POAP, short for Proof of Attendance Protocol, has emerged as a novel way of verifying attendance at an event. But what is its actual value and do POAPs have a future?
POAPs, presented in the form of NFTs, help prove that a person attended a specific event. Initially developed as a new means of keeping a reliable record of life experiences, POAP NFTs have started to be widely used by organizations as part of their loyalty programs and initiatives.
For example, Decentraland regularly sends POAPs to its users to commemorate special in-game events, such as the 10 million user party hosted by MetaMask in 2021. Other companies actively using Proof of Attendance Protocol NFTs include SushiSwap, Ethereum, Coach, TIME Magazine, FOX, and US Open.
What is POAP?
A POAP or Proof of Attendance Protocol refers to non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that prove a person has attended a certain event. Basically, these are badges that are supported by a cryptographic record and are sent to a person’s wallet as a reward for participating in certain activities.
The POAP acronym is also used to describe the collectibles themselves. The first POAP was created in 2019 at the ETHDenver Convention as a means of rewarding hackers who participated in a hackathon. In 2020, the POAP was migrated to the Ethereum xDai sidechain in order to achieve faster speeds and lower transaction costs.
How does the POAP work?
Proof of Attendance Protocol NFTs are minted via smart contracts on the Ethereum xDAi sidechain over the ERC-721 protocol. Each POAP is represented as a token (badge) that has a unique serial number. So when a person attends the event, this creates an attendance record with a timestamp recorded via a smart contract. POAP NFTs are required to be minted under a POAP smart contract address and have an image associated with the Protocol.
POAPs can be distributed in both digital and physical formats. Digital distribution requires participants to connect their crypto wallets and claim their badges according to what’s determined at the event. When it comes to physical distribution, the most common method is through a QR code. An event organizer can encourage attendees to download a POAP wallet and scan the QR code to get the badge.
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What are Proof of Attendance Protocol NFTs used for?
The most typical use cases for Proof of Attendance Protocol NFTs are:
- Attendance confirmation and sharing with your network of contacts
- Invitations to access private events
- Invitations to vote on protocols, join specific meetups, or participate in private chats
- Retained as collectibles by fans
There are two key types of users of POAP NFTs:
- Event organizers: Can apply POAPs as entry tickets for event activities or as a means of rewarding users for attending their events.
- Event attendees: Use POAPs as verified proof that they participated in a certain meetup, conference, or other event. Can also use POAPs as collectibles and trade them on NFT marketplaces.
What real-life use cases are there for Proof of Attendance Protocol NFTs?
To better understand the utility of Proof of Attendance Protocol NFTs, let’s quickly check out the ways different organizations apply POAPs in their events.
Lottie London, a makeup brand, used POAPs in their first metaverse party on Decentraland, held to celebrate party prom season. The company used POAPs as exclusive tickets, available only for the first 2,000 attendees directly through the Lottie London Walmart shopping page.
Decentraland regularly offers POAPs as evidence of visiting different events in their metaverse. Users can receive POAPs for attending a certain event or for fulfilling a special challenge.
The luxury brand Estée Lauder recently participated in Decentraland’s Metaverse Art Week with their unique POAPs designed by Dr. Alex Box, a renowned identity designer and one of the first women to pioneer Beauty Futurism.
Decentraland’s Art Week attendees were able to claim their POAPs at three different Estée Lauder stations. Once the POAP was claimed, users received exclusive access to upcoming Web3 activations.
What is the value of the Proof of Attendance Protocol?
POAPs can serve as digital memorabilia for people, helping them record important events in their lives. However, there are many more benefits in addition to that. POAPs can provide their holders with exclusive access to private communities and events. For example, it may be that the more POAPs you collect, the more power you will have in a POAP-exclusive community poll. This means that you will have an advantage if you want to weigh in on governance proposals.
POAPs can also help you build a good reputation within the community by creating a provable record of all meetups, conferences, and other events you attended and participated in.
Businesses can use POAPs as part of their loyalty program, for example, to incentivize users to participate in their events. Recently, the Bankless DAO community distributed crypto tokens through an airdrop to users that had claimed POAP NFTs in the past. Users who claimed more POAP NFTs received more tokens.
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How to set up POAP for your next event?
The process of creating POAPs is fairly simple. You need to follow five steps.
Step 1. Create a graphics file
Your file should be in PNG or APNG format. The shape of the file should be round and the suggested dimensions are 500 x 500 pixels.
Step 2. Upload your graphics file
Upload your file to the POAP Back Office and click on the “Create new POAP” button.
Step 3. Add the description
Enter the description of your event and POAP by adding details such as what the badge signifies, related websites, and the number of mint links you need. Keep in mind that the number of mint links should equal the number of people attending your event or the number of people that are eligible to claim your POAP.
Step 4. Get an email
After adding all the required details you will get an email with the POAP edit code and claim notes.
Step 5. Make changes if necessary
If you decide to make changes to your event you can do it by using the POAP edit code. However, you will have to wait till the POAP team manually approves your POAP before it goes live.
How to receive POAP as an attendee?
Depending on the organizer’s choice, you are likely to receive a POAP either through a QR code or a URL with the claim code. You can scan the QR code or enter the URL in a web browser to claim the POAP.
As POAPs are designed to be stored on Ethereum, you’ll need an Ethereum-compatible blockchain wallet to mint your POAP NFT.
Should your business incorporate POAPs?
One of the key goals of using POAPs is to boost audience engagement. It’s easy to incorporate POAPs into your existing business offering as a part of your loyalty program. This will enable you to connect with your customers and create exclusive rewards for them.
In addition, you may use POAP NFTs as a ticket to your event. For example, organizers can use POAPs to help charge fees for attending their events.
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Proof of Attendance Protocol NFTs are a relatively new advancement in Web3, yet the concept already boasts some interesting opportunities for event organizers and attendees. As more and more organizers experiment with POAPs, this trend is likely to continue.
Event planners can use POAPs to increase user engagement and build a community, while attendees have an opportunity to record notable events.
Whether you want to learn more about POAP use cases or alternative solutions that could help you increase customer loyalty and build a strong community around your project, feel free to contact our blockchain consultants
With nearly 10 years of experience in the blockchain domain, we’ve helped our clients tackle their toughest challenges and create solutions that strengthen user trust and engagement.