I can’t believe it’s already been a full week since TRAFFIC 2012 opened its gates to hundreds of attendees.
This was my 3rd TRAFFIC conference since 2008, and I gained so much from every moment of interactive communication with the domain conference organizers, their exhibitors and fellow attendees. The smart attendees took advantage of the early bird pricing, which was $995 initially; but still, even paying full price does not reduce the value of attending the conference. Such domain conferences pack a lot of events that serious domain investors cannot afford to miss out.
The launch of new products and services is simply the surface; so let’s scratch it a little bit.
If you’re the social butterfly type, the cabana networking is the best place to begin meeting people. The Ritz-Carlton hotel in Ft. Lauderdale provided a fine environment to kick-start the event. Not only did I meet with domain industry officials, some of which I was happy to see again for the second or third time, but I was able to communicate with and educate common “folks” vacationing at the hotel. They seemed to be intrigued by the domain industry and its ability to turn “URLs” into profitable enterprises, or assets with a monetary value.
Breaking the ice is necessary when one is not quite known in the domain industry; I met both new investors and entrepreneurs tapping into domaining for the first time, and seasoned experts in marketing and angel investments. To achieve this kind of interaction, one needs to be clear in their approach, what they do and how they differ. Although the cabana networking is aided by finger food and lots of drinks, there is no room for wasteful conversations.
The parties that followed that same day, gave everyone the opportunity to further reach out and interact with everyone else, regardless of “rank” or stature. I had some very important conversations that same night, that led to upcoming ventures. Ideas flowed as fast as alcohol; sticking to beer usually helps retain control of one’s behavior. I can’t say though that everyone did the same; a couple of good folks had to be escorted back to the hotel for their own safety.
The sessions that followed on Monday and Tuesday were full of opportunities to listen and learn. The interactive manner of those sessions allowed for the absorption of the vital information presented, regarding monetization, development, emerging technologies and markets. The ability to take breaks and form self-sufficient “pools” of people led to many stimulating conversations. Several people sold, or promised to acquire, domain names for amounts that would not be achieved at a public auction. Those that seized the opportunity to contact as many people as possible, would then further expand on their goals and projects during more quiet times of the TRAFFIC conference.
Lounging time was excellent; after Monday’s rain and wind were over, we were greeted by the usual sunny weather that us Floridians are accustomed to. The ability to lounge by the pool, sauna or at the beachfront below, added to the relaxation and invigoration of those that attended. It was business and pleasure combined; kudos to the organizers for selecting the best possible location as they do with every show.
The conference was also the time to iron out differences and misunderstandings, and to forge new alliances. I was humbled by the commentary of those that are familiar with my work, something that I appreciate and value tremendously. Those of us that produce content for the domain industry, face a daily amount of “writer’s block” among other things, but the TRAFFIC conference stimulated us in various ways.
I would advise everyone to attend TRAFFIC in the future, and without a doubt try out other domain conferences as well. Domainfest is coming up in February, and TRAFFIC is in late May. There is plenty of time to plan ahead – don’t do it the last minute.
A big thank you goes out to the organizers, their crew and to the wonderful people that I met at TRAFFIC 2012 in Ft. Lauderdale.