TRAFFIC 2012 in Ft. Lauderdale is over.
Those that participated, most likely share the same sentiment with me: it was an experience so packed with substance, that it felt like three conferences in one.
There are various ways to rate a domain conference, so here are some ratings, as I see them.
Quality of attendees.
Aside from the core group of “serial attendees”, a lot of people attended TRAFFIC for the first time. These men and women are already successful in what they do with domain names; but in terms of being a part of a domain conference, they lost their “cherry” at this one. Another group of attendees were novice in the domain investment game and they were present in order to learn how to improve their strategy and learn new things.
Quality of classes and seminars.
Rick Schwartz is not afraid to test things, and this year’s event offered a definite variety of content; from parking, monetization, development to techniques of building a real business on top of domain names. Howard Neu was particularly active as moderator during the sessions; by moving away from the panels and into the rows of attendees, Howard Neu essentially used the ‘Socratic method’ of interacting with the panels. A job well done.
Quality of exhibits.
While exhibits were fewer this year, this didn’t stop anyone from receiving useful and important information about the status and course of the domain industry. Many exhibit organizers took the extra step of meeting with attendees in small, private sessions, engaging in extended presentations. That method was clearly several steps above simply showcasing a pretty booth with a few freebies and no conversation.
Quality of business opportunities.
The industry consists of the ‘old guard’ and ‘new blood’. These two groups were successful in sharing with each other their respective experiences, ideas, and tools. The benefits were tremendous and mutually rewarding. Impromptu events generated the dynamics for connections, alliances and new, exciting projects, without the restrictions of remote communications. Simply put, mingling is for social butterflies, but power sessions are for entrepreneurs; the latter case was prominently evident.
Quality of entertainment.
TRAFFIC provided the environment for the type of fun adult entrepreneurs require. The event was a beehive of energy that did not rely on the bad weather of the first day; if parties were not enough, the afterparties created small powerhouses of information and fun. Yes, adults drink alcohol and loosen up; when this is done responsibly, it’s a stimulant producing ideas and “out of the box” decisions.
As a Floridian, I appreciated the chance to get “on the road” and combine business and pleasure with a sight-seeing experience.
The real work begins now, because TRAFFIC 2012 in Ft. Lauderdale will serve as the stepping stone for the next event in Las Vegas. Creating a better event for the participants and the domain industry is not just a rewarding challenge, it’s also a reaffirmation that we, as humans – from every country in the world – still have hope to co-exist harmoniously and constructively.