matt Fiebach, Jengajojo (DAOplomats) due to ideation on the ground at GovHack

“I love the setting in how a hackathon forces people who might not have collaborated before to indeed collaborate. The diversity of experience and thought creates some truly innovative approaches to problem-solving that is difficult to achieve solely on the internet."

-DK, Delegate and Founder

Attract DAO curious bystanders to learn more and get their hands dirty

The event served a welcoming environment for non-technical participants who were new to the Arbitrum DAO and broader ecosystem. The poll we ran on Day 1 indicates that over half of participants have been connected to the ecosystem for less than 6 months.

“The same way we focus on iterating and building our technology, we do need to do the same thing on the human capital side of what we’re building and I think this [GovHack] was wonderful. The fact is there were many people who were only newly exposed to Arbitrum, who went and dedicated some time. They now have a sense of how their involvement is going to help move Arbitrum forward.”


I think the [event] activities are really helping some of the newbies, those who come with less context of the DAO, to understand what could be valuable. Which is often one of the problems - you join a forum and there are a bunch of posts, and you don’t really know where to go. The key to really understanding, to really be able to participate, is the social relationships. We think that DAOs are trustless, but behind that there is this whole social network and unless you are part of that community, you cannot operate it.

-Daniel Opsina, Founder of RnDAO

Ship in-depth proposals for long-term engagement

23 proposals were launched during the event, which can be found here on the forum. These proposals are now underway for review and iteration over the coming months.

“I think what resonated the most with me [from this event] is the energy and the feeling of being able to do something…that actually we have some power, some ability to move things forward. This has been quite evident in the crowd, that everyone feels that the reason why they spend 2 days working on those proposals is because they really believe they can make it happen. And now we need to make sure that they actually can. So that was awesome - I want more of it.”

-Krzysztof Urbański

“It’s been quite exciting because it provides an opportunity for people to meet different DAO contributors and delegates and get feedback on proposals that they’ve been thinking about for months, like myself.

I think that I received a lot of great feedback that will provide me with an opportunity to refine the proposal that I’ve already submitted so that it can be more successful.”


Event Overview

Highlights & Key Data

10 Established Tracks

  • Betting on Builders
  • Contributor Onboarding, Activation & Engagement
  • Game Development & Incentives
  • ARB Token Liquidity
  • Sequencer
  • DAO BD Strategy
  • Orbit Adoption Strategy
  • Grants Ecosystem
  • DAO Operational Excellence
  • Strategic Big Bets

23 teams formed

23 proposals submitted (100% submission rate on the forum)

5 judges

  • Emiliano Bonassi: Researcher at
  • Krzysztof Urbański: Governance Lead, L2Beat
  • DK: Co-Founder, Premia
  • Rob Benhke: CEO & CoFounder, Halborn
  • Cattin: Freelance Designer

5 finalists winning a combined total of $15k in prizes

Open Community Day


Krzysztof Urbański (@kaereste) from L2Beat

DistruptionJoe from ThriveProtocol interview

Soby from XAI interview


  • Panel 1 - Abitrum Grants Ecosystem
  • Panel 2 - Contributor’s Dilemma
  • Panel 3 - DAO Orbit Strategy

Demo Day

17 projects demo-ed on the Open Community Day

Hack Humanity worked with Amin Iman, who took the initiative to organize and led the sourcing and coordination of all startups that were featured in our project showcase for Open Community Day.

Demo Day Playlist:

Participant Experience

Participant demographics and registration data

Each day of the event, attendees were checked-in via the Luma event app.

  • 107 attendees checked-in over the 2-day hackathon

  • 192 total check-ins over the entire event*

*actual numbers are somewhat higher as a few attendees were not checked in, and this does not include the Arbitrum Foundation attendance or the Hack Humanity crew

Breakdown of attendee demographics from live polls:

“It was a delight to see a microcosm of the DAO in real life, with the same energy, creativity, initiative-taking and enthusiasm as on the DAO’s various digital platforms. It also highlighted that anyone can be who they want in the DAO. More importantly, that despite working with trustless technology, human trust cannot be replaced. This human trust is something that GovHack helped develop”.

