There’s no doubt that NamesCon has changed domain conferences forever. A switch to a low cost, high information, based conference, essentially made them THE conference and put all the other conferences out of business or on their heels. But all things can be improved. Here are a few ideas that I have after attending the first two.
1. Have a for pay, evening meal. Each evening there are a few sponsored meals that are highly attended but it also leaves those that aren’t invited or new to the industry, without anyone to eat with or something to do. I remember being that person. Everyone talking about all the great dinners they were going to but I wasn’t invited to any (I’d like to think that it was because I was new and not that everyone figured out I am an ass). I think it would be great to have a pre -organized meal that anyone can pay to attend. Have a set cost and a required time in advance to RSVP. Maybe even have a guest of honor speaker in the middle.
2. Two Days of Auction. Last years’ auction was great. Good results, good times but way too long. I think there should be two days of auctions with each night having its own “theme” of the types of names being sold. Make sure each night has some big boy names to bring the crowd but maybe a short domain auction one night and then the others the next day. Then you won’t lose people like they did last year. And auctions don’t have to be the last event of the afternoon/evening . After lunch is a great time to draw a big crowd.
3. Raise money for charity by “Lunch with a Mentor/Domain Investor Celebrity (name to be chosen later) “ . I don’t have a real name for it but essentially have 5 or 6 “special” people that you can pay to have lunch with. Have a set amount of people per table and and have the starting cost be $5 per person. And then auction them off. For instance. You want to eat with Frank Schilling. Start the bidding at $5 and have it move from there. Shouldn’t be too hard to have 6 tables of people that others would pay money to eat and chat with.
4. Slots tournament. We’re in Vegas and if I remember correctly the hotel had a whole section set aside for a tournament. I like ping pong but a slots tournament would probably draw more interest in my opinion. Easily sponsored.
5. Non industry speakers. Our industry needs new speakers. The same people have spoken over and over and over again. The industry is small and we’ve heard from pretty much everyone that is willing to get up and speak. There are a ton of interesting people from all walks of business that would interesting to hear from. I wouldn’t worry about the keynote drawing attendees because I can guarantee nobody is coming just for the keynote. Understandably NamesCon wants seminars to help domain investors but anyone who started and run a website or business probably has good things share. And they would be stories we haven’t already heard.
6. Bring back a SharkTank type seminar. Maybe this time instead of just an investor have a panel of 3. One investor, one developer, and one business person. Have 10 different people pitch a domain they have with a buildout they had in mind. Let the domain owner pitch it and then the 3 can see if anyone presents a package they would get involved with. Just an idea
I’m sure NamesCon is reading the comments so feel free to chime in on any ideas you have or if you think any of these are worth looking in to.