NamesCon is about a month away, and I understand that conference organizers are expecting “well over 1,400 attendees” at this year’s conference. I think NamesCon is well worth attending, and I bought my ticket several months ago. I will be landing in Las Vegas on Saturday night, and I leave on a Tuesday night redeye back to Boston.
I thought I would share 5 conference tips with readers. Some of these suggestions can be acted on right now, and perhaps it will provide a tax benefit or cost savings. I encourage you to share any advice you have in the comment section. If I think of anything else, I will share it there.
Hotel – If you are looking for convenience, staying at the Tropicana is the way to go. The rooms are more than adequate, and you’ll be very close to meetings and events. If you’re looking for something a bit more luxurious, the Cosmopolitan, Aria, Vdara, and MGM all are good options. If you’re looking for something more economical, I think the Luxor and Hard Rock may be less expensive. There is some bridge construction ongoing, so keep in mind it might be a bit more of a pain to walk to different hotels. If you book your hotel now, you may be able to pay for it in 2016 rather than in the new year.
Agenda / Panels – I have never been one to attend many panels. When I do attend panels, I tend to pull out my laptop and get work done. It would be a good idea to look through the conference agenda and pick out the panels you want to attend. Put them in your calendar and set up private meetings around those events.
Meetings – Reach out to business associates and company representatives to confirm their attendance at NamesCon. Schedule meetings around the panels you want to attend. Even if you have nothing pressing to talk about, it is a good idea to connect just to touch based and see what’s new.
Food / Dining – I typically don’t make my dining and lunch plans too far in advance. There are some dining meetings I try to attend – such as the ICA dinner. Most of the time, I make plans while at the conference. I tend to prefer smaller meetings with friends and business associates rather than more organized dinners. However, there have been a few larger organized dinners that have been great. I prefer to keep a clear schedule around lunch and dinner times. One more tip – the east coast people are probably up early. Scheduling a breakfast or coffee meeting in the morning may be the way to go.
Venue – The best conversations I have are generally totally random ones in the hallway or in the lounge area on the exhibition floor. These tend to be casual discussions with people I know and respect, and some good information can be shared. I try to stick around those areas during the day, allowing me to connect with colleagues and meet new people I don’t know.
Don’t be offended if it seems like someone is blowing you off or avoiding you. For some people, this is the one time of the year where they can connect with longtime friends and colleagues, and they don’t really care to meet new people. Some people aren’t really all that social, and while the domain industry suits them well, large get togethers aren’t up their alley.
One more tip – don’t talk ill of colleagues or other business associates in public areas. If you have to look over your shoulder before saying something, you probably should just keep it to yourself.