Do You Have an Interest in Attending an ICANN Meeting?

There are many people from all parts of the domain name space who are presently in Durban, South Africa at the ICANN meeting. ICANN meetings are free to attend (aside from the travel and accommodations), and they are held three times a year in locations throughout the world. For newcomers who haven’t attended a ICANN meeting before, there is even a “newcomers’ track” that offers additional information for first-time attendees.

I have never attended an ICANN meeting before, but I think it would be interesting to attend one at some point. Upcoming ICANN meetings will be held in Buenos Aires in November, Singapore in March of 2014, and London in June of 2014. I am considering the Buenos Aires conference since that will be held right around the time gTLDs may become available to the public.

I assume that most casual domain investors and even serious domain investors that don’t have registry or registrar connections have never attended an ICANN conference. Of course, I could be wrong, so I would like to know if you have attended a conference, and if you would like to attend a future ICANN conference. Further, I’d like to know what you thought about the conference if you’ve gone and whether you think it would be good for a domain investor to attend.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. I’ll go first.

    I think it would be interesting to discuss what I do and to hear about what the people in attendance think about domain investors. I have assumptions about what they think, but it’s unwise to go on assumptions.

    IMO, many of the domain investors who attend have other business interests behind their attendance (registries, registrars, consultants, service providers…etc), and it would be interesting to be there in a third-party, observational role.

  2. I was planning on attending the one that was held in Toronto, but other things got in my way around the same time so I had to cancel my plans.

  3. I’ve been to a few of them and plan to at least attend one a year going forward. Most likely I’ll be a the one in Buenos Aires.

    The sessions itself can require a thick skin – I’m still getting used to policy and Internet Governance, but it’s important for us and our clients (registrars) that we listen in at least. When not attending I usually follow remotely for some of the sessions.

    And just like at a domaining conference the real business happens in the hallways and meetings.

  4. Hi Elliot,

    Writing from the ICANN meeting in Durban, South Africa, going on now. Your readers might not be aware that ICANN has fellowships (basically, air fare, lodging, and a stipend if you actually attend meetings) for people who want to come to an ICANN meeting. ICANN defines five regions — North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia — and rotates its three meeting a year between them.

    The rules are a little complicated, and it probably doesn’t cover people from the U.S. (too rich a country), but it might be worth looking into. See

    Hope that’s of use.


  5. I’ve been to several ICANN meetings over the years and they have been very valuable to me. I think that anyone who has a substantial interest in the domain name industry should go to at least one each year. The people who criticize ICANN without ever having taken the time to understand it are usually wrong. ICANN does some really “impossible” stuff. It just takes a long time to get it done. I’m a fan of ICANN and have done well by participating as much as my time allows.

  6. If you think domainfest and TRAFFIC panels are boring just wait til you hit an ICANN meeting. . . . The networking is great and ICANN host countries usually put on at least one nicely done gala.

  7. I’m also at the Durban ICANN meeting as I type this. I agree with Antony. Folks can get a full-ride (travel, hotel, per diem) to attend future meetings. Please check out that URL:
    I plan to attend at least the London meeting next year.
    Attending the meeting in-person is very good networking opportunity. Its also important to attend because policy is made that effects registrants (domain name holders). Registrants are important to ICANN. Checkout the transcript of Fadi’s (ICANN CEO) opening comments at this meeting, to see how important registrants are to ICANN.


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