-Raam, Arbitrum Foundation

"It’s been an interesting few days at GovHack. The DAO has created a backlog of initiatives and ideas that we’d like to explore, over the last 6 months. In 2 days of same-room collaboration, with a bunch of talented and creative minds, we were able to take action and drive change forward. The amount of work that’s been done in this 2 day sprint is way more than I had ever anticipated.

I love the setting in how a hackathon forces people who might not have collaborated before to indeed collaborate. The diversity of experience and thought creates some truly innovative approaches to problem-solving that is difficult to achieve solely on the internet."

-DK, Delegate and Founder

“A community organized bootcamp with 4 weeks notice led to 23 submissions of potential proposals to the ArbitrumDAO. It was one of the rare events where most attendees were engaged and not hanging out in the hallway networking. I have a feeling that this in-person experience is a turning point for the ArbitrumDAO. Excited to see what happens next.

Probably the greatest thing to come from this event is evidence that contributors are indeed empowered and when people are actually empowered to do something then they will step up and kick ass. ArbitrumDAO governance is truly alive and it’s going from strength to strength every month.”

-Patrick McCorry via Twitter, Arbitrum Foundation

“The whole goal of this event was to get more proposals in the DAO and to have people write better proposals. And while we I think succeeded, to be honest it went above my expectations, we need to make sure we use this potential going forward.

I think what resonated the most with me is the energy and the feeling of being able to do something…that actually we have some power, some ability to move things forward. This has been quite evident in the crowd, that everyone feels that the reason why they spend 2 days working on those proposals is because they really believe they can make it happen. And now we need to make sure that they actually can. So that was awesome - I want more of it.”

-Krzysztof Urbański

“One thing most people miss out about DAOs, because we focus on the technology, is DAOs are people. It’s bringing people together, it’s bringing diversity of ideas, diversity of thought, collectively moving these efforts forward. So I actually think GovHack is honestly an awesome idea.

The same way we focus on iterating and building our technology, we do need to do the same thing on the human capital side of what we’re building and I think this was wonderful. The fact is there were many people who were only newly exposed to Arbitrum, who went and dedicated some time. They now have a sense of how their involvement is going to help move Arbitrum forward.”

  • CoinFlipCanada

“EthDenver was a blast, and the Arbitrum GovHack stole my heart. Exploring the vibrant ecosystem and governance was so enjoyable, and snagging second place was the cherry on top. Huge thanks to the Arbitrum Foundation and Hack Humanity for putting it all together. Excited to ship our proposal in the upcoming weeks, catch you in the forum!”

  • Heather, Finalist from Team 11

“I think that there were many opportunities for us to talk to the different judges and delegates to get feedback, and I think the team was really helpful in kind of navigating how we should act and what our schedules are, so I had a pretty positive experience.”

I met a lot of online individuals who have legs and are humans so that was really cool, and I think the more that we have in person events the more the community can connect on a more human level.”

  • Feems

Participant polls & results:

Over the course of the 3-day event, we ran numerous surveys to collect live feedback from GovHack participants around the connections they were forming on the ground, the learnings they were acquiring around the Arbitrum governance process, and their overall experience of the event.

Results were very positive, showing an increase in confidence amongst attendees around creating viable proposals. The majority of participants indicated that they connected with 6-25+ new people in the ecosystem, which correlates well to the fact that many participants in the room were new to the DAO.

An NPS score of 67% was established at the end of Day 2 of the Governance Bootcamp:

Survey Day 1:

Survey Day 2:


New Connections:

Qualitative Feedback from Polls:

Positive Feedback

  • Event Structure: Participants appreciated the event’s structure, timing, facilitation, and the quality of interactions.
  • Networking Opportunities: The focus on discussions and the chance to meet knowledgeable members, builders, and delegates at the Arbitrum DAO were highlighted as positive aspects.

