Why NamesCon?

NamesConHaven’t domain conferences come and gone? With no sign of DomainFest aka WebFest, and with numerous other domain conference brands having been moth-balled, why would a veteran of the internet name space want to risk so much of his own capital to launch a brand new show? Wouldn’t you have to be crazy to enter this space?

To answer that question, I hope you will indulge me for a few paragraphs. My name is Richard Lau and I am that person….

I’m proud to announce NamesCon Las Vegas 2014 will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 13th-15th, 2014. Β With over 400 attendees expected, NamesCon will be the largest Conference dedicated exclusively for the Internet Name Industry. What can you expect from NamesCon? Content, and lots of it. What can you not expect? Food and flash and domain auctions.

NamesCon is my personal vision of what an industry-wide conference should be. It is me. My brand, my reputation, my capital.

By its very design, NamesCon will not be a domaining show. The idea is to bring together disparate sections of the Internet Naming sector and allow everyone’s networking to blossom into synergistic deals. Does that sound idealistic? It is, and it will happen. Am I an idealist? My work with the WaterSchool charity, and the (domain hijacking recovery) reasons for my Domainer of the Year award back in 2004 would indicate that I am. I am not motivated by profit, and if you remove profit as the primary goal of a conference, the world is your oyster.

“Back in 2004” ages me, and you may well ask me – what have you done lately? Or as one commenter said, and I paraphrase “What have you been doing since 2004?” Well, it’s a valid question. Am I qualified to come out of the shadows and run, not a domaining-only show, but an industry-wide show? What have I been up to? In short, networking like a crazy man. Chasing ideals, while doing millions in domain transactions, starting up over 60 ICANN Accredited Registrars and investing in, and advising to, many different service companies in the Internet Naming arena.

But back to NamesCon and what it will do for you. NamesCon will be about the networking and the content. We all know there is no channel like the internet domain name channel, and 2014 is an amazing year of expansion, growth, change and opportunities in all areas of the registry, registrar and registrant internet name space. To address the many topics at hand, NamesCon will have over 30 content sessions led by the industry’s leading experts in three simultaneous tracks, AND four Keynote speakers including Frank Schilling and Jeremy Shoemaker.

Content is king, both online and at conferences. NamesCon will have that content. Put an idealist in charge, take away the food, and suddenly you can turn the conference world on its head. How about we start at $199? Sure you’ll have to go buy your own lunch, maybe even have to order breakfast in to your room before hitting the conference. But you aren’t here for the food, you are here to feast on content and relationships.

I went to a conference in 2007 that changed my life. Not because of a domain bought at auction, but because of the people I met there. In times of screens and texting, face to face trust cannot be undervalued.

I believe a rising tide raises all boats. NamesCon will rise the tide, you simply need to bring your boat.


  1. A great opportunity for domainers, big and small, to cut out the fluff and focus on investing and entrepreneurial synergies. Not to mention, that for the ‘crazy’ low ticket price you get to meet both Frank Schilling AND Jeremy Shoemaker.

    Book your tickets for Vegas!

  2. The only reason I haven’t confirmed my trip yet is because I am doing quite a bit of traveling at the end of this year and early next year, and I have a Vegas trip already planned for later in 2014.

    To me, the value of a domain conference is based on who is going, not what the panels are. If a small % of Richard’s friends and colleagues attend, it will be a big success.

    I am thinking about going but need to make sure it’s cool with my wife first. Tough leaving her alone with a toddler and a dog for more than a couple days.

    • I would say a person who has no problem to say his opinion, even knowing most of other may not agree. Right of speech πŸ™‚ I appreciate Elliot allows also negative comments in his blog. Most of other domaining bloggers would never what you see here. I have to admit that it was smart move from Richard Lau to pick Elliot’s blog (Domain Investing) for his ad, as this is for sure the best domaining blog you can find.

    • Ouch, so I take it back, there is NO smart move at all from Richard Lau. But what I wrote about you and your blog is still on, Elliot. Thanks.

  3. “With no sign of DomainFest aka WebFest”

    The last WebFest was held between Feb 3-5, 2013. I also don’t recall that it has ever skipped a year. Not sure what is being implied in the article with the mention to WebFest.

  4. In my opinion, I’m sure Richard can find a lot better ways of making money than doing a show in Las Vegas for a few hundred bucks to attend. I used to go to many of the Domain shows in the past but stopped going in the past few years as they had become boring and repetitive IMO. I’m probably going to go to this show because it is new and being done by by someone creditable and of course… it’s in Vegas!

  5. Well my spreadsheet shows that the estimated cost per attendee is $350 in expenses. So if you decide to stay home Mark I will save $150.

    However please do come to NamesCon and let’s just hug this out.

  6. It seems pretty obvious from reading Ron Jackson’s post about Webfest 2013 that it was not as big of a success as they anticipated. Here is what Ron said,

    “They will either push all of their chips into the center of the table and spend big to promote and run Webfest Global in 2014 and the years that follow, or they will cut bait and redirect their resources before this year is out.”

    here is the link to his post


    If they were going to hold a conference around the same date in 2014 they would have had to start heavily promoting it already to hold the conference in January. We are already in November and it doesn’t take charts and graphs to figure out that its not going to happen especially when Richards conference is basically being held on the same date as last years Webfest.

  7. This looks like an awesome conference and really hits the nail on the head. Cut out the fluff and food and just provide great content, speakers, and networking opportunities. Franks Schilling and Jeremy Schoemaker as keynote speakers – how cool is that? The $199 early bird price is insane. I think they will hit over 400 attendees before that pricing special is over at the end of the month. If you are even considering attending, buy your tickets now! That is such a nominal price. Thanks Richard! I am excited for what you are putting together!

