The First Cocktail Party at the Delray Beach
Marriott. The party that launched an industry!
Seeing Steve Forbes on Stage addressing our
industry at the 2007
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East conference at the
Hollywood, Florida Diplomat Hotel.
Seeing the booths set up in the first
Taking pictures of all the 2004 attendees as
they registered. I still have them on my phone
right now. I have the famous picture of a very
skeptical Ron Jackson registering for the
first T.R.A.F.F.I.C. with his garmet bag slung
over his shoulder and a picture of Mike Berkens
- both 10 years younger and Berkens with more
The first New
York City show and auction in 2007
where we sold $12.5 million in domains in
just 3 hours. And speaking of pictures, how about
that picture of Monte Cahn at the Auction
Podium that has symbolized domain auctions in
general for many years.
Joel Langbaum (left) and Moniker CEO
Moniker Cahn overseeing the action
at the historic $12 million T.R.A.F.F.I.C. New
York Live Domain Auction in 2007.
Getting to know each of our guest speakers.
vs Schilling (at T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
East 2013) and watching domainers like
Jeff Reynolds and Warren Royal among
many others that took domains like AmericanFlags.com
and Bobbleheads.com and not only making
them full fledged businesses but coming in and disrupting
an industry neither of them knew anything about
and then becoming the leader in that space.
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Party at the Googleplex
during the first
Silicon Valley show in 2006.
Introduction of Cabana Networking at the
Lowes Hotel in Miami Beach at T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
When folks come over to me after attending their
first T.R.A.F.F.I.C. and telling me the show
changed their life and when I get an email
after EVERY show from Alan Hack thanking us
for helping move his business forward.
up to the plate - Rick's fellow T.RA.F.F.I.C.
Co-Founder, Howard Neu, lists his 10
most memorable T.R.A.F.F.I.C. moments:
so many new friends around the world.
The Opening Cocktail party at the very first
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. at the Delray Beach Marriott.
The Ghost Bar Party at the top of the Palm
Hotel in Las Vegas put on by DomainSponsor during
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. West show.
Meeting an Schmoozing with Steve Forbes in
Hollywood, Florida during T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East
Co-Founder Howard Neu, Steve Forbes,
Richard Meyer and T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
Co-Founder Rick Schwartz at the 2007
T.R.A.F.F.FI.C. East 2007 show in Hollywood,
The amazing bus trip and party at Google in
Santa Clara during T.R.A.F.F.I.C. West
Great fun in listening to and meeting Barbara
Corcoran in at the 2008
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. New York show in
The great turn out for the 2009
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Amsterdam show in
Down Under - the Gold Coast,
Australia show run by Dan Warner and the folks
Seeing 700 attendees at the Venetian Hotel
in Las Vegas for the 2007
Making Magic at the Walt Disney World
Grand Floridian Convention Center during T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
East 2008 in Orlando.
added, "This was a hard selection and
I had to leave out a number of other highlights,
like the great excitement generated for the annual
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. AWARDS, the party that Ammar
Kubba threw in New York at the Tropicana, the
day that Rick told off Madison Avenue about
Hotels.com, the successes of cabana networking,
the Las Vegas Exotic Car Road Rally, the
time at one of the 2007 shows where it dawned on
me that I should be investing in domain
names and the creation of the Domain Industry at
our first show and acceptance by the
industry of T.R.A.F.F.I.C. as the Gold Standard in
you would expect, there was some overlap as well
as some differences in the lists compiled by Rick
& Howard. That is true of my list as well.
Here are my 10
most memorable T.R.A.F.F.I.C. moments and
reasons they stood out for me.
The opening night cocktail party at the
first ever T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference at Delray
Beach in 2004. The was so much electricity
in the air it is almost impossible to describe.
For the first time, people I had only known from
forum posts or hearsay were there in person
and, more importantly, it was obvious that it was
a very special group of entrepreneurs -
brilliant, friendly people who were not only
willing, but thrilled to share what they
knew with each other. They were more than I ever
could have hoped for them to be and I knew
something big had to come out of it - and,
as we all know now - it did - an industry
was born that night.
Walking into the ballroom at the Venetian Hotel in
Las Vegas for the start of the 2007
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. West conference and stunned
to see the room packed with well over 600 people.
