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September 15, 2016

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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 the Final Day of Business at THE Domain Conference Tuesday in Florida

THE Domain Conference continued its 2016 run at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida Tuesday (September 13) with a second full day of business that followed the very productive day attendees enjoyed on Monday

Ilze Kaulins-Plaskacz moderated two sessions Tuesday 
morning at THE Domain Conference in Fort Lauderdale.

Above: In the opening session at 9am .CLUB CEO Colin Campbell gave an extraordinary talk on Paradigm Shifts in business and how one can become wealthy by taking advantage of those. Colin's story is a remarkable one. He started out as a farmer in Canada but went on to become a tech business whiz who has made millions of dollars in various enterprises. He is also forthright about losing millions in one, but what he learned from that failure helped him rise from the ashes and soar to new heights. 

At left: Ilze Kaulins-Plaskacz, a very successful Canada-based domain investor, made her debut as a conference moderator in the panel discussion that followed Colin  and she proved to be a natural at it. Ilze joined David Warmuz (Above.com/Trellian), at left below, and Michael Gilmour (ParkLogic.com) for a deep dive into Domain Monetization and Domain Tools

Above: Fellow Australians David Warmuz (Above.com/Trellian) and Michael Gilmour (ParkLogic.com) gave attendees an inside look at the current state of Domain Monetization and Domain Tools.

Below: After a session that gave attendees a chance to deliver two-minute elevator pitches, 101Domain.com's Joe Alagna took the stage to explain his Ten Percent Rule for Domain Names in Advertising. Joe says, "If you allocate 10% of your advertising budget towards memorable and/or traffic-producing domain names, you will achieve 10 times the results for your advertising."

The Tuesday luncheon was the busiest part of the day as it included my annual State of The Industry report on the latest domain sales trends, a Fireside Chat that I conducted with Keynote Speaker Lori Anne Wardi and the presentation of TDC's 2016 Domain Industry Awards.

Above: DNJournal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson giving his annual State of The Industry update at THE Domain Conference Tuesday (September 13, 2016).

Below: Ron then welcomed Keynote Speaker Lori Anne Wardi to the stage for a Fireside Chat in which the Neustar Vice President detailed her remarkable rise in the domain industry. Lori Anne co-founded .CO Internet with Juan Diego Calle and helped build the administrator of  the .CO domain extension from a startup into a highly successful enterprise that commanded $109 million in a sale to Neustar (who wise kept Lori Anne on their team as a Neustar executive). 

The luncheon closed with the announcement of this year's Domain Industry Award winners, selected in balloting open to all domain industry participants. The envelopes please!

Above: TDC Co-Founders Howard & Barbara Neu presented the Developer of the Year Award to Michael Cyger of DomainSherpa.com and DNAcademy.com. The next award, Blogger of the Year went to Elliot Silver of DomainInvesting.com. Though Elliot was at the conference he was not at the luncheon to pick up the award, taking that time to visit an ill fried instead - just the kind of thing people who know Elliot would expect him to do.

Below: The Registry of the Year Award went to .CLUB. CEO Colin Campbell led his team on stage to accept the honor. CMO Jeff Sass, who had been at the conference, was missing only because he had had to fly off to Germany to represent .CLUB at the massive DMEXCO event in Cologne.

Above: The Registrar of the Year Award went to GoDaddy.com and Aftermarket Product Manager Joe Styler was there to accept the honor. GoDaddy also played a role in Michael Berkens winning the Investor of the Year Award. Michael, who could not be at the conference, sold his portfolio to GoDaddy earlier this year for an estimated $30-$35 million.

Below: It was a very good day for Sedo as they took home two big awards. Their Senior Broker Dave Evanson, at left below, won the prestigious Broker of the Year Award and Sedo also won the Company of the Year Award, accepted by Business Development VP Brad Lemire at right below.

Above: DNJournal.com Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson, seen here with his wife Diana, received the Goodwill Ambassador of the Year Award - an honor that originated at the pioneering T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Conference in memory of Michael & Judi Berkens' beloved dog, Bandit Berkens. If you were among the hundreds of conference attendees who met Bandit over the years, you know why a goodwill award was established to honor him and there is no award I would rather have (as a side note Diana and I are dog lovers who, like Michael and Judi, had a Yorkie who passed and now have another).

