Do we need yet another Domain Conference?

Howard Neu announced THE Domain Conference yesterday, to be held during September 26-29 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Those of us that know Howard for quite some time now, take this announcement as a serious move in the domain conference market; as a co-founder of TRAFFIC along with Rick Schwartz, Howard and his wife Barbara and son Ray are ‘dead serious’ about organizing such an event.

The obvious question to ask is whether we actually need yet another Domain Conference.

With DomainFest becoming a part of a giant NamesCon, and TRAFFIC having closed down informally, THE Domain Conference steps into unknown territory.

As a Floridian, I attended TRAFFIC in 2008, when it was held in Orlando. The other Florida event that I attended was TRAFFIC 2012 in Ft. Lauderdale, the same venue THE Domain Conference is scheduled at.

The obvious benefits of having a domain conference held close to home, as opposed further out, are many.

As I write this, it’s 77 degrees, all while most of the US is under heavy snow and yucky weather; in late September, the climate in South Florida is mild and barring any surprises, the storm season is not at its worst.

Traveling along the east coast is a great experience, and last time I drove to Miami instead of flying, I had an interesting trip without any incidents, and only came across one crazy driver going 90 mph on the fast lane.

It appears to me, that THE Domain Conference will attract more traditional domain investors, drawn for the core TRAFFIC crowd, as opposed to the new entrepreneurs that are involved in new TLDs and other means of branding. That being said, Howard Neu and the people he works with are smart and should be able to produce a balanced agenda.

A hint at this, is the fact that THE Domain Conference uses a dot .CLUB domain as its URL. Clearly, that might have shocked many, Rick Schwartz included, but the idea behind .CLUB domains is to promote them as ‘clubs’.

Lastly, THE Domain Conference is priced at $499 currently, with accommodation at the venue barely above $100 per night; the ticket to attend is almost one third of what TRAFFIC tickets were normally priced at.

As it’s too early for me to commit to going, I will post an update later this year; in the meantime, I strongly recommend THE Domain Conference to those that have always considered going to TRAFFIC but found the ticket to be expensive.

Visit THE Domain Conference for news and updates.


  1. They seem to own the .com, and it is not unusual for sponsors to seek certain conditions before releasing funds, hence .club

  2. It looks like Howard owns the .com as well.

  3. Yes, they own the .com and forward it to the .CLUB. Such a move used to be considered ‘risky’ but it’s a loud and clear endorsement of gTLDs and .CLUB in particular.

  4. Acro: I don’t think “it’s a loud and clear endorsement of gTLDs and .CLUB in particular”. I think it is a loud and clear benefit and service to the main conference sponsor. Not that that is wrong in any way… I just don’t see it much beyond that.

  5. Shaun – It’s time that gTLDs became less of a taboo among the core of old school domainers, kudos to Howard Neu for showing the way.

  6. Justin Herfield says

    Agreed. Well said kudos to him for showing the way.

  7. I don’t understand when you say Mr.Neu for showing the way, if Verisign paid for a sponsorship of this show, and asked them to use .com, instead. I mean at Traffic 2012 Howard was in a debate of why .com was so great. I don’t think this has anything to do with use, but rather than sponsor direction. Regardless to each their own.

  8. Tom – It seems to me that you are in utter shock over the fact that they chose .CLUB to christen their brand new domain conference. But each to their own.

  9. Acro, personally doesn’t matter to me, If .club is going to sponsor the show, then they will request that the show use .club, it is simple business, they need to get something for their sponsorship dollars. We both know today that .com is still dominant, 10 years down the road, I have no idea, but I am not sure what you are trying to spin.

    Shaun basically stated the same thing, that the sponsor needs to receive a benefit for their service. We all know Namescon, is very well received, and only so many people have so much money to go to shows, and they are not cheap by any means to put on, and sponsorship dollars get budgeted, so it can be difficult to raise money.

    There is nothing more to make of it, like I said if Versign paid $1M and said use .net, I am sure they would have no issue doing that.

  10. Tom – The fact is, they went with .CLUB as the primary domain URL, and not .com.

    The latter is a backup for legacy purposes. I detect a lot of fear or resentment in your tone, and the only one that’s “spinning” something is you by the notion that it’s just to appease a sponsor. If that’s the case, we’ll have to revisit next year, will they go with .XYZ or remain with .CLUB just to “appease the sponsors” of that time?

    A brand does not change every year or it’s doomed to fail.

    Regarding the cost of attending domain conferences, it’s part of the definition of domainers: investors, versus flippers. The latter kind, won’t attend, regardless of the cost of a ticket.

    The difference between com/net and Verisign, versus .CLUB is that the charades about .com as being untouchable are getting old. The mere fact that there are numerous companies building on gTLDs shows exactly that.

  11. “Do We Need Another Domain Conference”
    It’s not another conference it’s the conference that launched all others. The original, the more important one.

    I guess if they comped your admission or advertised on your other blogs the headline would be “Traffic Repackaged Into Great New Club. So why would anyone need NamesCon any more?”

  12. “Tom Ferry” – Come again?

    This is not TRAFFIC 2.0, in case you missed the memo. Rick Schwartz is retired, and since he retains the TRAFFIC brand, Howard Neu had to create a new domain conference from the ground up. First proof: the price.

    NamesCon is great, I was there both last year, this year and will be there in 2016. Where were you?

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