Merge Conference Powers Forward!

20170919_merge

You would have to be completely deaf to not have heard about the upcoming Merge conference to be held in Orlando from the 14th-18th October. It’s shaping up to be a real highlight of the year for not just the domain industry but industries that run alongside it.

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Both Jothan Frakes and Ray Neu are the driving force behind Merge. Their experience in running conferences over many years (NamesCon, The Domain Conference, TRAFFIC to name but a few) is clearly evident as they pull together the event.

It seems that almost every day a new top-notch speaker is being announced that will add a significant amount of value to attendees’ experience. Some of the line-up include; Jennifer Wolfe (CEO of Dot Brand), Chris Disspain (ICANN director), David Sams (Emmy winning TV producer) plus a over 52 others.

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jothan
Hi Michael - took a moment to look up from the preparations for the event to see this article and we were delighted to see such a ... Read More
19 September 2017
mgilmour
It's shaping up to be an awesome conference! Well done to you, Ray and the whole team. Both Roselyn and I will be there next year.... Read More
19 September 2017
Howard
Both you and Roselyn will be missed as we can't remember ever having a show without you, your smile, your enthusiasm and your grea... Read More
19 September 2017
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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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