Areas for Improvement

  • Team Formation: Feedback suggested the need for better matching of participants based on interests and discouraged allowing pre-planned projects to prevent the formation of exclusive groups.
  • Clarity in Instructions: There was confusion about whether participants should stay at one table or move around, affecting networking opportunities. A lack of clarity in assignments with teams struggling to understand their goals and the metrics for success was noted.
  • Information and Preparation: Suggestions were made to provide summaries of the DAO’s governance model to better understand the organizational structures. Participants also expressed a desire for more information about bounties and track details.

Recommendations for Future Events

  • Improving the Environment: A recommendation was made for a quieter event space, possibly with carpeting, to help manage noise levels during main gatherings.
  • Enhancing Team Collaboration: To improve team collaboration and maintain energy levels, clearly written challenge statements by teams and the introduction of mid-day energy-boosting exercises were suggested.
  • Addressing Small Group Challenges: Small groups faced challenges due to overextended community leads, indicating a need for better support structures for smaller teams and better guidance to the community leads.

The Hack Humanity media team recorded all presentations, pitches and panels throughout the event and filmed numerous interviews with key participants, delegates and participants.

  • 11 dedicated interviews
  • 17 demos from the open Community Day
  • 3 Panels from the Open Community Day
  • 2 Talks with Disruption Joe & Devansh
  • 5 Finalist Pitches

Via a co-marketing strategy between the ArbitrumDAO and Hack Humanity, the Hack Humanity media team produced daily recap videos and tweet thread copy to support storytelling throughout the event. These were posted via the Arbitrum X account in collaboration with the Foundation team.

Day 1 Recap:

33k views | 43 reposts | 207 likes

Day 2 Recap:

28.4k views | 50 reposts | 217 likes

Day 3 Recap:

Additional social posts:

Key Takeaways & Learnings

Key Learnings:

  • IRL time accelerates collaborative work within the DAO because attention is focused and the right stakeholders are accessible for immediate feedback
  • This kind of non-technical event is attractive to both newcomers and existing contributors, as seen by the breakdown of attendee participation
  • Contributors find dedicated IRL access to delegates extremely valuable in the ideation phase. The Pitstop panel on Day 2 received very positive feedback
  • There was a lack of participation from more Delegates and key protocols in the Mapathon, which constrained the depth and breadth of the tracks and challenge statements that were identified as important for the DAO
  • There were gaps in IRL participation from key ecosystem stakeholders during the 3 days because GovHack’s scheduling was alongside other key events in Denver, so people were pulled in different directions and unable to give full dedicated time to the participants. This lessened the overall quality of the event as often Community Leads were stretched thin to guide the conversation around their track and support newcomers
  • The tight preparation timeline of 4 weeks with budget constraints led to challenges in the event organization. There was limited time to engage more key stakeholders in the Mapathon design process, and the Hack Humanity team was spread very thin on organizational tasks such as raising the necessary additional sponsorship to support the increased attendee participation this took up capacity until the very last days before the event, the original budget for the Bootcamp/Community day was for 70/150 people, actual numbers: 109/200+.
  • Hack Humanity absorbed the cost of additional team staffing to accommodate the increased attendance without additional financial support; Hack Humanity also funded out-of-pocket additional media production over the level provided by the Foundation to generate quality media and storytelling to demonstrate the value of full high-end production media to bring the DAO and voices of the DAO to life. In addition, graphics design, t-shirt design, and decor design without a budget in order to demonstrate to Arbitrum what a high-quality production looks like. This needs to be funded properly for subsequent events.
  • The high number of tracks, while promoting inclusion, also split attention more widely and made it difficult to go deeper on key topics
  • People are excited to hack and will even organize themselves and their teams in advance of the event. The total team numbers nearly doubled on Day 2 (from 13 to 23) due to new teams showing up ready to submit proposals. While perhaps a good problem to have, this also presented challenges in catering, equipment, the hackathon structure as submission criteria and judging process needed to be adjusted dynamically to allow for more time to process the larger numbers.
  • The quality of templates and guidance for proposal writing can be improved for participants, especially with the high number of newcomers to the DAO. Teams asked many questions looking for guidance on what constitutes a good proposal.
  • Community voting was well-received but limited to a small pool of voters due to the IRL attendance at that particular time of day on Day 3.
  • With more lead time, we could attract more sponsors to make the event more viable and sustainable, with a larger prize pool to incentivize contributions.

