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January 19, 2016

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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
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The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

Non-Stop Networking: Why Some of the Best Moments at NamesCon Weren't on the Agenda

In my daily posts from  last week's NamesCon conference at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas I tried, as much as possible, to give you a sense of what goes on each day and night at the big event (photos & highlights from the record breaking 2016 conference are at these links: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4). However, there was another important aspect of show week that, even though it wasn't on the official agenda, was a big part of the overall NamesCon experience.  

Unlike the many conferences that have preceded it, meals have never come with the NamesCon ticket price (a key reason why their tickets have remained so affordable). NamesCon organizers understood that the primary reason people come is to network, so their emphasis has been on doing everything they can to make sure cost doesn't keep people from coming.

Still, a desire to network during every waking minute left a void at meal times that several industry investors and service providers

 - being the creative, adaptable people that they are - quickly filled by taking it upon themselves to organize breakfasts, lunches, dinners or just hangouts at the bar. Gatherings ranged from a breakfast for Christian domainers to a quick lunches across the street at the MGM Grand to sit down dinners at nearby restaurants. 

In the latter category, busy show moderator Braden Pollock (from LegalBrandMarketing.com) organized a Tuesday night (January 12) dinner at the Il Fornaio Restuarant inside New York New York (located diagonally across the intersection from the Tropicana). Initially Braden thought a couple of dozen people would join in but the number swelled to around 70 - filling multiple tables throughout the restaurant (and no doubt pleasing the proprietor immensely)! 

Above & below: Just two of the many tables some 70 NamesCon attendees filled up at an impromptu dinner at the Il Fornaio Restaurant in Las Vegas Tuesday night (January 12, 2016). Organizer Braden Pollock is standing at far left in the top photo. With dozens of attendees I won't attempt to caption them all but you will see many familiar faces in the crowd including Giuseppe Graziano (GGRG.com) and Fred Mercaldo (CityBrandMedia.com) in the left and right foreground below. 

I had to use the window between the close of the Tuesday business day and the start of the big Water Night fundraising party that night to put together one of my reports from the show, so unfortunately I didn't get to join the crowd at Il Fornaio, but Braden was kind enough to share these snapshots with me. These attendee-organized social events are some of the very best places to start new relationships and build on existing ones, so I wanted to make sure an example was included to round out our coverage of what life was like at the 3rd annual event and what you can look forward to when NamesCon returns January 22-25, 2017 (also at the Tropicana).

It occurs to me that this series of shots would make for a fine game to "Find Waldo." See anyone you know? I see at least two married couples - Tiffany Marler at front left above with husband Bruce next to her (both from LocalTek) and on the left side below we have Bob & Trudy Olea between host Braden Pollock and Sedo's Christian Voss. Howard Neu (at front right) also brought his wife Barbara to NamesCon but she was back at the Tropicana taking part in the Women in Domaining party going on at the same time (and yes - that is Jim Grace from ParkingCrew behind Howard (we would recognize that handlebar mustache anywhere)! 

Braden Pollock did so much table hopping Tuesday night there was no need for him to go to the gym! Again, you will find familiar faces at every table. Sitting at back center at the table below is Epik's Rob Monster who hosted a breakfast gathering I did have the pleasure of attending one morning at the Tropicana.

Still more NamesCon attendees who helped orchestrate a complete takeover of the Il Fornaio Restaurant. Thanks again to Braden for sharing the shots (or maybe I should say - shame on you for making me feel bad about what  I missed)! Next year plan on making reservations for 71. I guess I can always write and edit photos in between bites of lasagna.  :-)

(Posted January 19, 2016)  


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