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Frank Schilling Flew Coach and Other Takeaways From Namescon Last Year

I was trying to do a little housecleaning and planning yesterday and came across a post I wrote about Namescon but never posted.  It reminded me that I also need to start making plans for Namescon later this winter.  Here are a few things about last year that either surprised me, made me do things different this year, or made me giggle.


1.  Frank Schilling flew coach to the conference.  I can’t verify through photos, but I have a good source that says he was on the plane and was surprised to see Frank back with the common folk.  While there’s nothing wrong with flying coach, it’s all I usually do, but I don’t have tens of millions.  Maybe that’s why he has tens of millions.

2.  Namescon killed the rest of the domain conferences.  It only took a day to know that the other conferences were in trouble.   The price initially was the draw for everyone.  It was too cheap not to go. Especially to Vegas.  I admit that I was skeptical that a good show could be put together for that low ticket cost.  Richard Lau said he had the same feeling until the number of attendees reached a certain number.     TRAFFIC knew that it had to change as well.  There were rumors that they called DomainFest to see if they were interested in merging together for a show.  And no, not the same source as the Schilling spotter

3. The music was WAY too loud at the “dance” party.  And it’s not because I’m old. Most of come to talk and socialize at the parties and I could barely hear.  There were a lot of people that left the party so they could talk.   I love music, I love to watch people dance, but when you have to put your lips on the persons ear so they can hear you it’s a tad too loud.  Hoping the alcohol continues and the music gets turned down to 7.  On a side note, I went up to the room later that night because and and left Braden Pollock dancing the night away on the dance floor.  When I turned on the TV there was his wife Lisa Bloom on TV talking about the legal proceedings of Justin Bieber.   I guess someone’s got to pay for that Fiskar.

4.  The conference easily had the best panels of any conference I’ve seen or been too in Domain Investing.   And that’s with me not being on any of them 🙂 .  I tend to be critical of speakers and panels because I do it for a living.  I do a weekly TV show and radio shows and after 20 years of public speaking I can tell instantly if a speaker knows his stuff and has the ability to relay that information.Those two don’t always go together.   There was a much higher percentage of panelist who could hold their own on the stage than I expected.  My biggest surprise was Merlin Kauffman.  I know he is super intelligent and smooth, but his speaking skills were much more polished than I expected.  Polished and professional on the stage.  I’m sure this year there will be even more

5.  I missed the SharkTank like segment  and “Dinner with a Domainer” from DomainFest.  These were by far my favorite part of Domain Shows.  I truly enjoyed sitting down to lunch with Michael Berkens, Braden Pollock , Morgan Linton, and many more over the years.  I think you could even raise money for Water School by asking for a few dollars to sit down with the big boys like Schilling and Berkens.  As for Shark Tank, I realize it’s hard to pull off because you need investors and VC guys there but I had an idea.  I call it  “The Big Buildout” .  Maybe having 10 people bring their domains and their presentation for buildout.  All competing for a free $10,000 buildout from a company that offers that service.  The people competing have to bring their own domain and their ideas.  Everyone talks about building out but never do.  Just a thought.

6.  The Tropicana is a good conference venue (it’s why the AVNs used to be there) , rooms are fine, but the there is absolutely no food available and hardly any gaming tables.  Yes there are a few restaurants in the hotel but they are, IMO,  lacking.   I found myself leaving the hotel and going to NY NY and other places for food.   I think its a great tradeoff to keep the tickets low because the money saved was more than enough to pay for all my meals and even the plane ticket

7. Dot Club had the best game plan of the conference.  It’s no wonder they’ve been the most successful new gTLD in my opinion.  No gimmicks, nothing fancy, just an idea that everyone wants to be part of club.  They were especially interested in the Asian market, and although I don’t know exactly how that segment has turned out, it certainly was the right segment to concentrate on

8.  When the cab driver asks if you want to take the highway, say no.  Tell him to take the shortest distance.  The damn hotel is almost walking distance from the airport and if they take the highway it doubles the price of the cab. Last time I told him “I can see the hotel from here, why would you take the highway”  Bad conversation from that point but costs under $10 for a cab ride.  Cheapest cab ride in Vegas  It only took me about 4 trips to figure it out.

9. Bring the significant other or a new domain investor.  TRAFFIC has always been welcoming to wife and family, and Namescon is no different, it’s just that the first ticket is a lot cheaper.  I would say 30-40% of the people in attendance had their spouses or significant others with them in Vegas.  If you’re going to take someone new to the industry that wants to learn more, this is it.


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