Not a Fan of Online Conferences

I was having a Twitter conversation about upcoming domain industry conferences, and I understand many events are likely in limbo – even those scheduled for 2021. Planning a conference takes quite a bit of time and can be quite expensive to reserve the space for conference rooms and venues. Predicting when it will be safe to travel – and if people will be willing to travel – is challenging if not impossible.

I reached out to NamesCon conference organizers to see if they have an update on the status of NamesCon Europe (scheduled for August in Budapest) and NamesCon 2021 tentatively scheduled for January. Once I receive an update, if there is one, I will be sure to share it.

I have to admit I am not really jazzed about the prospect of “attending” an online conference. I look forward to attending NamesCon every year, but participating in something online does not really appeal to me. What I enjoy about NamesCon is impossible to reproduce in an online setting. I enjoy sitting with friends and colleagues and talking shop. I like going out to good restaurants and fun bars with longtime friends. I enjoy catching up with people in the lobby. In fact, other than the memorial events at NamesCon and a few minutes of the auction and James Booth’s talk, I did not really spend any time in the conference rooms.

Put simply, the things that would be missing from an online event are the aspects of a conference I enjoy.

If Michael Cyger’s weekly domain investor Zoom call is any indication, an online conference would probably be well received by many. Log on, sit back, and listen to others speak. In fact, some people might prefer this over the actual conference because there are no travel barriers nor are there travel costs to participate. I would imagine (and hope) industry companies would be willing to sponsor an event like this because it would likely draw a sizeable crowd. In addition, it might even be easier for companies to set up presentations in advance without having to worry about technical difficulties on site or issues during a presentation.

I might be in the minority on this one, but I don’t love the idea of an online conference-like event.

I am curious if you would attend an online conference – and if you would – would you pay for it?

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. Virtual vs. online – the turf is ripe now, but in 2014 when Webfair Virtual took place, it was ahead of its time and was stuck between the ending of TRAFFIC and the beginning of NamesCon.

    It was fun and entertaining, offering plenty of interaction opportunities. Technology has matured since then. I would hope for an immersive virtual conference that allows for virtual gear such as Oculus and Samsung Gear to be utilized.

  2. Aw, c’mon…. it’ll be just like the good old days…

    The health department said that about 200 people reported becoming sick with fever, chills, coughs and general malaise after a social event at the Playboy Mansion on the last day of the DOMAINfest internet investment conference in February.

    “In the course of its ongoing investigation, Public Health has identified Legionella bacteria in a sample taken from a water source at the Playboy Mansion,” the department said in the statement.

    • Yeah that was 7-8 days of pure hell sickness. My wife and I both. Never felt so bad for that long of time at once! But it was a good time at the Mansion before it kicked in.

      As for paying for an online conference, I wouldn’t.

  3. Pay for it?? F NO
    as a matter of fact,they should pay me to waste my time watching some boring sound bites.
    My attention span is so short ..facing the screen

  4. The largest benefit of events like NamesCon is from the interaction between people, especially meeting new faces. That doesnt happen in any appreciable way if you’re not there in person.

    Would I ‘attend’ if it was virtual – maybe, depending on the sessions/talks, but only for the time those are on.

    Would I be willing to pay ? They would have to be some very amazing sessions to even consider it.

  5. I would pay 99 USD. And list domains at a virtual auction, which would likely raise more in commissions for the organizer. Looking forward to some online domain conferences!

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