I returned home from Ft. Lauderdale yesterday evening, and I want to share some of my takeaways from the TRAFFIC conference. Overall, the conference proved to be a great networking opportunity (as it always is) in an excellent venue.
– Domain Holdings made a very impressive showing. In a short span of time, the company has hired a number of people who are experienced in the domain industry and some from outside of the domain space. In fact, when I first arrived, I said hello to someone I know who has worked at a successful but covert domain company, and I was surprised when I saw his tag said Domain Holdings. I think Domain Holdings is a collegial team of experts who are working on products and services that target various segments of the domain business, and I bet you’re going to hear a lot about them in the next year.
– I had a productive meeting with Protrada about the company’s platform, and I am going to set up my account ASAP. I was given a walk through, and I think it is going to help me stay on top of potential acquisitions and auctions. If you haven’t checked it out yet, it’s quite comprehensive and well put together.
– I really appreciated the fact that GoDaddy was there and took the time to walk through the auction platform. I had some issues with it, and I was able to learn a few tricks while showing some of the areas of frustration.
– Sedo and Afternic announced news during the conference, which will help domain owners sell domain names. Afternic is partnering up with Godaddy and Sedo expanded its SedoMLS distribution channel. It’s going to pay to list your names on both platforms. I also had a nice conversation with Don Lyons, who let me know about Moniker’s new partnership with Afternic, making it easier to sell names.
– Whether you think adult sites are good or bad, .XXX domain names are good or bad, or whatever your feelings are related to the adult industry, I can tell you they have a smart team running the operation, and I think they are going to be very successful. I had a long and candid conversation with ICM Registry CEO Stuart Lawley, and I came away impressed with the organization.
– The .XXX party at the W Hotel was fun. The venue was great, especially because it was so close to the Ritz Carlton. I think the party could have been a bit more “adult” though 🙂
– I am glad that Mike Mann was on the Test Track panel. He was very blunt when he needed to be and was entertaining by calling things the way he saw it. I think organizers need more vetting for Test Track to avoid no shows and to choose presenters with solid business plans.
– I want to wish Mike Berkens congratulations for Blogger of the Year. It’s very well deserved and certainly hard earned.
– I think there should be a Domain Broker of the Year category. I know awards aren’t that important to many people, but the broker side of the business helps bring in considerable revenue to domain investors, and some brokers are far superior to others.
– There was a guy who showed up at the conference with one of the most unbelievable lists of category defining .com domain names that made everyone’s jaws drop. Apparently, his father founded the company a number of years ago.
– The Ritz Carlton in Ft. Lauderdale was an excellent location to hold the conference. It was large enough that there was space to spread out and hold private meetings, but it didn’t feel like it was too expansive. The corridor outside the ballrooms was conducive to meetings, and to meet with companies that had booths. There were several areas (inside and outside) and restaurants for private dining and larger parties. In addition, there are a number of hotels within walking distance for those who don’t have a Ritz Carlton budget.
– Despite the three days of rain, spirits were still very high. People stayed at the venue for the most part, and there were many good opportunities to meet with other people and companies in the industry. I tend to take some time during the conferences to catch up on work/emails…etc, but I stayed at the venue almost the entire time.
– I am sure many people are just waiting until I discuss the auction. Actually, a lot of people will probably skip over this entire post just to write negative things about the auction. In any case, I don’t think it takes a genius to realize the results weren’t great. I think the .XXX sales were strong, although I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Movies.XXX sell, in light of a few other high dollar sales. Everyone seems to have an opinion on what went wrong and what can be improved, and I am going to stay out of that.
– As usual, the show organizers put on a professional trade show without many hitches. They’ve been at it for years, and I felt that the whole Traffic team made attendees feel welcome and appreciated.