Below: The final presentation went to two new members elected to the Domain Industry Hall of Fame - Garry Chernoff and Nat Cohen (Telepathy.com).  Nat is seen here with his award, surrounded by six colleagues who were elected in previous years. Left to right are Monte Cahn, Dr. Christopher Hartnett, Nat, Ron Jackson, Michael Cyger, Howard Neu and Chad Folkening. Garry could not be at the conference but, like Nat, the honor for him was long overdue. In addition to being among the most successful, both men are among the nicest people in this business and neither seeks the spotlight. As a result newcomers may not know as much about Garry as they should. Suffice it to say that Frank Schilling cites Garry as his mentor and that should tell you all you need to know. Nat and Garry are among the few true pioneers of this entire industry.

Above: Though the awards had all been handed out the most emotional moment of the day (and maybe of conference history) was yet to happen. Before concluding the luncheon Howard Neu called his wife and partner Barbara to the stage and - with tears in his eyes - declared this conference never would have existed without Barbara and her constant support. His heartfelt thank you brought everyone in the room to their feet for a standing ovation, compelling Barbara to pull out her iPhone to record a moment she (and the rest of us who saw it) will never forget (we told Barbara's life story in the current DNJournal Cover Story).

Below: Here is what Barbara saw from the stage - one of her actual iPhone photos.

Below: The GMO Registry, operators of new gTLD .Shop, sponsored the luncheon where we also had an opportunity to hear CEO Hiroya Tsukahara speak. Hiroya also held court at the TLD's booth in the Exhibit Hall where we snapped this shot on our way back to the conference room for the Tuesday afternoon sessions.

Above: At another booth we caught up with Jodi Chamberlain and Joe Casale at the <header_tag> table. <header_tag> is an innovative new website advertising platform that you can learn more about at headertag.com

Below:  The afternoon business session began with a panel discussion - Brokers: Do We Really Need Them? that featured (left to right) moderator Braden Pollock, Larry Fischer (GerYourDomain.com) - Dave Evanson (Sedo), George Hong (Guta.com) and Tessa Holcomb (Igloo.com). In short, the answer to the session title is Yes! - we do need them!

Above: Guta.com's George Hong stayed over for the next session - American Market vs. China Market: What Dies the Future Hold in Store?. He was joined by two other widely known experts on both markets - at left, Michele Van Tilborg (.CLUB) and Pinky Brand (Focus Nua Ltd).

Below: Next up attendees got an ICANN Update from (left to right) ICA Legal Counsel Phil Corwin, Rolf Larsen (Founder & CEO, .Global) and Angie Graves (WEB Group Inc.)  After this, in the final business session of the show, Chris DeRose gave a talk on Digital Assets like bitcoins. 

Above: In a final pass through the Exhibit Hall I stopped by the .GDN Registry booth to meet executives from the Dubai based new gTLD registry, (left to right) Head of Registry Muhammad Kausar Saleem, Hassan Piracha and Anthony Burton. .GDN is a generic extension that stands for Global Domain Name.

Below: With the conference's Farewell Breakfast still to come Wednesday morning, many attendees spent Tuesday evening doing some informal networking at the Hyatt Regency's Pier 66 lobby bar and lounge. We would spend some time there too, but first we had a very special event to attend at 7pm - TDC Co-Founder Ray Dillman Neu's graduation from the Broward College Police Academy and appointment as an officer with the Broward County Sheriff's Department. Witnessing that with the Neu family, including Howard, Barbara and Ray's grandmother Carmella was a truly unforgettable occasion. Over the past 12 years Diana and I have watched Ray grow from an 18-year-old college basketball player (who helped out alongside them at all of the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conferences) to the universally admired man he is today. Ray, who was already  envisioning a law enforcement career when we met him as a  teenager, will be a great asset to his department and the Broward County community where the Neus live.

Tomorrow I will have one final post from THE Domain Conference 2016 for you - Photos & Highlights from the well-attended Farewell Breakfast Wednesday morning at the top of  the Pier 66 Hotel!

(Posted September 15, 2016) 


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