Just to remind people of the positivity of domain conferences I am reposting my article from my first TRAFFIC conference. I think it shows my enthusiasm and excitement that I had (and still have) for the industry. This is what I think should be promoted. The auction may be important but the social and relationships are what last forever. No app is going to replicate that. Below is the original article
In the domain world there has been recent discussion on the value of domain conference. What types we should have, how many, and if you should go. My answer is yes. I don’t care what type they have, who pays for it, as long as a large group of domainers get together, I’ll be there. There is no replacement for meeting someone face to face, having an in person conversation, and shaking their hand.
If you want to learn more about your profession you need to talk to others in it. You are an idiot if you think you have nothing left to learn. I have met many a person that no longer has the desire to learn but that’s a sign of being burnt out. A sign that you no longer enjoy what you do and that it has become a job and the only reason you continue is to make money. For everyone else, there is always more to learn. When I say learn, I’m not talking about the lectures and speeches. I talking about conversations with others in the industry. Someone that shares your challenges or perhaps has the info to overcome them. How do you get that info? You go to a conference and start talking to people.
Some say there are too many conferences. I say there are too many only because it dilutes the amount of people that come to each show. On one hand, it can be advantageous because it can give you a better chance to meet one on one with other domainers but may not provide the opportunity for the veterans to meet anyone new. I can guarantee that you’ll have no choice but to meet everyone at Patrick’s conference. He has you stuck on a frickin boat. You are going to either talk to another domainer or Gladys the 72 year old grand cougar, grandmother of 8, who took the cruise to “have a little fun”.
I picked Vegas this year because it was my first conference. I figure if it sucked then at least I was in Vegas. It didn’t. I have to admit, if you are the quiet type then you are going to be a very lonely person at a domain conference. Nobody is going to come up to you and introduce themselves. They already have their clicks and friendships. I figured if there was anyone that could introduce me to people it was Patrick. So I called Patrick and met him to go out. He introduced me to Morgan, who introduced me to a few more people and then I met Ron Wells, Jason Thompson, and Oscar Correa and the conference was off and running.
I’m going to let you in on another little secret. One, that will make you a ton of cash. When you meet someone introduce yourself. A little casual conversation and and an introduction and you’ll be surprised who you’ll meet. The biggest obstacle as a newbie or someone that has only met people on the net, is not knowing who people are. I met a few people that I truly had no idea who they were. I’d go back to my room and say “Damn” that guy is one of the top domainers in the world. I sat next to Michael Berkens for 4 hours at a night club and I have to admit, I knew he was an important person and knew everyone , but I really didn’t know much about him at the time. He certainly doesn’t remember me. I would have struck up more of a conversation but as a non drinker, I was 6 drinks in and really wasn’t at the top of my game at that point. The next day I was sitting at the auction at a table in front of Howard Neu, Rick Shwartz, and Michael Berkens yet I didn’t have the balls to introduce myself. They were busy and I felt more like a fan than a fellow domainer. Next time, next time.
I also met Steve Brown, general manager of NameJet. One of the nicest guys I’ve met at any conference and answered any question I had about domaining. He and I went out later that evening and I learned more about the domain market that evening than I had in all my years of online research. The picture above is from an early evening party thrown by Rick Latona that was one of the most informative parties I’ve ever been to. My domaining revenue tripled based on what I learned at that party alone. The scantily clad waitresses and amazing appetizers (all paid by Rick) were merely the bonus. Without going to that part I wouldn’t have met 15-20 people that I talk to regularly to this day.
All it takes is one new idea, one new conversation, to pay for your few thousand dollars you spend on a conference. Of course, you have to make the effort. If you hide your identity or are unwillingly to share what you’ve learned as well, then you’re on your own. This industry is a very small industry. Everyone at the top knows each other but that doesn’t mean they don’t talk to us lower level players. If you come across as a person genuinely trying to make a go in this industry then everyone will most certainly try and help you out. They’re not going to hand you any domains or give you any info that is going to cost them money but they will help.
So forget what anyone else says, go to a conference. I don’t really care which one it is. Go………………. you’ll be glad you did.