Marketing a Domain Name at a Tradeshow

Chocolate Pretzels

I’ve mentioned it in the past (can’t find it right now), so I will mention it again now. I think it might be a smart idea to attend an industry tradeshow in a vertical where you are selling a domain name to try and close a deal.

My Dad sent me a link this morning to the 2010 Chocolate Show, which happens to be taking place over the next couple of days in New York City. I am sure my Dad didn’t have this in mind when he sent it to me, but I recently acquired in a secondary market purchase, and I would love to sell it.

I am planning on paying the $28.00 entry fee for the Chocolate Show to introduce myself to some of the producers of gourmet chocolate products to see if any would have an interest. Since many booths will be manned by marketing, sales, and c-suite staff, it could be a sweet opportunity to close a deal.

At the very least, I will satisfy my sweet tooth. ย Anyone else want to come to this “business” tradeshow with me tomorrow?

Photo: Flickr

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 was thinking this exact thing a month ago,
    when I heard there was a HUGE show in Vegas — in a field that I own a killer domain in.

    I was a day late in finding out, though.

    Oh well…
    Next year.

    I’ve got my eyes open for others.

    Great idea.

  2. I would love to hear what sort of responses you get. You’ve probably got a fantastic elevator pitch, and it’s a great name, so I’m sure there will some interest. Still, I’ve found at networking events (for other industries) there’s always a certain percentage of people whose reaction is “huh?” and require an in-depth explanation of domains (and their value). Perhaps trade shows are a bit different. This domain kind of speaks for itself, though, so I can’t imagine a more targeted audience. Are you taking your iPad?

  3. “…but what can be bad about a Chocolate tradeshow?”

    Good point. ๐Ÿ™‚

    On that note, I’m going to head out for some peppermint hot chocolate. Have fun tomorrow!

  4. Nice idea. I think the length of the domain name may scare some potential end users away. You will need to find someone who understands the value of an exact search phrase domain and the SEO value that it holds.

  5. Elliot,
    I was just at the National Association of Realtors show in New Orleans and used the vendor show area to market a couple GEO real estate domain names that I’d like to sell since I am not licensed in these areas. Though I didn’t get any great current leads, I did get some wonderful experience in the process of marketing domain names (I sell all day every day, just not domain names!) and found a couple nice sources of leads for the locations to which these domains refer.
    Since everyone was there to see new and different products, I found it very easy to start up a converstaion that could quickly be moved to domain names. As we all know in this industry, the lack of knowledge many folks have regarding domain names and the market for them makes selling to end users quite challenging, especially when you only have a minute or two to get them interested. But even with the “hit or miss” nature of the prospects, I would certainly have to say that the time spent was well worth it, and much less onerous than the dreaded cold call. And if I had a chance to munch on chocolate while selling – well that is just best-case scenario all the way!

  6. @ Elliot. I *love* peppermint. I will have to pick up some of the Dreyer’s…thanks for the recommendation.

    I’m headed to NY in the morning, although not for a chocolate trade show. I’m performing at Lincoln Center on Saturday with the United States Army Band. We’ve played there before, but this time I’m doing a solo – a collection of jazzy Brazilian tunes for harp and band. Speaking of which, I’d better go practice.

    I’ll end this before it gets any more tangential. Don’t eat too many truffles tomorrow.

  7. Well I for one hope you use the show as a lead generator for follow up later on.

    Exhibitors are paying to promote their products or services. When you approach an Exhibitor he’s looking at you as a prospect to pitch to not someone to pitch him.

    Of course in the course of things a natural opportunity could present itself to offer your domain.

    If you had the time I would have suggested you make business cards with your contact info and that you are selling the domain but at many trade shows now the Exhibitors just electronically scan your admission badge.

    I suspect you’ll find some good leads.

    Good luck.

  8. Yes, great point Elliot, I remember your previous post about it as well… (Toy Show in NY). I’m in So Cal and I attended the Tortilla Assoociation Convention in Vegas a few years back and received excellent feedback for my domain name… I was soliciting advertising sales but I could have just as easily solicited for potential buyers since everyone there was directly or inderectly there for tortillas and related products and services.

    Having said that, I attend quite a few trade shows throughout the year because of other business interests and also, similar to you, because my Dad tells me about shows that he’s planning on going to or wants me to attend with him.

  9. A saying is that the easiest person to sell is a salesman. So if you are pitching to salespeople you will have to give them what they can relate to. I would work up some reasonable numbers based on the number of searches and ppc for “chocolate pretzels” as only a start. $1 per click is what I just saw on google bid tool.

    What tricolorro said is correct: “Exhibitors are paying to promote their products or services. When you approach an Exhibitor heโ€™s looking at you as a prospect to pitch to not someone to pitch him.”

    My family has exhibited at major trade shows for 40 years. People do try to pitch you. Catch 22: The best day to do it is normally the last or second to last day when everyone is bored and things are slow. (But many important people aren’t there on those days.)

    Start with a really low price on the name but don’t close the deal.

    Let them think you are offering it to others at the show. Later once they are sold on the idea, depending on the numbers you can try to get more.

    Get their card and leave them with a flyer with the details. Don’t spend to much time pitching them, almost make like it’s an afterthought and you actually were supposed to meet (name of some other known industry player) and just stopped by.

    There are plenty of shows in NY that are huge – this isn’t one of them but it’s a good place to start.

  10. I’ve attended the Dental Show at the Javits Center pitching my portfolio of nice dental related domains.
    Get some strange looks, they just don’t get it.
    They’ve got one coming up in about a week or two but I won’t attend again.
    I know you’ll end up selling, but I especially would like you to do it there.
    Good luck

  11. You can also do this for tradehows out of your town for about $150

    1) Hire girl on craigslist
    2) Make flyer
    3) Pay girl to print flyers at Kinkos, sneak into trade show and give a flyer to every single booth.

    I’ve done this twice – no leads either time but you never know

  12. Elliot:

    I’d love attending that Chocolate show with you tomorrow …. unfortunately we are a bit far from the venue Maybe for the next one.

    Nevertheless, I must mention that I’d love to attend because, for sure I like chocolate, but because I do own a couple of domain names related to this delicious item; one of them is: (chocolate cake, in spanish of course)

    Maybe, in between chocolate samplings, you can spot some nice ideas on what to do with this name, and if so is the case, let’s make a big business out of it ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Well, seriously, enjoy the show, do not eat THAT much chocolate, have lots of fun and very good business deals.

    Best regards from Mexico City


  13. I wouldn’t make pitches at all. Don’t sell. . . Network. Tell the companies what you do and what you have and what you think about the domain and it’s potential and see if they can help you. Your opportunity might be much bigger by letting them tell you what you have and what you can do. They’ll see the opportunity or won’t.

  14. Elliot:

    I’m new to the domaining business and monetizing names, but I really like your idea of going to the chocolate convention.

    Have you tried to sell your name through other sources first?

    Do you know how much you would let the name go for?

    A good friend of mine in the Orlando area has one of the largest national chocolate store franchise companies.

    If you do not sell it, please contact me so I may try to put you and my friend together.

    Additionally, three of his Orlando franchisee’s are good friends.

    Please let me know.



    • @ Scott

      I emailed a few companies but didn’t get a reply. Because of a bunch of things that came up yesterday, I didn’t go to the show yet. My wife and I have tickets for today and will be headed over in a few hours. It would be great to connect with your friend though.

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