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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
updated daily
to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

Photos & Highlights from Wednesday Night and Thursday Morning at the SedoPro Partners Forum in Key West

The annual SedoPro Partners Forum  opened last night (Wed. Oct. 7) at the Casa Marina Resort in Key West, Florida with a cocktail party and buffet dinner served on the beach. Sedo Co-Founder and CEO Tim Schumacher welcomed Sedo's guests and in his opening comments Schumacher noted that he was optimistic about the direction the domain business is headed now, a sentiment he said he didn't hold a year ago when the general economy entered a historic financial crisis. 

Schumacher also took the opportunity to express the company's support for The Water School, a charity project strongly supported by a domain industry group headed by Gregg McNair (International Director of Strata PPX Services) that we told you about in July. McNair helmed a group of 18 industry leaders who just returned from Kenya where they got a first hand look at The Water School's efforts to eliminate waterborne diseases in Africa. Sedo's support came in the form of a much appreciated $4,500 check that Schumacher presented to McNair last night.

Gregg McNair (left) receiving a $4,500 donation from Sedo CEO Tim Schumacher 
last night at the SedoPro Partner Forum in Key West, Florida

After Schumacher's talk, attendees were treated to a buffet dinner on the spectacular beach at the Casa Marina Resort.

Above: Guests check out the buffet at the SedoPro Partners Forum opening night dinner.
Below: Attendees dined at tables that were set up directly on the beach.

The dinner was capped off by an interesting keynote panel featuring Hotels.com founder Bob Diener (now the Executive Administrator of GetARoom.com), Sedo Director of Sales Kathy Nielsen and Sedo Senior Broker Tessa Holcomb.

(L to R above) Sedo's Kathy Nielsen, keynote speaker Bob Diener and Sedo's Tessa Holcomb.

As part of the contract agreement when his company sold Hotel.com and Hotels.com in late 2003, Diener accepted a five-year non-compete clause. Once that expired he decided to re-enter the travel business and called on Sedo to help him secure a memorable domain name. Holcomb brokered his eventual purchase of GetARoom.com for $30,000. Diener presented an end user's perspective on the importance of a good domain name, noting "If a name stands out in the marketplace, it costs you a lot less to market." After the keynote session, people stayed on the beach chatting until almost midnight. 

The conference resumed this morning with a pair of presentations from Sedo Co-Founders and executives. In the opener, Co-Founders Ulrich Essman and Ulrich Priesner detailed Sedo's One-Stop Shop Product Solutions.

Sedo Co-Founders Ulrich Essman (left) and Ulrich Priesner conducting the opening 
seminar at the SedoPro Partners Forum in Key West, Florida this morning (Thur. Oct. 8).

Part of the audience at this morning's business sessions.

Next up was a session titled Sedo: The Future & You, conducted by Sedo CEO & Co-Founder Tim Schumacher and Sedo's COO & General Counsel Jeremiah Johnston.

Sedo CEO Tim Schumacher & COO/General Counsel Jeremiah Johnston 
at this morning's second business session.

I'll have the details on what was covered in both of today's business sessions in a comprehensive wrap-up article on the conference that we will be publishing next week. After the the morning presentations, everyone returned to the beach for a waterfront luncheon on a beautiful day in Key West.

Scene from today's luncheon on the beach in Key West.

As I write this, attendees are enjoying a variety of fun in the sun afternoon activities including Waverunner rides, snorkeling, biking or just sunning by the pool or napping in a hammock. This evening the event continues with a 7pm dinner at one of Key West's best restaurants, The Strip House, followed by a 1920's themed gala with live entertainment and dancing back at the Casa Marina's Grand Ballroom that is scheduled to run from 9pm-1am.

The conference concludes tomorrow with a morning panel discussion called The DNA of TLDs that will be moderated by Jeremiah Johnston. The four panelists will be registry representatives Lance Wolak (.Org) and Ken Hansen (.Biz), plus media representatives Andrew Allemann (Domain Name Wire) and myself. After our session, a farewell luncheon on the beach will bring the 2009 SedoPro Partners Forum to a close.

I will have photos and highlights from the events scheduled tonight and tomorrow morning in a final post from south Florida tomorrow evening. I'll put that together when we stop in Miami for the night en route back home to Tampa.

(Posted Oct. 8, 2009)

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