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Poll: Are you going to TRAFFIC or ICANN?

July 23, 2012domain conferences, Domain Services, Domaining, Domainnamewire, icann, trafficComments Off on Poll: Are you going to TRAFFIC or ICANN?

Two domain conferences in back-to-back weeks this fall.

After a long absence of North America domain name conferences, two are on tap for October: TRAFFIC in Fort Lauderdale October 7-10 and ICANN in Toronto October 14-19.

While both shows are sure to attract different crowds, there will surely be domain investors at both.

Which do you plan to attend? Answer the poll question and feel free to comment below.

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

© 2011.

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Are there fewer domain conferences or just different domain conferences?

July 18, 2012domain conferences, Domain Services, Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off on Are there fewer domain conferences or just different domain conferences?

There are only two big domainer conferences this year, but domainers still find opportunities to get together.

Two years ago you could have gone to a domain name conference every other month.

This year there are just two big domain conferences: DOMAINfest (which already took place) and the upcoming TRAFFIC conference in Fort Lauderdale.

Here at HostingCon I’ve had conversations with several people about this sudden lack of opportunities to get together.

But is that really the case?

One person pointed out that there are a lot more domainers attending ICANN meetings. My initial thought is this is because domainers are applying for new top level domains. But that same person pointed out something else: ICANN meetings are free.

It’s a good point. ICANN meetings are not only free, but more money goes into producing them than any domainer conference. (Thanks to domain investors’ fees paid to ICANN, of course.)

It doesn’t hurt that ICANN meetings are often held in some pretty cool locales.

Still, ICANN meetings are not domainer meetings. Domainers are outnumbered by policy wonks, attorneys, bureaucrats and Donut-eaters.

There are also events like HostingCon which attract many businesses in the domain investing industry (although not many individual domainers).

Next year TRAFFIC will add a second show in Las Vegas. I think this will bring us up to a reasonable number of domainer conferences spread throughout the year (assuming DOMAINfest goes through with its show again).

What do you think?

© 2011.

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5 Questions To Be Answered at Next Week’s TRAFFIC Conference

October 14, 2011domain conferences, Domain Services, Domaining, Domainnamewire, targeted trafficComments Off on 5 Questions To Be Answered at Next Week’s TRAFFIC Conference

The only TRAFFIC of the year is upon us.

This year TRAFFIC will host just one conference, which kicks off Sunday in Fort Lauderdale.

Last year there was a TRAFFIC conference just about every other month. Combined with other domain conferences it was simply too much. Having just one TRAFFIC this year means a greater concentration of domainers and a bigger focus on business.

Here are five questions to be answered next week in Fort Lauderdale.

1. How will the auction perform? This auction will be different from most other recent live domain auctions for a couple reasons. First, there will be no online bidding. This should make the technical aspects of the auction go much smoother. Seriously, when’s the last time that a live auction with online bidding went smoothly? Second, domain owners could pay to get their domains in the auction.

The auction list keeps getting bigger — 120 domains at last count. This is a little long for my tastes, but a well run auction will go quickly. I think the numbers will be bolstered by a handful of registry owned .xxx domains.

2. Will the venue top last year’s? The Ritz Carleton will surely be nice, but I also liked last year’s hotel in South Beach. It appears the Ritz is actually across the street from the beach rather than right on it like last year’s (although there’s a bridge to the beach). Still, Rick and Howard have signed up to host TRAFFIC at the Ritz again next year, so it must be a sweet venue.

3. Will the event have class? Last year’s TRAFFIC in Florida had some moments we’d all soon like to forget, such as one of the show promoters yelling at a representative of one of the domain industry’s biggest revenue sources at a party. Hopefully we won’t see that this year. Also, let’s remember that the domain industry isn’t the adult industry. .xxx is the big sponsor. That makes sense. But I hope the entire conference takes into consideration that this industry has both men and woman, and not all like the adult entertainment industry.

4. Any big news? I’m hearing whispers of some fairly big company and product announcements in conjunction with next year’s show. We’ll see.

5. What will attendance be?Since this is the only TRAFFIC this year I’m guessing the total number comes in around 250-300.

© 2011.

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First Ever IDN Event and Auction on Tap for New York in October

September 27, 2010domain conferences, Domain Services, Domaining, Domainnamewire, idn, idnsComments Off on First Ever IDN Event and Auction on Tap for New York in October

New York City event will educate about Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs).

IDN EventFew topics have received greater attention this year than IDNs. So it’s fitting that the first ever “IDN Event and Auction” will take place October 30, 2010 at the Haru Restaurant in New York City at 7 pm. The event is organized by IDNTools and will be sponsored by, Moniker and SnapNames.

