Get Ready for NamesCon!
HEXONET is very excited to be attending the inaugural NamesCon conference to be held in Las Vegas, January 13-15, 2014. With over 400 attendees expected, NamesCon is anticipated to be the largest conference dedicated exclusively for the Internet Name Industry. NamesCon 2014 will be hosted by Richard Lau at Tropicana Las Vegas, and will include sessions, panel discussions and presentations, as well as keynote speeches and evening networking events. We have known Richard for many years. He is a well-respected veteran in the domain name industry. We reached out to Richard this week to get more insight into the upcoming NamesCon event.
1) What inspired you to launch NamesCon and what are your main objectives for the conference?
I’ve attended domain name conferences since 1999, have spoken at many, sponsored at a few and have thought about different ways of doing things at each of them. NamesCon is my version of what a domain conference should be. At first it was going to be a small gathering of 60 to 80 people. A slightly larger gathering of an informal meet-up. But with the delay or discontinuation of DomainFest, NamesCon gathered steam overnight and with affordability, networking and content as its focus, the interest was immediate. We are expecting to host 400+ attendees, and the main objective is to provide a basis for a wider networking across the industry as well as bringing in newcomers who have never been to a domain conference before.
2) Many of our readers are familiar with other domain related conferences like Webfest Global (formerly DomainFest) and T.R.A.F.F.I.C How will NamesCon differentiate itself?
DomainFest and T.R.A.F.F.I.C. are legendary in the domainer business. But their focus on the domainer is not part of the NamesCon formula. Gourmet food, hob-nobbing at over-the-top landmarks and highly paid keynotes are not on the menu at NamesCon. Rather we will have three tracks of simultaneous content, four keynote speakers, and a ticket price that is turning heads. A conference organizer I spoke with said that NamesCon is the craziest business model he’s ever seen. Maybe so, but I think we are all adult enough to decide if we want breakfast or not, and to buy our own lunches. Let us focus on putting the best speakers and content together for you, not worrying about the menu.
3) A Brave New.World : The introduction of hundreds of new gTLDs in the next year is going to significantly change the domain name landscape as we currently know it. While some industry participants (including domainers, registries, registrars and general domain registrants) are already proactively embracing new gTLDs and the potential opportunities that they represent, many others appear to still be quite apprehensive. We understand that a large component of the NamesCon content sessions will focus on new gTLDs. Do you think the conference may help to dispel some of the current misconceptions that some people have as well as to serve as a sounding board to help better identify exactly where the opportunities and potential risks may lie?
Absolutely. NamesCon will provide ample discussion panels where the leading experts can debate and converse about the future of new gTLDs. The amount of money flowing in to these applications has not been seen in this area before and opportunities abound. Far beyond the applicants and first registrants, there are advantages to be established for those willing to introduce themselves and their services to these new land rushes.
4) Real ‘Face Time’ : We understand that there will be some excellent opportunities for networking. This is a huge component for any successful conference. Can you please expand on this.
Besides a focus on content, we are building the floorplan of the conference to encourage real face to face networking. After the second keynote of each day, expect to find everyone in the immediately adjacent Exhibit&Networking space sharing a beer, exchanging stories and perhaps even playing ping-pong. Of course, we are setting up evening events for Monday and for late Tuesday as well. We will even be auctioning off (for charity) the opportunity to have a 30 minute one-on-one meeting with Frank Schilling, and possibly others.
5) Can you also introduce our readers to the WaterSchool project that you are involved with and the planned ‘Water Night’ fundraising event at NamesCon.
WaterSchool is a registered charity that I, and others in this industry, have been involved with for many years. The support joins everyone, competitors and business partners alike, and together we have made a real, measurable difference in providing clean water, for life, to those in need in Uganda, Kenya and Haiti. WaterSchool has trained over half a million people in a sustainable method of disinfecting their own water to rid it of water-borne disease. The work is exciting and effective and that the internet name industry has a significant supporting role in this work is something we can all be extremely proud of.
If you are interested in attending NamesCon, they have a fantastic early-bird registration promo that runs until December 1. Richard has also informed us that 100% of all Registration Fees collected on Thanksgiving (Nov 28, 2013) will be given to WaterSchool. This is awesome! If just 50 people register on November 28, $10k can be raised in one day for WaterSchool.
For conference details: http://namescon.com