May 18, 2023

Super conference VeeCon opens in Indianapolis

Gary Vaynerchuck addresses a group of media members. (Jill Sheridan/WFYI)

Gary Vaynerchuck addresses a group of media members. (Jill Sheridan/WFYI)

A conference featuring leaders of business, technology and pop culture kicks off Thursday in Indianapolis.

Headed by entrepreneur and social media influencer Gary Vaynerchuck, or Gary Vee, VeeCon is a conference focused on technology and innovation.  He said he brings the event to places that align with his core values.

“In cities and towns that I deem having nice people in it,” he said. “I think that Midwest nice thing is real.”

The inaugural event was held last year in Minneapolis and was the first-ever non-fungible token, or NFT, ticketed event. It’s also able to attract some big names who will speak during the conference, including actors Drew Barrymore and Neil Patrick Harris.

Up to 10,000 people are expected at the event.  Visit Indy Chief Marketing Officer Chris Gahl said while it’s smaller than other conventions, VeeCon brings other benefits. 

“It's invaluable marketing and media exposure, so that people across the globe go ‘wow, Indy, what are they hosting Veecon – I follow this person, I'm intrigued with the city's capabilities’, and ultimately that helps us in the long run,” Gahl said.

The conference comes at a time when Indianapolis continues to invest in convention business. Gahl said Visit Indy has targeted a more diverse line-up of conventions that includes the emerging technology sector.

“It's a unique opportunity for us not only to showcase tech in our culture, and to welcome A-List celebrities and very influential social media influencers – it's a chance to host two very unique events simultaneously,” Gahl said.

Visitors from all over the world are also in town for the upcoming Indianapolis 500 this week. VeeCon will use space at Lucas Oil Stadium instead of the convention center.

Contact WFYI city government and policy reporter Jill Sheridan at Follow on Twitter: @JillASheridan.

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