I received a press release from NamesCon and domain name consulting firm RightOfTheDot, LLC announcing that there will be a live domain auction at the NamesCon conference. From my perspective, the most interesting aspect of this news is that it means Monte Cahn, founder of Moniker and its popular domain auctions, is back in the business of domain conference domain name auctions.
Bucking the tradition of a domain conference hosting a live domain name auction, NamesCon did not have an auction during its inaugural event in January. Yesterday, conference organizer Richard Lau cited the experience of Monte Cahn and Mike Berkens with domain auctions in announcing the news. According to Lau, “We were initially reluctant to offer a domain auction, but the 15 years of domain auction experience, strength, reputation, and relationships that ROTD presented convinced us that their auction will contribute to the distinct and diverse activities and sessions that NamesCon is known and respected for.”
While at Moniker, Monte played host to some of the most exceptional domain auction results, including the TRAFFIC auction that famously sold $12.4 million worth of domain names. Since that auction in 2007, the domain space has changed quite a bit. Subsequent auctions produced much more modest results, and I think conference organizers have been less focused on the domain auctions, which were once considered the most anticipated aspect of conferences.
I think Monte and his team became known for hosting exciting domain name auctions. In addition to the buzz generated with large sales, there seemed to be more excitement in the room. I can recall many times when Monte was standing on the stage whooping up the crowd. I presume he will bring this back and hire auctioneers who will liven up the auction floor.
This is not the first domain auction Monte will have presided over since his Moniker days. During the Summer, ROTD oversaw the successful .Global auction in London that saw 35 .Global domain names sell for $63,780. This will be the first domain conference auction for Monte though.
I reached out to Monte to ask a few questions to learn about the upcoming auction and his expectations for it. He was kind enough to respond, and his answers are below.