Blogs about the domain industry and the various players and companies within it.

DomainFest.Asia Wrap Up

DomainFest.Asia Wrap Up

I’m on my way home…..yeah! Yes, DomainFest.Asia is finished and I’m writing this from the Qantas Club at Hong Kong airport. I’ve just finished a call to my ParkLogic business partner updating him on what a great event it was. The next call is to my very patient and wonderful wife who puts up with my travels…..

This is my second time to Asia for DomainFest and once again I’ve found that it has been eminently worthwhile. With each repeat visit I can see the Chinese market beginning to blossom into a land of opportunity as the newly formed relationships grow stronger with each meeting.

In fact, I half joked with one western domain investor that I should go and learn Mandarin! English may be the language of business but it’s clear that Mandarin is definitely the language of future opportunity. It was so frustrating going through an interpreter for a number of my discussions that I lamented the fact that I didn’t know even a little bit of the language. Thank goodness that the majority of the attendees also knew at least some English!

I must admit that one of the mildly annoying things about the conference was the fact that the conference was a thirty-minute bus ride from the hotel where many of the attendees were staying. So each morning and afternoon we had to climb aboard a bus for the journey to and from the conference venue at Cyberport…..I only have one thing to say, thank goodness for Uber!

Although there were some three hundred plus registrants, many of them came for a single day and due to the multiple simultaneous sessions the conference appeared smaller than it actually was. This was initially disconcerting but once everyone was gathered in a single room it didn’t detract from the overall business opportunities found in the many hallway, lunch and meeting room discussions.

If I do say so myself, my three sessions on monetisation went really well. The last one on monetisation for registrars and registries was packed out and had standing room only. I love sharing about my passion for domains and our incredible industry I had a great time.....I hope what I had to share was also worthwhile for attendees :-)

So was DomainFest.Asia really worth it? As normal, I find conferences are only worth it if you are prepared to step outside of your comfort zone and talk to other people. I met a lot of new people to the industry, reaffirmed relationships with some old friends and said “hi” to a number of clients. This all contributed to an enormously successfully, smoothly run event. More than that, it meant that it was profitable for sponsors and attendees like myself.

So congratulations should be issued to Jothan Frakes, Edmon Chung and the entire .Asia team for hosting DomainFest.Asia and bringing together domain investors from all over the world to Hong Kong. It’s visionaries like Jothan and Edmon that make being part of the domain industry so exhilarating.

So should you attend next year? I have no idea why any serious domain investors would try to avoid the second biggest market in the world. Despite the recent downturn, the Chinese opportunity remains HUGE. My recommendation is, register early, get cheap discount air tickets well in advance and hang on for the ride of your life!

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DomainFest Hong Kong

DomainFest Hong Kong

After a 48 hour turn around in Melbourne I jumped on a plane and headed to DomainFest in Hong Kong. The short flight of nine and a half hours was a welcome change from the twenty-six to Fort Lauderdale the previous week.

I've never been to Hong Kong (the previous conference was in Macau) and I'm really looking forward to meeting a whole new group of domain investors. After being dropped off at the wrong hotel by the taxi I finally managed to get to the right one and check-in. It wasn't long before I found a number of my friends that had flown in from around the world and we took off in the direction of a bar with a cool drink.

The next day, after the relatively short bus ride I'm now registered and sitting at DomainFest.Asia. I have a number of goals for the conference that relate to ParkLogic and monetising traffic but I'm also wanting to gauge the Chinese market to see what is happening with domain sales. Last year, I came away with an urgency to sell or a ChiP domains and it ended up being really profitable.....so maybe it's time to buy back in?

I'm speaking three times at the conference on the topics of:

  • Monetisation 101
  • Monetisation Masterclass
  • Monetisation for Registrars and Registries

Anyway.....I've got to race into the next meeting. I'll keep you posted!

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The Domain Conference - It Was Awesome!

The Domain Conference - It Was Awesome!

Just to let you know, I’m writing this blog from 30,000 feet. I’m about an hour from Melbourne airport after travelling for twenty-four hours from “The Domain Conference” in Fort Lauderdale. My body feels like it’s been put through the ringer and my brain feels a little mushy (see above picture - LOL!) so you’ll have to excuse me if it doesn’t contain any epiphanies.

For a start, the conference, as normal, was an outstanding success. It’s not as big as NamesCon but a lot of the right people were in attendance. I don’t mean to insult anyone but stupid people judge a conference by numbers of attendees……I judge a conference on the level of business conducted. I’ve returned with easily enough to keep me busy until the end of the year.

