Earlier this month, HEXONET successfully hosted our first ever Reseller Days. The event was tremendously fun, and gave resellers, registries, and HEXONET the opportunity to candidly discuss the current and future state of the domain name industry. Here is my recap of Reseller Days.
Why Reseller Days
The domain industry is changing rapidly. This means that we all need to adapt to market conditions and critically review what has or hasn't worked. It's easy to cling to old habits as they are more comfortable than driving change. For instance, some registries continue to run the same basic annual discount promotions without any significant results. Clearly, if they were to investigate the numbers in depth, they would realize the needle is not moving.
Even the new gTLDs launches of the last several years with their various business models, pricing, and processes, actually hasn't helped the industry overall. HEXONET implemented nearly every single new gTLD without much benefit. In hindsight, I would of spent more time carefully researching and selecting the TLDs to implement. Most gTLDs, even from the get-go, didn't have the required ROI to even touch.
With most of our resellers too busy to travel and go to industry events, Reseller Days was intended to bring the "industry" directly to them and for us all to speak frankly and openly on the issues mentioned above. With our highly successful HEXONET Cruise event in Vancouver (with Namescon) under our belt, this year we wanted to take it a step further with our new idea, HEXONET Reseller Days.
Contrary to our usual industry structure, Reseller Days was designed to bring registries (sponsors) directly together with our resellers. The interaction helped in two ways. First, registries hear and obtain feedback directly from those companies selling, speaking, and supporting the end registrant customer. Second, resellers get to provide feedback and receive answers from the registries (where in a larger event like an ICANN meeting, they may not), as well as, learn about the latest technologies and innovations at HEXONET over the past year - we have been busy!
Resellers attending the event were from corporate domain management companies, domain name resellers, web-hosting resellers, web designers, and business partners of HEXONET. Reseller Days ran June 8th and 9th at HEXONET's headquarters in Homburg, Germany. The program included:
HEXONET Domain Search - Over a year of research, design and programming in the making of our new domain search technology (currently live at hexonet.domains); the future of domain search at HEXONET and our plans in making this available to all resellers.
HEXONET's Next Generation Control Panel - Nearly two years of research, design and programming went into the creation of our new Control Panel which is launching July 4th (will include new aftermarket service integration - SEDO & Afternic).
ICANN Compliance Checklist - With more regulation and policies, the legal complexity is growing. HEXONET will soon be launching an ICANN Compliance Checklist to help our customers navigate these legal obligations.
PremiumDNS - Soon to be available and can be resold by resellers is HEXONET's advanced PremiumDNS Anycast System. Designed, engineered, and operated by HEXONET, our Anycast DNS solution will rival industry leading alternatives.
Registry Information and Update - A solid mix of registries that presented at our Reseller Days. These registries represented "old legacy gTLDs", "newTLDs" and ccTLDs.
Reseller Day Attendance:
11 cancellations in the week of the event
Lessons and Improving for the next Reseller Days:
At HEXONET, we are always looking at how we can improve. Here is what we learned and what we are planning on updating for our next Reseller Days.
The date of the event was poor, right in the middle of a school holiday week in Germany. Unfortunately, the event's date was picked to avoid conflicts with the prior GDD Summit and lthe atter ICANN event in Joburg.
Attendees liked Homburg, although many found it difficult to travel to the location. Next time the event will be at a hub like Frankfurt, London, NYC, or H.K. for the convenience of the sponsors and resellers.
Though Reseller Days is a non-profit event, FREE events encourage some committed attendees to skip at the smallest conflict. At the next event, there will be a nominal fee for resellers to register and upon attending the reseller will receive the full fee credit on their reseller account. Should a reseller not attend, the amount will be forfeit.
Instead of having a Registry Round-Table we will have a Reseller Round-Table
A networking session will be introduced to spark conversations and meeting new people.
Attendees wanted to learn more about HEXONET and so more sessions from HEXONET will be provided.
Overall we are very happy with our first Reseller Days. The next Reseller Days will be even better, with a more suitable date, a central location, and a stronger program. Our goal will be to have more resellers attend, while aiming to have even more interaction and vigorous discussions to advance our industry in its entirety.