One of the main reasons I enjoy attending domain conferences is that I can meet with companies in the industry. For instance, at THE Domain Conference this past week, I had several conversations with the Sedo contingent of Solomon Amoako and Dave Evanson as well as the GoDaddy contingent of Joe Styler, Cory Lodder, and Marcus Jackson. I had conversations with reps from many other companies as well.
At conferences and other smaller events, I am able to ask questions about the company, exchange ideas about products or services, and sometimes I can get tech support from the company representatives in attendance. This one on one time is mutually beneficial and helps build a strong relationship between various companies and my business. Even if I am not currently a customer, this time can be spent learning about why I should work with a company, or at the very least, be the foundation for a future discussion.
I understand the large industry conferences may be cost prohibitive to some people in the industry. In addition to paying for the conference ticket, people have to pay airfare, hotel costs, airport parking costs, pet and child care costs, and many other expenses. There is also time away from work – whether it is a corporate job or day to day responsibilities at a small business. These additional costs are often more than the conference tickets. It can be cost prohibitive to attend a domain conference.
I think it would be great to see industry companies host smaller localized meetups for clients and prospective clients. These meetups can be informal, and they can be held at a local restaurant, an office, or even in someone’s home. They don’t need to be elaborate or expensive – just a time for people to get to know the company, ask questions, and maybe try out the services. Customers should be invited and the company should also publicize the event so prospective clients know about it.
Smaller events are a great way to build relationships and would often cost far less than conference attendance. There are fewer but more targeted attendees who can learn about the company and see if there is synergy. At the very least, industry companies can learn about why people are reluctant to do business with them and take these learnings back to improve their products or services.
I know that several companies sponsor local events. Uniregistry and .XYZ recently sponsored the Southern California Domainers group meet up, Sedo sponsored an event I planned in Boston this Summer, and Rook / Domain Sponsor sponsored a meetup in Chicago in July. These are well received events, and I think it would be great to see more of them around the country (and world) – even if they are not as large as some of these events.
I think smaller events could be productive for industry companies, and I bet they would be well received.
As always, I invite your thoughts on this.