If you really want to accelerate your business growth, then taking the opportunity to attend every domaining event is mandatory. I often find the same people that say they will attend and then don’t are the same people that complain in the forums about the downturn in the domain industry. Go figure? You reap what you sow……make the effort to reach out to people at events and don’t be surprised if you suddenly start selling domains and finding other opportunities.

I met so many great people at “The Domain Conference”. From hedge fund managers (yep, they have heaps to invest) right through to registries who are doing some awesome deals. What I find the most beneficial is just hanging out with other entrepreneurs who are hungry to throw some ideas around.

People like Colin Campbell from dot club are simply incredible and over the years we’ve developed a great friendship. He shared the dot club story with a lot of personal anecdotes in a session and it was awesome.

The CEO of Sedo, Tobias Flaitz, did a keynote speech that was really a call to action for the whole industry to work together and grow the pie rather than fight amongst each other. It was a great inspirational talk from someone that I highly respect as one of the leaders in the industry.

David Warmuz and I had a fantastic time sharing with the attendees in the session I participated in. We went through a monetisation masterclass on the benefits of traffic optimisation and in the process we looked at a number of case studies.

A real highlight for me was when Howard Neu, the conference convener, was brought to tears when he thanked Barbara, his wife, for all the effort she made to make the conference a success. As Barbara came forward to embrace her husband the entire room spontaneously gave her and Howard a standing ovation. It really displayed the high level of esteem all the attendees hold for the Neu’s.

Over more than a decade I’ve seen both Howard and Barbara working so hard to make each and every conference they’re involved in a great success. There’s nothing quite like being greeted by Barbara’s smiling face after traveling all the way from Australia.

It was great catching up with Jackson Elsegood from Escrow.com and hear about some of the new things that Escrow is launching. Lorianne Wardi did a riveting keynote on her journey with .co and now Neustar. Veteran advertising network leader, Joe Casale, came with his wife and promoted a new service that I know ParkLogic will be integrating. Stevan Lieberman shared some of the intricacies of UDRPs and I really appreciated the time we spent together. And the list goes on and on…..all quality people who are more than willing to share their expertise and look for opportunities together.

I'm already looking forward to next years conference.....even if the flight from Australia to Ft Lauderdale takes 26 hours. Beats the heck out of me why some local domainers can't drive 15 minutes. You've really got to wonder if they want to still be in the domaining business or not.

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The Domain Conference - Don't Miss It!

The Domain Conference - Don't Miss It!

I’m leaving for The Domain Conference (TDC) in Fort Lauderdale tomorrow and twenty-four hours later I’ll arrive. There’s nothing like the expectations of a long-haul plane flight to force you to evaluate whether it’s a really good idea to make the journey or not. So why am I going?

One of the things I love the most about conferences is that most of the people in attendance are there because they want to improve their business. This could be to do deals, learn or mostly it's a combination of both. I must admit that I love sitting down with a group of fellow domain investors and hearing about what they are doing. It’s often refreshing and definitely invigorating!

I’m really looking forward to the privilege of sharing in one of the sessions on advanced monetisation. I plan on digging into the stats and techniques on how to get the most out of domain traffic….so watch out!

Of course I’m attending to get a chance to speak with domain investors about how ParkLogic can help them get the most from their domains. In fact, we’re previewing the new ParkLogic website now….it also has a number of videos about ParkLogic Next. We already have some clients on Next and the feedback has been outstanding.

I’m also looking for domain traffic portfolios for sale. We have a number of clients that are cashed up and wanting to buy good quality portfolios. If you have a portfolio that you are looking at parting with then don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Attending a conference like TDC is also about renewing friendships. I love catching up with friends that have flown in from all over the world. It’s great sitting in the bar late at night to hear about some of the entrepreneurial activities they’ve been doing. Domains are so incredibly flexible that I’m constantly amazed at what people do with them.

So is it worth the 24 hours of traveling from Melbourne Australia to Fort Lauderdale in the USA? Absolutely! Last year Barbara, Howard and Ray put on an incredible show and we’re still reaping the benefits of it twelve months later.

If you’re still considering whether you’ll attend, then take my advice and stop considering. If you really want to get your business moving ahead then spend a few days with other like-minded people and you’ll be surprised at what you come away with.

See you in Fort Lauderdale!

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Interview With Jackson Elsegood - Escrow.com

Interview With Jackson Elsegood - Escrow.com

I recently had the privilege of interviewing Jackson Elsegood, the general manager of Escrow.com. During the interview we discuss all the latest news from Escrow.com of what they have been doing and what they plan on doing in the future.

Escrow services are a critical part of the domain ecosystem and Jackson expresses Escrow.com's ongoing committment to the domain space. I hope that you enjoy the relaxed interview and gain some new insights for your own domain business.

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