If you are exploring ways to get to New York City for TRAFFIC in September and you live in the northeast, I would recommend taking Bolt Bus, which is owned and operated by Greyhound. I just returned from a trip to Lowell, Massachusetts via Boston and took Bolt Bus to get their. Not only is the price just about the same as a trip on a Chinatown bus line, but they offer free WiFi to stay connected while on the road. Yes, I have a Blackberry to check email, but I was able to do other things wirelessly while on my way up north.
Bolt Bus has stops in Philadelphia, Boston, Washington DC and New York City. Although they don’t operate out of New York’s Port Authority yet, it is still easy to find the bus. Once in New York, you can quickly grab a cab or jump on the train to get to the hotel in Brooklyn. If you want/need to stay connected while traveling to/from New York, I highly recommend taking Bolt Bus.
Those who know me, know I don’t particularly like to fly – scratch that – it’s taking off and landing I don’t like so much. Today it wasn’t a problem, as I slept like a baby on the flight, exhausted from the great weekend I had in Chicago.
Th geo domain industry is unlike any industry in which I’ve ever been involved. There is a sincere feeling of camaraderie, and everyone I met seems to have a genuine desire to help others. I started my blog to share what I know and have learned, and the geo domainers that I met at the show seem to have the same objectives of helping others learn and succeed in this industry.
At the show, there was very little talk about declining revenues and PPC. The real money is in development and building a business on geo domains. From what I saw and heard, there has never been a better time to develop domain names with the technology that’s available. While I felt a bit like I was behind in the times by using HTML, I learned more about solutions like eDirectory, and as I grow my sites, I plan to make the change to their platform.
Everything positive you hear about David and Michael Castello, Skip Hoagland, Dan Pulcrano, Josh Metnick, Jess Bookstaff, Sarah and Mark Mannix, Fred Mercaldo, Mike Ward,….etc.. is 100% true. These people have amazing success stories, and they are very approachable and willing to share advice and feedback. I met some great people at various stages of their geo domain development, and my best piece of advice was to grab the business cards of the most successful geodomainers and stay in touch. As someone said at the show, in 10 years from now, these people won’t just be geo domain pioneers, they will be the heads of major media companies.
This show was open to all geo domain investors, and I’ve learned that there are tons of ways to make money from developed geo domains. I believe we are on the cusp of something great, and I believe that the geo domainers are leading the way for all domainers.
Some takewaways from the show (aside from my hangover)
While the geo domain pioneers have great revenue-producing websites, the sky is literally the limit with geo domains. You can create goals for yourself and your sites, and once you hit those, you can improve on them. With new technology, new thinking, and determination, there is no stopping what you can do with your websites.
Trafficz’s involvement in domain auctions is going to change the game. Ammar and Jay have great ideas, and coupled with their technology, I think we are witnessing the growth of a giant in the domain space.
If you have good domain names but might not have the ability to execute your plans, try to parter with someone who has the expertise. Nearly everyone with whom I spoke has partnerships of various degrees, and they are able to balance their skills with those of others. Being a one trick pony is kinda cool, but you can’t be a jack of all trades – so find someone who has the skills you don’t and work out something amenable.
Patrick Carleton, MidwestBusiness.com, Jess Bookstaff, and Associated Cities know how to put on a professional show. Attendance more than doubled from last year’s show in San Francisco, and as a betting person, I would wager that it will be continue to grow. This space seems to be where the smart money’s at right now.
If you own a city .com and someone else owns a city + keyword name (Burbank.com & BurbankRestaurants.com for example), you can work together to improve both sites and make money. Just because you don’t have a pure city .com, doesn’t mean you are left out. This is an inclusive group and partnerships can benefit everyone.
While the live auction result wasn’t really impressive, I think that’s more related to the domain names that were auctioned rather than the state of the market. There were plenty of buyers in attendance (myself included – Secaucus.com), but the names weren’t great for the most part. I think that much of this can be attributed to the fact that most top city/state/regional geographic domain names aren’t for sale at domain auction prices.
Special thanks to Steve Morales. In addition to helping promote the geo domain industry, he is proudly serving our country.
