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August 27, 2012

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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.

Opening Day Photos and Highlights from the DOMAINfest Global Conference in Santa Monica, California

The 2010 DOMAINfest Global Conference opened with a record breaking crowd on hand at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, California Tuesday (Jan. 26). Show organizer Oversee.net has not released the exact attendance figure yet as late registrations were still  coming in, but the wall to wall crowds at every session confirmed their announcement that they had already set a new high water mark for the popular series. 

Scene showing part of the record-breaking crowd on hand for the opening 
of the 2010 DOMAINfest Global Conference Tuesday morning (Jan. 26).

The day began with Pitchfest, a contest in which four companies presented on new approaches they are taking toward improving domain monetization. The companies included Verisign, Elephant Traffic, AdMarketplace and Tempesta Media. A panel of four distinguished judges then picked the winner of the trophy awarded to the company they felt offered the best new solution among thre presenters. That honor was excepted by Adam Epstein who made the case for AdMarketplace.

(Left to right in the photo above): Adam Epstein of AdMarketplace who won Tuesday's 
Pitchfest
session, moderater Peter Celeste, judges Frank Schilling (Name Administration), 
Adam Rioux
(Octane360), Eric Liaw (Crossover Ventures) and Ron Sheridan (RSS.com).

A second Pitchfest session (replacing a previously announced Launchfest contest) will feature four more companies on Thursday.

After a lunch break Oversee.net CEO and President Jeff Kupietzky took the stage to deliver his welcoming comments as well as a very interesting overview of the current state of the domain industry. My Kupietzky expanded on the show's theme: Domain Names: Overlooked. Underutilized. Essential to Online Marketing Success. Jeff covered a lot of ground that we will go into more detail on in a comprehensive show review article that we will be publishing after the conference. The upshot of his remarks was that he remains very bullish about the prospects of the industry and his company in continue to make long term investments aimed at strengthing their position in the business.

Oversee.net CEO and President Jeff Kupietzky delivering his 
opening day address at DOMAINfest Global Tuesday.

Next up was a panel discussion about the unlimited number of new gTLDs that ICANN plans to begin rolling out later this year. Though the exact timing has not yet been set all of the panelists agree that the new TLDs are coming and talked about how they might fit into or affect current domain investment strategies.

New gTLD panelists (left to right in the photo above): Moderator Mason Cole (Oversee.net), 
Kurt Pritz (ICANN), Ken Hansen (Neustar) and Jon Nevett (Domain Dimensions, LLC).

The business day concluded with Moniker's No and Low Reserve Live Domain Auction - an event that set a new sales record ($150,950) for this opening day short list "appetizer" auction that sets the stage for the main auction event coming up Thursday afternoon from 2:00-6:00pm (U.S. Pacific time). The top sellers were FamilyCounselor.com and Love.info at $12,000 apiece, Pucks.com at $11,000 and Taskmaster.com at $10,000.

Auctioneer Wayne Wheat runs Moniker's No and Low Reserve Domain Auction Tuesday 
at DOMAINfest Global. He will be back to conduct Thursday's Premium Live Auction.

With the day's business out of the way it was time to party and the .CO Registry made that possible by hosting a colorful cocktail party and dinner at the Fairmont Miramar last night, complete with a Samba dance troupe and an irresistible beat that brought everyone to their feet. 

Samba music and dancers lit up last night's 
.CO Registry Party at the Fairmont Miramar.

Day 2 today will be another busy day at DOMAINfest Global. As I write this it has just gotten underway with a pair of structured networking sessions. Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh's Keynote Address will follow. A pair of afternoon panel discussions will close out the business day, then attendees will be bussed to the fabulous Getty Center for a networking dinner party tonight. I'll have photos and highlights from Day 2 for you in this column tomorrow.

(Posted Jan. 27, 2010)

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