My jaw literally dropped. Where the first
show in 2004 with about 125 attendees showed me
there was a small but great fraternity/sorority of
people who really understood and loved domains,
that moment in Las Vegas showed me we were not in
Kansas anymore - the world was catching on
and things were changing fast.
crowd at the 2007 T.RA.F.F.I.C. West conference in
When I say T.R.A.F.F.I.C. West 2007 showed the
world was catching on to domains - I meant that literally - the
world - not just the U.S. That was shown in my
next three picks starting with T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
Down Under held on Australia's Gold
Coast near Brisbane in November 2008. Dan
Warner and his team at Fabulous.com
staged the show under license from T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
and did a phenomenal job in a stunningly beautiful
Halfway around the world the June 2009 T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
ccTLDs show in Amsterdam, Holland
was another winner, also underscoring that domains
were a growing business all around the world. This
show gave me a chance to meet many online friends
from the other side of the pond in person for the
Another memorable internationals show was The June
Vancouver conference in Canada -
home to some of the most successful domainers of
all time. Again, the location was stunning and the
company could not have been better.
Next on my hit list is T.RA.F.F.I.C.
New York 2007, T.R.A.F.F.I.C.'s
unforgettable debut in Manhattan where the live
auction produced over $12 million in domain
sales - a one day record that still stands!
Another great memory from that week was the
three-day pre-show outing that Sedo hosted
at the gorgeous Mohonk Mountain Resort -
busing guests the 90 miles to and from the
Big Apple for a fabulous
retreat before the conference even
Another early T.R.A.F.F.I.C. show that was
especially meaningful for me was the January 2006
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Silicon Valley event in
Santa Clara. While a trip to Google
headquarters was a memorable part of that show the
key event for me was taking on so many new
advertisers it turned DNJournal.com into my
primary venture, unexpectedly eclipsing my
original reason for being here - investing in
The May 2008 T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
Orlando show at Walt Disney world
also has great memories for me. It wasn't as
heavily attended as previous T.R.A.F.F.I.C. shows
because many thought Disney World was destination
for kids, but everyone has a complete blast -
including one night when the park was open late
just for us after the general public left. Also
especially memorable because it was the only
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. show that my daughter (then in
college, and later in medical school) was able to
attend with my wife and I. She loved it too (and
enjoyed hanging out one evening with Rob
Grant's two daughters, Caroline and Lizzy
(Lizzy of course is now known as international recording star Lana
Grant, Rick Schwartz and Divyank
Turakhia at the 2008 T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
conference at Walt Disney World in
Wow - coming up on 10 choices already - this is
getting tough because there are so many
memorable moments. T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
East 2007 in Hollywood, Florida
has to go on the list because how many times do
you get sit at the head table and have dinner with
a former U.S. Presidential candidate and
international business icon like Steve Forbes
who was that show's keynote speaker? He was great
company too, smart and much funnier than you would
have guessed from his TV appearances during the
I could put a dozen more on here but since I have
to wrap it up I'll go with the September
2008 show in New York that had enough
hit speaker, Barbara Corcoran - before
she became a TV Star on ABC-TV's Shark Tank.
Love her on the show and loved her in person -
smart, funny and extremely personable. At the time
few of us knew he she was, but she immediately won
everyone over and the next summer Shark Tank
hit the air, showing the rest of America what we
has seen almost a year before.
memories are great a lot of people will ask,
"That's wonderful, but what can you do for me
today?" That's why I asked Rick and
Howard to give me another top 10 list -
this time with their top 10 reasons you should be
at the 10th anniversary show at the end of this
month on Miami Beach. Since Rick batted lead off
last time, we'll have Howard go first on this one.
10 Reasons to Attend T.R.A.F.F.I.C.'S 10th
Opportunity of attendees to do a lot of
Opportunity of attendees to make a lot of
at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. has produced profitable new
as well as personal friendships (this shot
is from T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East 2013 in Florida).
The Halloween Masquerade Ball, the Rick
Schwartz Roast and the 10th Annual Awards
Ceremony and Hall of Fame Inductions.
The interesting, entertaining and
informative seminar sessions.
The great food and ambience of the Fontainebleau.
The most beautiful cabanas I have
seen conducive to networking.
Miami Beach nightlife and the world
famous Liv Nightclub and Fontainebleau
Hotel and Resort.
You might think the
keys on Howard's computer were sticking, but
attendees have let it be known that networking is
important enough to be listed three times.
