As you know, last week was NamesCon, and approximately 1,300 people from the domain industry attended the event in Las Vegas. Put simply, the conference was great and well worth attending. Each year, it seems that the NamesCon staff grows, and they really have it together.
This morning, I thought I would share some random thoughts about NamesCon. I invite you to share your own thoughts about the conference in the comment section.
- I had several people in mind who I wanted to meet in person. I think I met just about all of those people and had a chance to speak with most of them. It’s great that there was such a huge turnout. No matter how long NamesCon is, there are always a few people I didn’t get to meet, and that was the case this year as well.
- The best booth giveaway at NamesCon was remote control helicopters given by Payoneer Escrow. I’ve been flying mine in the mornings, and my kids love watching it. The second best giveaway was hand sanitizer. I felt badly putting it on so much, but it’s been a few days since I have been home and I don’t feel a cold coming on yet!
- I closed a great deal at NamesCon with the help of Jen Sale from Evergreen. We were chatting at dinner about a domain name, and she was able to lock down a deal two days later. Not only that, but the deal closed before I left Las Vegas.
- Next year, I am staying at the MGM, even if it means a longer walk to the conference. When I checked into my room at 10:30pm, the bathroom toilet was dirty. I called down to housekeeping and it took a while for them to send someone up. By the time I went to sleep, it was midnight (which was like 3am for me). Also, the lock on my door wasn’t working well and I needed to insert my key multiple times to get it to work. I intended to stay at the MGM this year, but I was deterred by the bridge construction.
- For two out of the three nights I was there, I had dinner at Nobu. I went to the Nobu at Caesar’s Palace and the Nobu at Hard Rock. I have been to quite a few of the top restaurants in Las Vegas, and Nobu has always left me happy.
- I have never been to a WHD conference before, but I hope the acquisition doesn’t lead to any major formatting changes.
- There was an outpouring of support for Lonnie Borck’s family, and I think they really appreciated it. I also appreciated seeing people offering their condolences and assistance to Lonnie’s family. Josh’s story about sitting next to Lonnie’s brother in law on the flight to Vegas was great.
- I always enjoy chatting with the guys from Domain Capital. As Vince mentioned on Domain Sherpa, there are a variety of different financing opportunities offered by the company. If I came across a domain name that was well priced and I needed the funding, I would not hesitate to work with them.
- Speaking of Josh, it was nice to see/meet the entire DSAD team. I had met Aaron and Shane several times, and the DSAD guys always look like they are having a great time.
- Uniregistry was the “Diamond” level sponsor and it showed. There were Uniregistry logos everywhere. The Uniregistry booth was huge. There was a Uniregistry lounge and a Uniregistry stage. Uniregistry sponsored one of the main parties at Hakkasan. Everywhere you looked, Uniregistry had a presence. I hate to think about what happens if Uniregistry cuts back on its conference spend.
- Aside from Uniregistry, the new gTLD registry operators seemed like they were out in full force. I am not bullish on the new TLDs as a domain investor, but I hate to think about what happens to NamesCon if some of the leading companies re-tool their conference budgets.
- GoDaddy sent a huge contingent of employees to NamesCon. I was able to get a bit of business done.
- I felt that the auction was too long. There was only one domain name I was interested in bidding on, and it was towards the end. I think a shorter live auction with just the top 50 or 75 best priced domain names would be more than sufficient.
- If you know you are going to NamesCon next year, you should take advantage of the special offer price before it expires.