  8. Totally agree, cut those fluffs.
    I am happy eating $5 subway sandwiches , share with others in motel6 and better still, have all of us in a hot tub, naked.

    It is called Nothing to hide.

    January is the best time to fly because it is the slowest time of the year and you can find the best bargains in Vegas.

  9. Domain conference without opening the flood gates for non-domainers, end users, small business owners, big business, investors from other fields, domainers in general, mom and pops, will be just re-inventing the wheel.

    Domaining should lose the elite status.

    There’s nothing to teach anybody in domaining that is not already known. People don’t own sex.com, or A.com, because they don’t know those are good names, they just can’t afford buying or investing in such names.

    Associating with domain name stars, such as Schilling is good, but is it really worth going to several conferences for?

    Type-in traffic is good, but not for the PPC it could earn you.

    It’s time to marry good domain names to television advertising, not just Google.

    Domaining the way it used to be 6-10 years ago, is dead!

    Domain blogs should cut the crap of reporting the present market place auctions the way they are constituted. Obviously something doesn’t add up. None of those sales are true market prices. I am almost certain 99% of those transactions are inexplicable. For one, the reported sales, including on DNJournal does not pass the smell test, and there are no “comparable” data. Usually, in a true market, one domain, though they are unique assets, will fetch similar prices. Just like custom homes in a neighborhood track comparables, 4br bedroom 5 bath, 4500sq ft home, say Colonial, will comp a Spanish Hacienda, on the same street.

    The price of the conference is good, could still be lower, perhaps half of that, to attract thousands. We need fresh people, and ideas. Domaining has been an Elite business, it’s about time it stopped. I disagree with Schwartz on this one. Charging over $1700 for domain conference is insane. Unless there’s a secret meeting there that I’m not privy to, I don’t support him on that. I do agree with him on many issues, but it’s time he started thinking numbers. It’s a numbers game. Every one should be encouraged to look into domain names, and the great opportunity it offers.

  10. What’s with all of these negative names on the market?
    Con? Con Artist, Con Trick,

    This domain has a negative connotation from the start, the very best of luck to the brand though of course, shame about the name. IMO

  11. I wanted to add the following to my comment above:

    I have had some successes in reversing some elitist moves so far, that has benefited the average domainer, and at the same time improved the service offered by the elite. Here’s a couple of examples:

    1. Frank Schilling was running his Domain Name Sales platform for people with big portfolios, and special domain names; I am on record as condemning the move as elitist and pig-headed. I believe my writings effectuated a change in that approach. The platform was opened up for just about everybody. (I don’t use any service offered by Mr. Schilling, never have).

    2. Elliotsblog.com, on this blog was running two separate weekly domain name sales platforms, one for elite brokers, and one for regular folks, and of course the elite one was featured on domaining.com, whereas the regular one was not; I fought to have both combined, and was successful. I believe it’s now one of the more visited series on DomainInvesting.com.

    3. I complained on RicksBlog.com that domain conferences should cost $300 and attract 1700 attendees, rather than cost $1700 and attract 300 attendees; and I believe Richard Lau must have read that piece.

    I am fighting for all domainers. And I want nothing in return.

  12. “What’s with all of these negative names on the market? Con? Con Artist, Con Trick, This domain has a negative connotation from the start, the very best of luck to the brand though of course, shame about the name. IMO”

    Using “con” in the name is actually a good marketing tactic as “con” has been heavily branded for years to mean “conference”. Ever hear of “ComicCon”? It is huge show…How about MobileCon, HostingCon. I think there are dozens of other major conferences that use the word “con” in the name.

    I thought it was a good name choice when I first read it – I didn’t even think of a negative association until you mentioned it. Very minor concern IMO.

    • OK! OK! OK! Here we go again, I’m from England, you guy’s have a different grammar over there! πŸ˜‰

      PS. Never heard of ComicCon, MobileCon? ETC.

      Mind, you would never get a .con

  13. It’s refreshing to see a domain convention with reasonable pricing for a change, far in contrast to the overpriced and overrated TRAFFIC conventions that exclude a great deal of domainers from attending.

    And since this only a 4 hour drive away, I just may attend this one :).. Please post the venue asap so we can all make plans.

    Thank you πŸ˜‰

  14. @ Domenclature.com, Points very well made, I once heard Rick speak at a internext convention, they had the whole Moniker crew there, Rick said that anyone not willing to pay $5000 to attend one of his conventions are quote “time wasters” end quote, I found that incredibly insulting and I wrote it down. I never considered myself a “time waster”, I got into domaining in the late 90’s and I’ve made a lot of money from it, money that I choose to spend wisely, NOT foolishly on lavish hotels and high priced conventions.

    My last trade convention in Vegas was in July of this year, total cost including 3 seminars and admission for two was about $300, and for lunch I went to the food court, no more than $30 a day and our hotel was $135 a night at the Encore, a little pricey but I like sleeping in a nice bed πŸ™‚

  15. @ Howie & @ JBS

    There is also PubCon which is held in Las Vegas each fall (and will now also have one in New Orleans too) for over 7 years now.. I went there for the 3rd time 2 weeks ago (in Liu of TRAFFIC because of the overlapping days)… as for PubCon (aka: WebmasterWorld), the gig as strong, broad & deep content spread over 4 days (at a fair price) and has attendance reaching over 3,000 … with attendees & speakers comprised of many of the top SEO, Social Media, Web development, media and Internet-centric pros from around the world…

    The name PubCon is ingrained and accepted in many people’s minds .. and for the frequent attendees it is so accepted it is simply said “a matter of factly” and not negatively … “Con” is simply a catchy abbreviation for “Conference” and can also be for “Convention” as well

    “NamesCon” has Legs too (IMO) … I predict the “event” will be a success See Ya’ll There !

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