Conferences & Tradeshows

Planning to Attend a Conference

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.

Help Send Grassroots.org to TRAFFIC Las Vegas

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 Goes Live

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.

Ad:Tech – New York

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.

DRT Auction – An Historic Event

The Domain Roundtable Auction has ended, with the highest sales going to Invention.com, Rebate.com, AZ.com, Event.com, eTV.com and Army.org. Some could argue that a majority of the names in the auction were average (or below), reserve prices were set too high, or the auction took too long, but I believe this auction was a watershed moment in domain sales history. It wasn’t so much the names or prices of the sales (and non-sales) that were historic, but rather the auction platform itself.

To my knowledge, this was the first domain auction where there was a live Internet-based bidding tool along with a live video and audio feed. Users at home, numbering in the low thousands, were able to follow along with the auction and bid in real time. This stretched the reach of the auction from the few hundred in attendance to millions of potential bidders. The turnout wasn’t in the millions, but it was a good start.

I have always believed that live domain auctions should be simulcast over the Internet. After all, domain names are valuable Internet properties. Jay Westerdahl and his team at Domaintools deserve a huge amount of credit for being the pioneers in this endeavor. I suspect that other auction companies are going to have to follow suit or risk falling behind in the domain auction business.

With the high cost of domain conference attendance coupled with the expense of travel, attending live auctions can be a hardship on many domain investors. There are also many people who view domain investment as one small aspect of their investment portfolio, and others who buy domain names simply as a hobby. These passive domain investors aren’t likely to attend a domain conference, which was almost required in order to participate in past auctions (or pay a refundable fee to bid). When bidders don’t have to leave their offices or their couches, the domain auction process becomes more widely available to all, and it should bring strong results… and it was FREE to bid!

I will let others evaluate the auction for the names that were listed, the sales prices achieved, the length of time it took to get through 450 names, and everything else associated with the various aspects of the auction. For me, the highlight was the technical advances that were debuted today, and I certainly hope that this is the beginning of a new era in domain sales.

AZ.com – A Great Deal at $500,000

In my post on August 7th, I identified what I thought were the top 5 values in the Domain Roundtable Auction. According to the live auction interface, it appears that AZ.com has at least one bid for the $500,000 minimum and will sell today. I think anything under $1,000,000 for this name is a great deal for the buyer.

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