People who aren’t in the know about domaining conferences think it’s a bunch of web geeks that get together and trade domains and then go back to the hotel room at 8 and call their mother. It’s not quite like that, although I may have called my Mom but I think it was for bail money. It’s actually a combination of socializing, learning, and a whole bunch of partying thrown in. As a matter of fact, it took this 40 year old man to detox and catch up on his sleep because I slept a grand total of 12 hours in three days, 8 more hours than Rick Latona after the computer crash. Here are 10 helpful hints to get the most out of a domaining conference.
1. Meet as many people as you can but pick a few that you connect with. There are plenty of people to meet at the conferences. Some of them don’t care to meet you and that’s OK because every conference there seems to be someone that you really enjoy spending time with. I’m not talking about the representative from Sedo (she’s a nice young lady as well) but other domainers that have similar interests that you can build a friendship with long after the conference is over.
2. Drink a water in between the Gin and Tonic: There WILL be drinking and it will go much later than you’re used to (alcoholics, 25 year olds, and people from LA not included) so take it slow. You payed a lot of money and don’t want to have to stay in your room and miss the conference hung over because you chased every Corona with an Irish Car Bomb
3. Bring Business Cards: They need to have all you contact data and a little something to let them know what your specialty is. Otherwise its impossible to remember everyone you meet. I had a flower on my card and Morgan Linton said something to the effect “you know the worse part about having a flower on your business card? Telling your Mom you’re Gay”
4. If you’re married be careful. Chris Rock said it best “A man is as faithful as his options” When you’re at a conference, those options seem to open up. Add a little alcohol and you could be on your way to dividing your domains with your former wife. There’s nothing sexier than a man with a nice domain portfolio and the ladies know it, so behave yourself. Also, it’s cool to bring your wife………if she’s hot
5. Sneak in a nap: It will pay off later in the evening. The parties after the conference are were you really get to know people and make some great friends. It’s hard to do that when you’re yawning all night or even worse, don’t even go out because you’re too tired. It’s amazing what a power nap during the day will do.
6. Hang with Chef Patrick. He knows more people than Bill Clinton and he is always kind enough to introduce you everyone he knows. He purposely switches to a non Alexa toolbar browser when he visits my site to keep the Alexa rank down, but he’s still a great guy. I highly suggest the $200 Chef Patrick Social Deluxe package. It includes meeting Ron Jackson, Rick Latona, two other “A” list domainers as well as 10 “B” level domainers. Certainly worth the money.
7. Watch the bar tab. There are many companies that are gracious enough to pay the bill at dinner or the bar tab afterward but make sure you don’t assume. Offer to throw some money into the kitty for the drinks and if they refuse then fine, but we had an incident where a bar tab got a little high and one person got stuck with it. Somebody has to pay the bill just make sure everyone agrees who. We don’t want any domainer fights.
8. Let Morgan Linton be your tour guide. As much as Chef Patrick knows the people, Morgan knows the sites. It really doesn’t matter which city, he can give you a tour that a professional guide couldn’t match. All you have to do is buy him a few Stellas and the tour begins. My favorite package is the “Since you were Here” package. You tell him the last time you were in the city and he’ll show you all the places that have been built since then. He gives this tour everywhere but Detroit.
9. Don’t judge any books by their covers. It’s amazing the diversity of the people at the shows. The guy that looks like a million dollars owns 12 dot infos and the guy that looks like he is barely in college is a domain stud (Merlin). Everyone will tell you what they do but only someone else will tell you how much he’s worth.
10. Talk it Up/Be Social. Want to have a bad time. Sit is your little corner and watch. Instead, share your ideas and thoughts. You might be surprised that the guy on the other end of your conversation is just the person to answer your question or solve your problem. What I took away from TRAFFIC was mostly gathered from talking to people before, during, and after the events. The events were OK but the people attending them were a bevy of information. Utilize it. You only get to see them a few times a year and when you meet a nice person face to face it’s easier to share. I couldn’t believe how nice everyone was at the conference and how helpful. I think I only met one person at these conferences that could care less if I was there but that’s a different story.