The goal of the event is to educate domain registrants about IDNs, their value proposition, how to register them, the value of developing IDNs, the importance of connecting with local audiences, and we will also hold an IDN auction.

Although the agenda is not yet set, speakers include DotAsia CEO Edmon Chung, Elliot Silver, and Associated Cities Executive Director Patrick Carleton.

Early bird registration through October 1 is $99. After October 1 registration prices increase to $275.

© 2010.

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Energy and People Drove Epik’s First Developers Conference

September 22, 2010domain conferences, Domain Services, Domaining, Domainnamewire, epikComments Off on Energy and People Drove Epik’s First Developers Conference

My thoughts on last week’s conference in Seattle.

I’ve re-written this blog post a couple times as I try to get my head around the Epik Developers Conference last week in Seattle. I’m reflecting on what it means for Epik as well as for the domain community. This is no easy task.

So I’m going to punt and go with a stream-of-conscious. Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way first.

Professionalism – this is something often lacking in the domain name community. But it defined the Epik conference. First class hotel, food, and meeting space. More shocking was that everything started on time. It was like clockwork, never off by more than 10 minutes. That’s rare at a domain conference.

Content -Epik DevCon was a user conference. This means it focuses on giving clients information they need to have a mutually beneficial relationship with the company. About 60% of the content at DevCon was specific to Epik, including how its products are working, how people are getting the most out of Epik, and what’s coming in the future. The other 40% was more general, including SEO and social media.

People – as the first ever user conference for a startup, I guessed about 50-60 people would show up. I was wrong. 88 people registered, and a handful more came to the open events. That’s very strong. But more importantly was the quality of people. They were all open-minded. So energetic about the future. No egos in the room. OK, so I was there. And there was Chris Pirillo (I’m joking, Chris).

I made more new contacts and had more sit down conversations at this event than in most domain conferences. Attendees are still buzzing on the social networking site for the event. It was also great to see GoDaddy sponsoring the event, and I got to meet my GoDaddy account rep. I attend conferences for the people, and I was happy with the results.

Now let’s think about what this event means for the industry.

Epik has some of the right elements of a successful company — a respected leader, funding, strong customer base. Where that leads is hard to tell. I saw some really innovative ideas for web sites at the conference that can be leveraged into full-fledged web properties. And the energy of attendees was much higher than I’m used to seeing at a domain conference.

Some people will call what Epik does “mass development”. In the history of the web there has never been a mass development effort that hasn’t flailed out after a few years. Google killed them all. But I don’t look at Epik as a mass web site developer. Instead, I look at it as a platform. A platform that gives users the ability to create meaningful, user-friendly web sites that add value. Epik can deliver part of the puzzle, but clients need to run with it. Hopefully both pieces of the puzzle will click.

I can say that the attendees at last week’s conference are some of the most open-minded and energetic in the industry. They aren’t looking at the past; they’re looking at the future.

It gives me a lot of hope.

© 2010.

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Epik Provides Excuse to Visit Seattle in September

May 20, 2010domain conferences, Domain Services, Domaining, Domainnamewire, epikComments Off on Epik Provides Excuse to Visit Seattle in September

Epik announces developer conference.

epik developer conferenceRob Monster’s Epik has announced its inaugural Epik Developer Conference to take place in Seattle September 15-17.

Although the schedule is very tentative as of now, Monster says the event will include lessons on the entire lifecycle of domain names: acquiring, developing, operating, and selling. He also promises client case studies with specific examples of sites that are profiting from the Epik network.

Epik provides a number of tools to domainers to acquire and develop domain names. Its three main products help build product sites, directory sites, and reference sites.

But even if you’re just tipping your toes into domain development, this developer conference might be worth attending. As someone in the South, I generally try to take advantage of every opportunity I can to travel to the Pacific Northwest during the summer. The weather is incredible.

© 2010.

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Weather Doesn’t Spoil Domainer Mardi Gras

February 15, 2010domain conferences, Domain Services, domainer mardi gras, Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off on Weather Doesn’t Spoil Domainer Mardi Gras

Bad weather not enough to ruin Mardi Gras.

Despite mother nature’s best attempt, the weather couldn’t spoil the second successful Domainer Mardi Gras conference.

The event kicked off last Thursday night in New Orleans, concluding in the wee hours of the morning Sunday. Widespread snow storms made it difficult to fly into New Orleans, but most of the 150-odd registrants made it.

For those that didn’t, Domainer Mardi Gras’ technical team did its best to bridge the gap. Two speakers weren’t able to make it, but a Skype hookup connected Elliot Silver and John Berryhill to the event.

John Berryhill was on a panel I moderated about new top level domain names. It was kind of scary, actually. Picture a 15 foot tall Berryhill on two screens behind the stage.

