One of the great things about coming in late is you get to analyze what’s been done in the past. You get to take the good and the bad and create something new from scratch. There is a reason South Korea has the fastest internet in the world. They built on a fresh new infrastructure and weren’t bogged down using old technology and ideas like we had in the US. On that same note, I think Namescon is coming in at a great time into the domain investing conference world. After 10 years of attending and gathering ideas of what domainers are really looking for in a conference and are now ready to give it a try themselves.
My first domain conference was quite an experience. It was a domain conference in Vegas and I went because I got a half price ticket late and I got a great deal on the hotel and flight. Overall it was a pretty good conference but I remember few things vividly. One, the auction didn’t go smoothly. I was also surprised how much of the higher end bids were coming from some very young people. Secondly, while I enjoyed a few of the sessions, I learned twice as much about domain investing at the dinners and the parties after the show, than I did during the day. I really couldn’t even tell you who spoke at that conference or even remember if there was a keynote, but I did enjoy the Shark Tank-like presentations. It says a lot about the conference when I can’t remember who even talked.
That first conference, a group of guys, Oscar Correa, Ron Wells, Jason Thompson, Morgan Linton, Merlin Kaufmann, and Richard Lau were first group of guys that sat down and talked to me. That may not remember those first conversations but I do. Twenty four hours before, nobody in the industry had ever met me, and now the first domainer of the year was inviting me out to a club. I felt like somebody in the industry even though it was just a invite out for a few drinks.
Richard Lau is now inviting everyone to Vegas for a few drinks and a chance to talk domains at NamesCon. Richard was nice enough to email me last month and ask what I thought about getting domain investors together during Affiliate West and if I had any thoughts. I told him what I said above. The only reason people were going to conferences anymore was to talk to other domain investors and have some face to face meetings. That tended to take place over meals and drinks. So either the talks needed to improve or we might as well just stick have dinners and drinks. It looks like Richard is trying to change that with NamesCon. While the list of speakers is still growing, there is already a group of people that I actually am looking forward to seeing give a talk.
Frank Schilling is a rockstar in our industry and while always the center of every room, this is the first time in the last three years he’s been the main speaker. He’s been on panels but I’ve never seen him give a solo talk. And Jeremy Schoemaker has been the keynote of many an affiliate conference, but it will be interesting to hear him cross over to our industry and tell a little on how to actually use our domains to make money. Another reason why having a conference at the same time as Affiliate Summit makes sense. There are plenty of people from the affiliate world that will be in town that have a lot of info that would correlate well to our industry. Finally, I am probably most interested to hear Merlin Kauffman speak. He’s made millions in this industry and yet I’ve never heard him give a speech. Like Schilling, he commands a room when he enters, so he should have no problem keeping us entertained and informed for a half hour.
And the best part of the conference is the cost. As I’ve said many times before, there is no cheaper place to get to and stay than Vegas. They practically give away flights and rooms in hopes you’re going to gamble all your money away. Add in the estimated low cost of the conference and I think this is the best opportunity for a new or newer domain investor to finally get to a conference. I don’t think you’ll find a less intimidating, inexpensive, chance to get to talk to and hear from people that will be able to help you make money in this industry. Yes, I’m biased because the organizer actually asked me for my thoughts, and I asked him if I could speak. But I think there a lot more domain investors out there who haven’t been able to make it to a conference. Maybe they are part time. Maybe they are not real social and afraid they’ll be alienated because nobody knows them. Perhaps they can’t afford to spend $3K on a domain conference. Whatever the reason, I’m all for having a conference for anyone that wants to try and make a little money domaining and I wanted to be a part of something/somebody that was willing to try and make that happen. I think NamesCon will bridge that gap and bring in a crowd of this type as well as the more seasoned investors that make it to at least one a year.