The 2010 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami conference was
hailed by many as the best show in the six-year history of
the ground-breaking series. The event, the only 2010 T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
conference produced by the show's co-founders, Rick
Schwartz and Howard Neu, was held October
17-20 at the perfectly located Loews Hotel on
Miami's world famous South Beach.
The fabulous venue had a lot to do with the conference's
rave reviews, prompting Schwartz and Neu to say there is a
good chance the Loews Hotel will become the permanent
home for their South Florida shows.
At right: The Loews
South Beach Hotel, site of T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami 2010.
oceanfront swimming pool at the lavish Loews Hotel on
Miami's South Beach.
View of the Atlantic Ocean beach, just steps away
from the Loews Hotel pool.
While the conference was going on I published daily show photos and highlights
from Miami in these posts in our Lowdown section:
may ask, with those posts on the record, what is the purpose of this
article? While those daily posts provided an inside look at some
of what was going on as the show
unfolded, the busy schedule while the event was unfolding didn't
leave enough time to tell you about all of the activities that
deserved attention. This comprehensive review will allow me to do
that (and to include many previously unseen photographs) and also
organize all of the landmark show's highlights in one
convenient place for posterity. It will also give me a chance to put
into perspective how this show impacts the overall conference
reason this was a landmark event, aside from the
overwhelmingly positive feedback from attendees, is that it brought some clarity to a domain conference picture that had
become muddled over the past couple of years by an explosion
of shows that came with varying themes, lengths and locations around
the globe. Equally important, it brought T.R.A.F.F.I.C.'s high end
brand back into sharp focus.
of conferences has caused the ground to shift under the feet of many
show promoters. While the sudden wealth of options has made it much
easier for people to find more affordable events located closer to
their homes, having the pie cut so many ways left promoters with a
quandary. With revenues driven down as a finite number of conference
goers were spread across more events, what kind of product could
they deliver that would draw the largest possible crowd and also keep them out of the
and Neu had decided
Co-Founders Rick Schwartz & Howard Neu
| to turn all of their 2010 shows,
except Miami, over
Latona to promote under a licensing agreement with the
founders. Latona simultaneously trimmed expenses and took the
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. brand to new locations outside the U.S., including Milan,
Italy, Vancouver, Canada and Dublin, Ireland.
However, his ambitious gambit did not pay off with profits so he
cancelled the final show he had planned (for November 2010 in Hong
Kong) and decided to exit the conference battlefield.
full year to re-think their strategy while Latona's experiences in
the field gave them more insight, Schwartz and Neu decided to go
to their roots and polish up T.R.A.F.F.I.C.'s
from the .CO Registry's T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami Party
the Versace Mansion on South Beach (Mon. Oct.
luxury mark for
their return to the show wars in Miami. They would pull out all the
stops - a world famous high end oceanfront venue, a fresh approach
to programming, great food and drink and unforgettable parties
led by a night at the spectacular Versace Mansion sponsored
by the .CO Registry.
Recession or no recession,
it worked. A
sizeable crowd returned and enjoyed an experience that will bring
them back, along with a lot of other people that will hear about it from
T.R.A.F.F.I.C., the pioneer in the conference space, now clearly
back in high end mode it is easier to make sense of the show
landscape. How each show fits into the overall picture is more
apparent and it is good to see the various events forming clear
identities of their own that makes it much easier for a conference goer to pick an
event that best suits their interests and budget.
top end you have two giants. In one corner, T.R.A.F.F.I.C. with its
focus on the interests and needs of individual domain investors and
a reputation as the place where major deals get done. In the other
you have DOMAINfest
Global, a show that has become a key matchmaker between domain investors/developers and the mainstream business world.
Domain Roundtable is also ready to re-enter
the heavyweight ring. After sitting out 2010 to
re-calibrate their sites, Roundtable, run by Thought Convergence,
will return in March 2011, staking out a piece of high end
ground for themselves with a show at the Atlantis Resort in
the Bahamas. How they will position themselves vs.
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. and DOMAINfest Global will be revealed next spring.
removed from the mega shows are a series of well run special
interest and regional events like - to name just a few - the
GeoDomain Expo, DN Cruise, the recent IDN Event in New York City,
DOMAINfest Europe and DOMAINfest's new Power Networking
Days - one day events held at least a couple of times a year at
varying locations in the U.S.
I think this is a
development for the industry at large as it takes the domain story far and wide and opens up
affordable networking opportunities within traveling distance of
just about anyone that is interested in meeting industry leaders and
fellow domainers while learning more about the business. Some will
get their feet wet at a local show and as their businesses bloom,
eventually migrate to the biggest events that attract the heaviest
interest in domains still growing and the aftermarket holding up
well despite the recession and a downturn in traditional monetization
revenues, the conference field should benefit. With their Miami
show, Schwartz and Neu replanted the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. flag on the
mountain top, marking it as a can't miss event for those who
want to meet and do business with the industry's biggest players.
Miami actually opened two days ahead of the regular schedule.
Schwartz and Neu telegraphed their intention to give guests the
royal treatment throughout the day Friday and Saturday (Oct. 15th
and 16th) by hosting early Miami arrivals at a string of private
cabanas they had rented along the south side of the sparkling
Loews pool for the exclusive use of T.R.A.F.F.I.C. attendees. To
monitor the entry points and serve their guests, they also brought
in a bevy of lovely models from Miami's ModelStore.com
(owned by Bianka Krausch, the fiancé of veteran domain
investor Chad Folkening who was profiled in our October
the conference guests could lounge
with friends at the private poolside cabanas
reserved for T.R.A.F.F.I.C. attendees.
Krausch (center) with six of her models from the ModelStore.com.
(photos above courtesy of Barbara Neu)
conference officially got underway Sunday evening (Oct. 17) with one
of T.R.A.F.F.I.C.'s most popular traditional events - the
opening night cocktail party that gave friends old and new a chance
to get acquainted or re-connect and it set the stage for a busy week
Part of the wall to wall crowd at the opening night cocktail
Faces in the crowd included (L to R) Divyank Turakhia (Directi),
Rob Grant (RealEstateDirectory.com) and Rob Sequin (HavanaJournal.com)
cocktail party several private events were held at various locations
around South Beach. In two of the biggest, Chad Folkening's new
company, Domain Holdings LLC, held a launch party at the Yuca
Restaurant and Thought Convergence's new domain sales
platform - Aftermarket.com - previewed their service with a
dinner party at Devito (the South Beach restaurant owned by
actor Danny Devito).
Guests at Aftermarket.com's dinner party at Devito on
South Beach Sunday (Oct. 17)
Guests at the Domain Holdings LLC launch party at the Yuca
(L to R): Natalie Lambert,
David Castello, Alina Schwartz & Michael Castello.
Up on Page 2
to Get Down to Business!
complete rundown of the first full day of business at
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami 2010.
networking with a new twist!
speech from Simon T. Bailey & and in a domain
conference first - a U.S. Congressman addresses the crowd.
show's first seminars and another edition of Test Track
Versace Mansion party everyone has been talking about.
to Page 2
Wiegard and Susan Lawrence
at the Versace Mansion