It’s a VERY simple thing. If you come to Vegas to meet and greet TRAFFIC attendees and don’t have a ticket or pay for a sponsorship, you are leeching off the money and hard work that brought everyone to town.
Yes, it’s a free country. You can talk and do business with whomever you like, whenever you like. And yes, it’s nice to be in a place that is full of all of your customers or potential customers. But behind all those people is a reason they are there. A team that worked, planned, and put out money to have them there. If that didn’t happen they wouldn’t be there. And therefore if you travel to monetize this group and don’t pay for it, you are leeching and you deserve to be called out.
Tickets to TRAFFIC purchased early were relatively cheap. Vegas is also or can be, one of the cheapest places to stay and fly into in the US. Owen Frager was nice enough to email me and say he found a room for under $100. I got a roommate and made the Bellagio a pretty reasonable place to stay. If you are making money in domain investing or have a company that works with domain investors, the cost is a minimal part of doing business.
I am writing this not because I am part of the TRAFFIC team, but because I had a guest in town that I wanted to bring to dinner at TRAFFIC and wanted to see if it was possible and what it would cost. Food and drink cost money and I was hoping to not have to buy a whole ticket just for two dinners. But I wanted to spend time with my domaining friends and this guest. The guest was very special, she is my Mom. My Mom lives in California and since I hardly get to see her, she wanted to drive over and say hello. I thought it would be great to take her to a couple of evening events and show her how great the domain industry is. That there is a nice mix of people and the conversation is great. And like I said before, I could still go to dinner with family and attend the events. Rick was more than generous and said old Moms was welcome to come to any dinner she wanted, for free. A very generous offer, and an offer that meant a lot to me. It also made me even more peeved when I hear people that want to freeload when someone is willing to help out those that are participating financially in the event.