Thoughts and recollections from attending NamesCon 2016

When I thanked Richard Lau and the NamesCon Team in advance, I had no doubt in my mind that they’d produce a stellar domain conference.

Spending several days in Las Vegas can take its toll, particularly when one has to balance business with entertainment.

My legs are still sore from being part of a quickly arranged soccer match, with two teams of domainers – some of us pushing 50 – kicking a ball on artificial turf for 60 minutes. The Sunday fun was 100% a prelude of what NamesCon 2016 would be: lots of contact, interaction, challenges, learning new tricks, and above all, teamwork.

Back to the conference itself.

First and foremost, the number of attendees skyrocketed this year, based on the increased interest of domain investors to be part of a well-organized event, the introduction of new active markets and the infusion of the domainer community with new blood.

During the 3 times that I attended TRAFFIC, I learned a lot of new things and made some excellent connections and friendships. Eventually, the circle of people attending became consistently repetitive; I wasn’t there to have drinks and talk about the good old days of domaining. Interest in pursuing more TRAFFIC events thus faded away, despite my proximity to the conference grounds.

With NamesCon, each new conference has eclipsed the previous year, and not just in terms of attendance numbers. The domain conference’s agenda is extensive, the quality of speakers emphasizes the self-respect of the community they address, and the exhibits are staffed by energetic employees that we get to know by name.

The conference grew by 30% in a year, an astonishing feat considering that the same venue, Tropicana, was utilized.

The use of space was very effective and yet the area became spacious and inviting, offering many spots to sit down and relax for a few or to conduct actual business. Auxiliary rooms offered additional privacy and a team of very helpful employees was utilized to assist the attendees.

Some of us experienced the strange phenomenon of not being able to greet our old friends, colleagues and peers for as long as we had anticipated. And that’s fine, because new people took the stage and became part of the domain machine; interacting with newcomers to the domain conference or the industry itself became as equally rewarding, as hanging out with decade old contacts.

There was always time to catch up after hours, both during the several parties that took place, and during independent meetings. Some of the most interesting conversations I had, started at odd spots: in the elevator, in the coffee line, shopping for Gatorade and Aleve – both, a lifesaver after the soccer match – and during the quiet moments of the conference, when everyone roamed looking for familiar faces.

For the third year in a row, attending NamesCon was the right choice for me, and I managed to get a better understanding of the people that form the domain industry. I was able to retain my overall optimism about the rate of growth we are currently witnessing, and to be grateful for being a part of it.

Kudos to Richard, Jothan, James, Terri, Kendall, and to all the members of the NamesCon Team who helped deliver an exceptional, fun and ground-breaking domain conference.

See you at NamesCon 2017.

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