Michael Ward, Executive Director of the event, deserves props for thinking of all of the details. He did a fantastic job making sure all of the speakers were prepared well in advance, which led to interesting and thought-provoking sessions. Sig Solares and Donny Simonton from Parked also did a great job, making everyone feel at home.

And whomever had the idea to fly in bartenders from Florida (I believe that’s a first for a domain conference) deserves a round of applause.

I can’t wait for Domainer Mardi Gras 2011.

© 2009.

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Conference Overload Afflicts this Domainer

January 20, 2010domain conferences, Domaining, Domainnamewire, UncategorizedComments Off on Conference Overload Afflicts this Domainer

I thought it would never happen.

I hate to admit it, but I have succumbed to a common illness called Conference Overload, or CO.

I was in denial until this morning, when I logged on to print my boarding pass for the trip to TRAFFIC in Las Vegas tomorrow. The airline web site didn’t recognize my reservation. I called the airline to see what was going on. Then I noticed that I had booked travel for last week, not this week.

That’s what happens when you book flights for three separate domain conferences at the same time.

The side effects of CO are severe, even though those afflicted try to play them off. For example, instead of a non-stop flight to Las Vegas and back for about $200 round trip, I’m now stuck with a layover each way for $500 round trip. This will leave me only a scant 48 hours in Vegas.

On the bright side, do you really need more than 48 hours in Vegas?

© 2009.

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TRAFFIC Conference Names Keynote, Updates Agenda

January 13, 2010domain conferences, Domain Services, Domaining, Domainnamewire, trafficComments Off on TRAFFIC Conference Names Keynote, Updates Agenda

Keynote named for next week’s conference.

The agenda for next week’s Targeted T.R.A.F.F.I.C. domain name conference has been updated and now includes a keynote: Joseph McClendon III.

McClendon is founder of Pro-Sequences Research Group, a “Peak Performance coaching organization”. This appears to be a very different keynote than from past conferences.

Other changes to the agenda:

-Brunch of Friday will include a talk on international tax structure sponsored by Rowbotham & Company.
-New TLD session on Friday has a description “Hear it from the experts as the “” and “.generic TLD” battle it out for Supremacy.”
-WIPO reviews session – this has been on the agenda for a while, but I’m hearing good things about the structure of this session.
-NameJet has been named sponsor of the drop catching session on Saturday

TRAFFIC will take place at the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas January 21-23. Conference passes are still available.

© 2009.

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8 Ways to Improve Domain Conference Programming

November 3, 2009domain conferences, Domain Services, Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off on 8 Ways to Improve Domain Conference Programming

Here are ways to make next year’s conferences even more valuable.

As the 2009 domain conference schedule draws to a close and a record number of conferences are on the schedule for 2010, I thought I’d give some general feedback on how to make conference programming better. This isn’t targeted at any particular show; it’s just some best practices I’ve picked up from attending many diverse conferences in the past ten years (from domains to intellectual property to health care technology).

1. Limit panels to three people, four tops. This doesn’t include the moderator. Any more and it’s hard to get a meaningful discussion.

2. Avoid “Sales Pitch Panels”. These are panels in which each panelist is given a lot of time at the beginning to make a presentation, usually about their company or product. Very little time is left for true discussion after they finish their sales pitches.

3. Try fireside chats. These are one-on-one chats with interesting/important people.

4. Educate your speakers. Let them know everything they need to prepare, at least several weeks in advance. They should know the detailed topic, whether they should bring a presentation, and how much time (if any) they’ll have for an intro about themselves or their company.

5. Let people pitch panels. Allow potential speakers to submit session topic proposals. Yes, they may have a business reason to lead a session, but you’ll get a lot of good ideas out of this.

6. Avoid hubris panels. These are panels thrown together by show organizers just so a few talkative people can hear themselves talk. Talk about a buzz kill.

7. Don’t oversell the programming. I’ve yet to attend a panel that has changed the world. I’ve attended lots that I’ve learned from. But even when I get a great idea from a session, a lot of other people don’t. So don’t suggest that any individual session will change everyone’s life. Instead, focus on putting together a well rounded, properly planned programming schedule.

8. Provide attendee lists. This has less to do with programming and more to do with networking. Let attendees opt-in to having their name and company affiliation listed on a pre-conference attendee list. Also hand out the list at the conference. This makes networking and setting up meetings in advance much easier. (Typically, these lists don’t include email addresses and rarely include phone numbers. If someone really wants to meet with someone, they can find their contact information through other means.)

I’m excited about next year’s conference schedule, including seeing what Rick Latona and team pull together for TRAFFIC. Now, off to to book some plane tickets…

© 2009.

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