As I am preparing to attend the GeoDomain Expo in Chicago in July and the TRAFFIC conference in New York in September, I would like to offer some advice to those who are planning on attending. Most conferences are expensive, and coupled with airfare and hotel registrations, it’s important to take a few things into consideration before attending.
Usually it can save quite a bit of money by registering early, so I recommend reviewing the upcoming conferences far in advance and using the early bird registration option. Most of the big domain and related conference websites have the dates and locations of upcoming conferences many months in advance. If finances are a big issue, try to attend a conference closer to home to avoid paying airfare.
In the past, I’ve used Farecast to find the best prices on airfare. The cool thing about that site is that it gives prices for various airlines, and it recommends whether you should buy the tickets now or wait based on their experiences. I’ve also found that you can save money by booking your hotel using the special conference rate, which is usually less expensive than you can find elsewhere. If the conference is in a big city with good transportation, you can usually save money by booking at a different hotel, but make sure it’s close enough (and safe enough) so that you can get home in the wee hours of the morning. I wouldn’t recommend staying in the Lower East Side during TRAFFIC, for example, because you will spend much more than you saved on cab fare alone.
As most people will tell you, conference attendance is about networking and meeting with old and new friends. Most of the panels offer valuable information and advice, but the primary reason I attend conferences is to meet with friends who I might see only one or two times a year. I would recommend reaching out to people with whom you want to meet to let them know you are planning to attend the conference. It’s likely that the person or people will be more than will to meet and chat with you at some point during the conference. While it’s nice to have a short conversation in passing, it’s even better if you make plans to speak ahead of time.
For the GeoDomain Expo, I am excited to listen to the panels and learn as much as I can. While I’ve received a tremendous amount of advice from the Castello Brothers, Rob Grant, Jessica Bookstaff, and several others, I am not an expert geodomainer yet. I want to learn how I can operate and grow my two geodomains, and I want to meet with the companies that offer products or services to help develop my geodomains. Take some time to scope out who will be in attendance and who will be speaking on the panels. If you make plans to go “off campus,” make sure you aren’t missing a panel of interest. Make appointments with sponsors and other exhibitors if you want to learn about the company or products. It’s usually easy for them to take a few minutes outside of the exhibition hall, but you should ask ahead of time so they can be prepared.
I am getting excited to attend the GeoDomain Expo and TRAFFIC. I’ve only attended a few conferences, but I’ve never, ever been disappointed with them. Each conference is a unique experience, and I think they are well worth the expense if you are serious about the industry or want to get serious about the industry. Almost all of the serious domain investors and developers attend the conferences, and it’s a great opportunity to learn from the professionals in a personal setting.
Does anyone have a spare ticket to TRAFFIC Las Vegas that can be used by Grassroots.org? I was speaking with Angela Siefer, the director of this non-profit organization, and she said they don’t have the $2,000 budgeted to pay for a ticket to the show. Perhaps someone has a ticket they aren’t using, or maybe someone would be willing to make a tax deductible contribution to help them attend the conference.
DomainersChoiceAwards.com has gone live, and it is now up to the domain investment community to choose the best of the best. The first round of write-in voting has started, and it is up to you to decide who is deserving of the Domainers Choice Awards in categories including, Domain Ambassador, Industry Spokesperson, Industry Achievement, and many more.
Donna Mahony is the brains behind this, and I know its going to be one of the most popular features at DomainFest.
If you are interested in helping to sponsor the Awards, please visit the Sponsor Sign-up page on the website. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Domainers Choice Scholarship Fund, a new organization that Donna is starting.
I will be attending the Ad:Tech show in New York on Monday. If anyone is interested in meeting up, drop me a line. There will be over 300 exhibitors in attendance, and I think this will be a good opportunity to make new contacts in the interactive marketing space. Some of the companies I am looking forward to meeting with include:
Also, if your company is exhibiting, and you believe I need to see what you have to offer drop me a note. Right now, I am looking to work with companies who have relationships with product manufacturers and offer a customizable web template with a strong revenue share. I have domain names in the electronics sector, health industry, and consumer goods business.