That was a quote I read over at a DnForum thread yesterday regarding the recent and future Rick Latona run TRAFFIC conferences, a thread where he is getting blasted from everything from poor execution,to the 60 day exclusivity of the domain names at auction, and the poor quality of names. I don’t know Rick but I know his kind because his kind is like me. If things don’t go exactly as planned you sit down and start planning to do better (or you take a really long bike ride to relax and THEN think about it). You don’t step back, you step up.
After a few weeks to take it all in, I have a few thoughts and suggestions about the auction and the conference itself. Off course, these are all suggestions, all from an outsider that has no idea of what goes on behind the scenes of producing a conference. So feel free to bash me, or disagree with my opinions, I’m a big boy, I can take it.
Jodi Chamberlain: A true asset to the Latona team. Rick can come across as moody at times but Jodi is always all smiles. A great face for the organization that always seems under control and willing to do what needs to be done. The perfect person to be the face and smile of Latona.
There was an odd mix of names for the live auction but Rick is known for not putting in his own names. The “Rick loaded it with his own names” posts are false. I’m pretty sure there were plenty of “friends and family portfolio” names but the odd mix and the poor sales have nothing to do with Rick putting in his own names.
Not enough lower priced good names to bring in the average Joe. If you want to only have the wealthy guys bidding on the big names you are going to exclude all the thousands of people on the net that would buy up the lower priced domains . Thousands adds up to millions. What would YOU rather have, passed names or names that fetched 2-5K?
They really need to watch the reserves. Some were downright awful. Mentioned were DMCA.com for $50K and medicaltranscriptionist.com for 60K. I agree the reserves on many were end user prices not domainer auction prices. They had exactly 0% chance of being sold.
The extended auctions are dead. With a stable online system I think it would be best to add more names to the live auction. Do what Domain Fest did and have two live auctions. One for the lower priced, one for higher
All in all, the networking was great, the parties were great, and everywhere I went I met someone and had a nice long conversation. I went by myself and went in knowing exactly 0 people. I knew some names but not a soul knew me (actually there were a few readers that knew who I was) . I now feel I’ve met at least 10 people I’ve become good friends with and will keep in weekly contact with. Anyone who didn’t get this out of it didn’t make an effort. Rick produced a first class conference and did almost everything on his own dime but most importantly, gave everyone an opportunity to meet and learn from people in our industry. So be an armchair quarterback, bash the thing but if you didn’t come your opinion doesn’t matter and if you came then and didn’t like it, talk to Rick and tell him what you think. I guarantee he wants to hear what you say and will try to make it better.