I returned from Las Vegas yesterday evening, and I want to share some of my thoughts about NamesCon. I thought this was an exceptional conference, and it helped facilitate many productive meetings and even a couple of deals.
If you attended NamesCon, I invite you to share your thoughts about the conference. If you didn’t attend NamesCon and you own domain names, I think you should try to make every effort to attend the conference next year.
My thoughts about NamesCon:
- This event was massive for the business of domain names. Over 900 people attended NamesCon, making it the largest domain conference to date (as far as I am aware). The exhibition hall was full of sponsors, and it was great walking around meeting with people and learning about companies I didn’t really know about. People from all areas of the domain name sector were in attendance.
- From my perspective, it seems that many people are a bit disappointed in the new gTLD registration numbers, which is attributed to a variety of factors. People seem to believe 2015 will be a make or break year for this sector of the business. I am not really all that surprised, but I think there will need to be an impetus for this change, and I don’t know what is going to be the difference maker.
- Despite what I stated above, I felt a sense of optimism from people who are involved with the new domain names.
- One thing I was thinking about was that if the new domain extensions don’t take off this year as many expect, NamesCon could be smaller next year. Shortly after I mentioned this to someone, Frank Schilling predicted this would be the smallest NamesCon event going forward. That would be great for all of us in this business.
- I didn’t attend many panels or keynotes, but I had some great meetings. I probably should have scheduled fewer meetings since I missed out on some things I would liked to have attended.
- For instance, the Chinese Masterclass sessions were very well attended but I didn’t get a chance to participate. People seem to be very interested in learning more about the Chinese domain name market. I heard positive reviews about these classes.
- The Water Night party was a great success, and it raised over $100k for The Water School. I thought that the bar/restaurant was very loud. It’s not easy for a short person like myself to have a conversation with such loud music!
- Uniregistry went all out with their event sponsorship. Everywhere you went, Uniregistry had a major brand presence from ceiling banners to the large seating area in the exhibit hall.
- The auction was one of the more successful live auctions in recent memory. They’ll probably finish with over $1 million in sales when the extended auction closes in a little under three weeks.
- There were several people I have chatted with via my blog or during business deals that I met for the first time this week.
- I also met several people that I didn’t know before NamesCon, and I hope to reconnect soon.
- I don’t really like the guest rooms at the Tropicana, but the hotel layout is great and the price is right. It’s also nice that people can make reservations at any one of hundreds of restaurants in Las Vegas, allowing for privacy and selection.
- GoDaddy had a huge presence at NamesCon. I think there were over 25 people from various departments of the company. It was nice to meet some of the people who have been tremendously helpful to me over the years. One of the big reasons for my continuing to work with GoDaddy is their exceptional customer service.
- I told just about everyone I met with to do a better job of letting me (and other bloggers) know about changes, updates, upgrades, and other news from their companies. I think this is one area where most companies can improve. I also think it is wise for companies to use industry beta testers on changes, and I presume there would be many willing volunteers if product or service enhancements would be beneficial to people in the business.
- I suck at ping pong, but it was fun having a ping pong table in the exhibition hall.
- I had the chance to meet Howard Lefkowitz over dinner, and he is making a big play with the new domain name extensions. I am going to keep my eye on his progress. Projects like these are what can help build awareness for the new extensions.
- Huge compliments to Richard Lau, Jodi Chamberlain, and Jothan Frakes. They built a great NamesCon team, and the conference was truly superb.