Recommendation for Future Events

  • With more lead time and budget, a stronger program design and event plan could be established with smoother execution on the ground.
  • There needs to be extreme clarity on submission criteria in advance, with contingency plans in place for sudden growth, to ensure a smooth participant experience in following events.
  • A proposal framework should be prepared for the next event to provide newcomers with better guidance to start out with.
  • A commitment from key delegates and stakeholders to be present for the Mapathon design process to ensure the most important challenges of the DAO are adequately prioritized and represented. Commitment to in-person presence for the full duration of the event would increase the quality significantly, both for the participant’s experience and for the quality of the project outputs. This is one of the core components of the event’s unique value offering.
  • Consider extending the length of the event to provide participants with more time to work on their proposals. Day 1 was consumed with organization around tracks and team formations, and Day 2 proved to be extremely valuable for feedback, iteration and generation of projects. A third and/or 4th day would allow for more comprehensive content and refinement of ideas.
  • If positioning these types of events alongside a major conference, consider choosing a venue within walking distance / very close proximity to allow for higher foot traffic.
  • A cap on the number of demo projects may be advisable, and positioning the pitches earlier in the day when the energy levels of the room are higher. May be interesting to consider incentives for feedback and participation from the audience.
  • Finalist presentations and community voting could be designed for future events to be more inclusive across the wider DAO using experiments via online participation.


Key achievements of the GovHack include the establishment of meaningful connections among participants, many of whom were new to the DAO space, the identification and fostering of cross-collaboration opportunities, and the empowerment of participants through educational talks and expert feedback sessions. The event’s design increased the quality and quantity of governance proposals, showcasing the practical benefits of in-person collaboration in a digital-first community.

Looking forward, the insights gained from this event should guide future initiatives, with a focus on refining event structure, enhancing collaborative opportunities, and ensuring more inclusive participation across the DAO. The success of GovHack serves as a testament to the vibrant potential of the Arbitrum community and sets the stage for further innovation and engagement in the ecosystem. Overall, GovHack was not just a meeting of minds but a pivotal moment that is likely to influence the trajectory of the Arbitrum DAO positively, paving the way for a more connected and dynamic future.

Thank you from team Hack Humanity. Let’s do this again!


All Videos Playlist:



If you attended, I’d love to hear your direct feedback on the event as a reply here, and suggestions for how we improve the next GovHack?

Everyone else, any questions or comments, I’d love to read them.


Cross posting to the next proposal for GovHack ETHcc Brussels:

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My understanding that the event targets arbitrum specific issues.

Is there a way to organize teams prior to the event and read through the grants, areas that the projects should target during the event?

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Hi Pavel, I’ll be conducting a mapathon community co-design process to determine the most relevant and hot topics and challenge statements we can focus on at GovHack, this will happen early June as a series of online workshops. I’ll announce those on the Forum when ready and get them on the community google calendar.
This will be an opportunity for you to find potential teammates and suggest and determine a topic you’d like to focus on.

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Absolutely, can not wait for the event.

I am currently building EVM Smart Contract Explorer to discover and track EVM smart contracts data.

I would really appreciate potential direction and feedback on the utility of blockhain as an api.

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Amazing, I just casually went over the prices for the venues in Brussels, I am somewhat concerned with the estimated expenses for Brussels event. Did you by any chance submit expenses for Eth Denver Event?

Cross posting reply on venue and budget