I will begin this post with a disclaimer so you aren’t jaded when you read this. Neither Rick Latona nor anyone else asked me to post this or anything about the TRAFFIC Amsterdam show.
Ever since I heard that a TRAFFIC conference was going to be held in Amsterdam, I’ve been thinking about who I think should attend the show, and more importantly, whether I think I should attend the show. Most of the thinking was in an effort to justify the expense in going, because it will be more expensive for me than the New York conference in October.
If you own ccTLD domain names, if you plan to invest in ccTLD domain names in the near future, if you are thinking about investing in ccTLD domain names, or if you live in Europe and you’ve wanted to attend a TRAFFIC conference but just haven’t had the chance to fly to the US or Australia, you should strongly consider attending the show. I fall into the third category, as I have been thinking about investing but haven’t made a commitment yet.
From what I can see on the conference agenda, this show will be hands down the best opportunity to learn all about ccTLD domain names. There are many great forums (like INForum.in and ccTLDs.com) where you can learn, but there’s nothing like face to face interactions and expert panels. As much as online degrees are great, nothing can beat attending college, in my opinion. Likewise, you can’t get a better education than attending a conference where you will be able to be in the audience listening to panels, asking questions, and meeting with other investors.
During one of the recent TRAFFIC shows, Kevin Ham opened the morning with an unexpected hour long speech that captivated the audience. I wasn’t in attendance at the show, but I heard quite a bit about Kevin’s speech. Last week, Rick Latona announced that Kevin will be the keynote speaker at the Amsterdam show. For some, this opportunity might be worth a good portion of the admission fee on its own.
The most important reason to attend the show is to learn about ccTLDs from the most knowledgeable experts in the namespace. Over the last year or so, I have been learning what I can about ccTLDs, although they aren’t a primary focus of mine – nor do I even own one… yet. When I was on my honeymoon in Europe last August, I saw how prevalent they are outside of the US, and like many Americans, I think I tend to be US-centric, which isn’t good because there are hundreds of millions of people outside of the US using the Internet.
After thinking about attending for the last few months, I decided to search for flights, and I was surprised at how much the prices have dropped since I initially began my search. Round trip flights from NY to Amsterdam are under $800 each (down from $1,300ish), and of course they can be expensed as part of a business trip. The hotel price and ticket price can both be expensed, and food and drinks are included with the conference tickets. The more I’ve been thinking about it, the more I am realizing that I really want to be at the conference to meet some of my European colleagues and learn more about ccTLD domain names.
So… after months of internal debate, I just booked my flight to Amsterdam and hotel room, and I reserved my ticket (and wife’s ticket) to the conference. I have a wedding the Sunday night before the conference, so I am going to miss Monday, but we land at 6am on Tuesday and will head over to the hotel. I encourage others who are interested in attending but haven’t committed to think about it and make a decision soon. Airfare is much better than it was before, and this is going to be a great opportunity to learn all about ccTLD domain names. The $4,000 you might spend on attending (if you live in the US) will be worth it if it helps you decide that you want to invest – or even if you can then decide that they aren’t for you.
If you are attending the show and want to meet up for a drink or to say hello, please drop me a note so I can be sure to find you. I haven’t been to Amsterdam before, but I am Dam excited to be going!