Is there room for 3 domain conferences and 3 licensed escrow companies?

In a recent post about change, I mentioned that it is inevitable and basically unstoppable. The domain industry cannot be an exception, and today’s core elements are very different from a decade or even five years ago.

Change indicates evolution, either through the adoption of new strategies, techniques and procedures, or by a complete shift in direction.

Keeping up with the domain industry’s rapid growth will be a necessity in 2014 and beyond. Finally, there is growth from within, versus a pull to random directions by ‘magnetic’ forces loosely associated with the domain industry.

An example of growth can be determined by the quality and quantity of exhibitors during a given domain conference.

After I attended NamesCon 2014 in Las Vegas, I experienced the willingness of industry companies, big and small, to reach out to investors and encourage first-time ‘outsiders’ to understand the changing game in how domains and brands are evolving.

There are now three major domain conferences: TRAFFIC, NamesCon and Domainfest. The latter, re-incarnated from its previous renaming to Webfest after the unfortunate Playboy Mansion events of 2011.

In terms of exhibitor participation, NamesCon far exceeded my expectations, considering how this event was put together in under 90 days, by professionals Jodi Chamberlain and Jothan Frakes, who managed a team of hard-working individuals under the direction of visionary, Richard Lau.

In terms of exhibitor numbers, NamesCon was as big as TRAFFIC 2008 and TRAFFIC 2010/Vegas, both of which I attended. It was also the biggest domain conference in recent memory, in terms of attendee participation.

Onto the world of licensed escrow companies: is now sharing the field with newcomers and

Andee Hill contributed to the great reputation of for more than a decade, and she’s backing her newly founded business with that experience, at is founded by one of the domain industry’s most prolific minds, Ammar Kubba, who also operates Thought Convergence – sister company of DomainTools.

All three shared the floor during NamesCon, an indication that they can comfortably co-exist.

They are operated by professionals with a great reputation and a personal attention to detail; each one offers a different, yet positive experience. In the end, consumers need more choices and it’s great knowing that there now more options to close and process a domain deal with.

The domain industry’s current growth rate is projected to accelerate through 2014 and beyond.

The introduction of gTLDs as an imminent expansion of the domain name space has created an increasing number of companies that tap many different industries: legal firms, the telecom/tech sector, marketing and PR firms, content creators and developers. Any domain conference that takes this growth into account and incorporates these elements into its agenda, will continue to succeed.

Here’s to a bigger, better, brighter year in domaining – and beyond.


  1. A great post would be to try all three escrow services selling a similar priced domain all to U.S. based buyers (so the transaction timing would be similar) and keep a detailed account of each transaction and than compare one to the other.
    As for the original question, I think there is room for more than one conference as long as they are spread out within the year. Having one and then another only a couple months apart isn’t very smart. Domainfest announcing their conference date 2 months before it takes place is event suicide in my opinion. Give people a chance to make time or plan it without being under the gun.

  2. Todd – I agree, there is usually advance notice when a trade show has gone through one cycle of events in a particular year; in the case of Domainfest, they are returning from a hiatus and naturally they picked a time during the year that isn’t taken yet: TRAFFIC/Vegas is in May 28-31 and then in October.

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