:-) That fact is not lost on Rick Schwartz
either and he dove into that a little deeper at the top
of his list
10 Reasons to Attend T.R.A.F.F.I.C.'S 10th
The #1 reason to come to T.R.A.F.F.I.C. is because
you want to take advantage of a unique group of
like minded people that have the ability to
help grow whatever business they are doing as well
as an abundant amount of opportunity for anyone
looking to consolidate, expand or focus their
business. "Qualified Networking"
with a high bar to participate may be a good way
to describe it.
Because while we may be getting a little
"Domain weary", the rest of the universe
is starting to pay attention to domains for
the very first time.
Because we tell it like it is regardless of
the fallout or who our friends are. We give
sponsors a platform, but they have to do the
fiery Rick Schwartz vs. Frank Schilling debate
at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East 2013.
Because we have a formula that works and while the
bar is high, so are the rewards.
Because we have demonstrated for a decade that we
deliver a solid product each and every show
and attendees walk away happy that their time was
well spent and they accomplished a lot.
Because you can get more accomplished in a few
days than you will in the next few months or a
Because you earned it and this is how you recharge
your batteries. Being around like minded
people and sharing war stories is a key to the
success of T.R.A.F.F.I.C. It is a formula
Because you know how to seize opportunity when you
see it. And most of us are running so hard
every day that we miss opportunity. At
T.R.A.F.F.I.C., I have been saying since the get
go that we slow things down and when you break
bread with new and old friends it comes with a priceless
The coolest thing.....Reading DN Journal
chronicling each and every show since 2004 and
appreciating that the majority of pictures used
over the years have been taken at
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Just showing how
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. has been a huge part of the
history and the success of an industry that has
germinated, broken ground and now going Prime
Because our formula works and while it is
impossible to satisfy everyone which makes it hard
for me to win Miss Congeniality, every
domain investor has directly and/or indirectly
benefited from T.R.A.F.F.I.C. over and over again.
My stubbornness about doing it right regardless of
budgets, costs and pressures has made
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. the longest running, longest
surviving, most important domain name show and
paid dividends to everyone. Friend and foe.
those are Rick's top 10 reasons to come, they weren't
his only ones. While we left the tape rolling he
added some reasons addressed to one group in
particular. "Because it is in your best
self interest. Especially new gTLDs that
have been AWOL when it comes to marketing and
giving a vision of why their extension has value
and should be considered before one of the other
1400," Schwartz said. "Their dismal and
stalling numbers look worse with every passing
day. At some point they either have to sell their
products, consolidate or die on the vine. To not
go to a venue where just one attendee can double
or triple their entire registration base is mind
boggling. To pass up an opportunity to get up on
stage at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. and present your vision to
the most qualified domainers in the world and all
you have to do is show up is mind boggling . What
do they fear? Me? LOL!"
continued, "Ask .Club
because they are sponsoring their third
consecutive T.R.A.F.F.I.C. show and last time I
looked they were high on the charts and doing
better than most. Ask TLDRegistry.
I wonder why? See what WE won't do is market for
you or actively sell for you. Howard and I give
you a platform regardless of any personal views I
might have. It's up to you to take advantage of
that platform and persuade professional domainers.
It is not up to us to prop you up and be pitch
men. And I think this is all time sensitive because
sales and marketing will get harder not easier as
the field gets more crowded. Many are relying on
the marketing and success of others to sell
theirs. Good luck with that strategy. Each passing
day my personal skepticism gets more and more
reinforced and the window of success is getting
shorter not longer. Registrations have completely
stalled for MANY and T.R.A.F.F.I.C. is the way to
jump start their own investments."
hostess Barbara Neu (leaning on table)
with guests at the 2013 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East Party
on Fort Lauderdale Beach.
Since I have spent years
talking about why people should attend
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. (and other domain conferences as
well) I don't think I need to add a top ten of my
own on this topic. I don't know of anything
that can supercharge a business or
investing strategy more effectively than meeting face
to face and building relationships with people
who have already succeeded at what you want
to do. Fortunately people in our business are some
of the most generous in the world when it comes to
sharing their knowledge and wanting to see others
There is a feeling
that we are all in this together and
working toward the same goal - growing an industry
that is the foundation for the greatest
communications medium in the
history of mankind.
Every great online business (and they are all
going online, or going extinct) is built on a
domain name. So, get out there and meet your
fellow travelers on this great adventure. Doing so
has changed my life in ways I never could have
imagined and it can change yours too.