Greg Oakford: Australia’s ‘NFT Guy’

The Co-Founder of NFT Fest Australia, a leading web3 conference that has gained global attention for its quality of content, grade A speaker line-up, and powerful networking opportunities, Greg Oakford has built a strong global network within the blockchain ecosystem. 

He recently took on a new role as Head of Partnerships & Growth at Upside, an Australian web3 hub and capital allocator backed by a collection of Australia’s most successful web3 founders and contributors to help shape the next iteration of the internet. With a physical working space in Melbourne, Upside is a melting pot for web3 talent and startups.

Before his pivot to the web3 world, Greg spent 14 years in the sports industry. Most recently, he was the Senior Manager of Marketing at Golf Australia. He continued to level up and made connections with peers at Major League Baseball, EPL, NFL, WWE, NBA, and the list goes on. A self proclaimed ‘sports junkie,’ the web3 world clicked with him instantly when he was able to make the connection to his childhood basketball card collections and the concept of NFTs. The NBA TopShot project was one of his ‘penny drop moments’ that got him hooked. There was a high velocity and intensity to the running of professional sports events that he now brings to the world of web3. 

Greg had run millions of dollars’ worth of targeted ad campaigns on platforms like Facebook. There was a first mover advantage he discovered, and he convinced reluctant clients to devote more funds to digital advertising back in 2012-13. He had sort of a ‘come to Satoshi’ moment when he was playing around with the BAYC collection. He realized he could join the community and tag the digital bathroom wall on their website, all with the project knowing no details about him. All he needed was token gated access. This tossed the concept of targeted marketing on its head and he realized the internet as we know it was going to change, and he wanted to be a part of it. 

“NFTs just hit me like a Tsunami,” Greg said. He explored generative art and several niche topics and found a place in blockchain. This led him to launching the first NFT Fest Australia in September of 2021. Scheduled during the lockdowns, NFT Fest started as an online only event but had nearly 5K registrations. Greg was floored. He anticipated maybe 500 tops. While still learning the industry himself, he became “The NFT Guy” in Australia. 

Two weeks after the fall of FTX, Greg held another event. Speakers flew in from all over the APAC region and they had 1K people attend the two-day IRL event. The who’s who of the Australian and New Zealand market made an appearance. 

There is a national body called Blockchain Australia that Greg has also collaborated with, pulling together their NFT/Metaverse day as part of 2022 Australian Blockchain Week at Marvel Stadium. He also has a weekly podcast called the Ape ‘n’ Bird Show with co-host @day25 and writes a regular NFT column for Cointelegraph. 

“The thing that I love the most about it, is it’s always new and exciting and it does test you at times,” Greg said. NFT Fest plans to have a future event soon but no date is set yet. Their goal is always to showcase the best builders, projects, and ideas globally but with a focus on the APAC region. 

At the end of the month, Greg will be hosting a panel at Australian Blockchain Week on June 30. He will be speaking with Stacey-Ann Pearson from Amazon Web Services, Katherin Boiciuc of the Web3 Effect, and Steve from NFTeams.

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