from the newly re-formatted speed networking
sesson at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami 2010
Monday morning (Oct. 18)
next morning (Monday, Oct. 18), it was time to get down to business
with an 8:30am speed networking session that was staged under an
entirely new format. Participants
registered in advance so they could be matched up with people who
worked in the areas that they were most interested in. That allowed
show organizers to set up six extended one-on-one meetings
(each lasting just under 10 minutes) for each participant.
entered the room you were given a personal schedule that
directed you to numbered pre-assigned seats for each of your
sessions. In the case of no shows people who were left without
a partner were quickly paired up with others in the same situation
allowing things to proceed smoothly throughout the hour. I liked the
set up and additional time available to spend with each assigned
partner. I think this format will be a keeper.
the brunch that followed, Schwartz and Neu gave their official
welcoming remarks. Schwartz made the show's theme clear, saying that
much of the agenda had been shaped by the need for domain owners to retake
control of their assets by seeking new ways to maximize their
traffic-generated revenue streams.
Schwartz (right) and Howard Neu delivering their
welcoming remarks Mon. Oct. 18.
Schwartz believes that
domain owners are being short-changed by their upstream
"partners", particularly those at the top of the pyramid -
Google and Yahoo (Yahoo has since outsourced their
search business to Microsoft's Bing). There is widespread
discontent among domain owners who have seen their PPC revenues
decimated at the same time Google is reporting record
no transparency in the PPC chain, no one (other than Google and
Yahoo) knows where the money has
gone and the lack of accountability has led to a lot of mistrust as
well as interest in finding new solutions that do not rely on the search
engines for the bulk of revenue.
11:15am, keynote speaker Simon T. Bailey took the microphone
for an inspirational talk on unleashing your inner brilliance.
Bailey believes that each of us is born brilliant. Then we spend the
rest of our lives having our brilliance buried by people,
circumstances, and experiences. He says that eventually we forget
that we ever had genius and special talents, and our brilliance is
locked away in a vault deep within. So we settle for who we are,
instead of striving for who we were meant to be.
how to change all of that in his latest book, Release
Your Brilliance, that is available on Amazon
and can also be purchased for immediate download to iPads and
iPhones. I sat with Simon at brunch prior to his talk and found him
to a very impressive person. The way he rose from poverty to become
an internationally celebrated speaker, author, and consultant
underscores that anything is possible if you set your mind to
speaker Simon T. Bailey
next session, T.R.A.F.F.I.C. scored a coup by getting U.S.
Congressman Cliff Stearns (R-Florida) to speak - the highest ranking
U.S. government official ever to address a domain industry
conference. Stearns was accompanied by former Congressman Mike
Ferguson who also spoke.
Stearns is in line to become Chairman of a powerful
House committee that oversees Internet issues. He expressed support
for domain owner's rights and urged attendees to get involved
in the political process to make sure those rights are not taken
away by those who want to grab assets they did not have the
foresight to acquire years ago when they were available to anyone
who wanted to put their capital at risk. Stearns said generic domain
investors who bet on Internet real estate to appreciate in value
should be called homesteaders not cybersquatters.
emphasized that it was crucial for domainers to join
forces because they are battling giants in this fight.
Unfortunately, as an industry we have a poor track record of working
together, so whether or not Stearns and Ferguson's sage advice will
be heeded remains to be seen.
show's first three seminar sessions followed Congressman Stearns's
talk. These were all conducted under a new open discussion format
unveiled for T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami. The usual Powerpoint
presentations were banned. Instead moderator Howard Neu led the five
or six experts on the dais for each session through a wide ranging
discussion of the topic at hand.
Congressmen Cliff Stearns (R-Florida)
addressing T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami attendees
Part of the large crowd on hand for T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami's
first seminar session Monday afternoon (Oct. 18).
Ferber (DomainHoldings.com) speaking
in the first seminar session Monday (Oct. 18)
The opening seminar was titled Where
Do We Go From Here? It was devoted to next
steps domain owners can take to develop domains or improve
monetization prospects for the assets.
featured a panel of seven experts who all have extensive
development experience, including John Ferber (Domain
Holdings), Craig Rowe (WhyPark.com), Rob Monster
(Epik.com), Dan Warner (DomainAdvertising.com), Ted
Olson (NameMedia), David Castello and Michael
Castello (Castello Cities Internet Network).
Ferber, who sold Advertising.com
to America Online in a $435 million deal, was
speaking at a T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference for the first time,
one of several new speakers featured in Miami.
The next session
- Stop Whining and Start Doing Something Constructive
- expanded on the theme of what to think about doing next.
Whining and Start Doing Something Constructive
panelists (left to right) were Adam Matuzich, Owen
Frager, Ira Zoot, Zappy Zapolin, Lonnie
Borck and Michael Berkens.
the last session, I joined five colleagues -
Gregg McNair (PPX International), Keith
Levenson (Rio.com), Chad Folkening (Domain
Holdings), Michael Gilmour (ParkLogic.com) and Rick
to discuss Is The Gold Rush Over, or Are There More
Nuggets to Mine? The opinion I and several others
expressed was that the gold rush is far from over but
that some of the best opportunities are being found in
places people haven't mined so heavily in the past -
everything from ccTLDs to using CPA monetization methods.
used the breaks between sessions to visit sponsor tables in
the exhibit hall adjacent to the conference rooms.
like the AfternicDLS (whose booth is shown above) and
(whose booth is how below) had representatives on hand to chat with attendees
the conference. (Photos courtesy of Barbara Neu).
Moniker's Bari Meyerson (right) chats with exhibit
Steve Kaziyev of CityGuideMedia.com.
The first full day of business closed with Test Track, a feature that
has become a T.R.A.F.F.I.C. staple. It allows pre-selected
entrepreneurs to to make a pitch for investment capital needed to
grow their current enterprises.
the Test Track session, Emma Meheux of London.com
(standing at podium at left)
makes an investment pitch to a panel that included Dr.
Rick Latona, Gregg McNair and Rick Schwartz.
The panel of judges/potential
investors listened to the presentations then offered their views on
the merits of the businesses and decided whether or not they would
be interested in investing in them. Only two presentations were made
at this edition of Test Track and no funding was secured but it is
always interesting to see new business ideas detailed and dissected
with the kind of hard questions entrepreneurs have to be ready to
answer if they hope to secure additional funding.
|With the day's
business out of the way it was time for attendees to shift into
party mode Monday night (Oct. 18) and T.R.A.F.F.I.C.'s official
party sponsor, the
.CO Registry, made it one to remember. Their soiree at the opulent Versace Mansion
still has people buzzing about a magical night there.
The Mansion is just a few blocks from the Loews Hotel. I
arrived early enough to get the shot of the grand open air
entry hall at right before the mansion filled up with party
The mansion was previously owned by the late great
Italian designer Gianni Versace. Gianni, then just 50
years old, was tragically murdered on the front steps of his
home on July 15th, 1997 by a serial killer named Andrew
Phillip Cunanan who later committed suicide.
If you take the left turn on the black carpet in the
entry hall it takes you down to the mansion's spectacular
courtyard and pool area.
air entry hall at the Versace Mansion
The Versace Mansion's courtyard and pool area where
guests enjoyed a buffet dinner and open bar Monday night
Guests at the .CO Registry's Monday night (Oct. 18)
party included (L to R in
the photo below): Jonathan Pardee, Robert Pooke
and Hennie Groot Lipman.
Up on Page 3
Final Two Days of T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami 2010
annual T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Awards are handed out.
boxing promoter Don King climbs into the domain ring.
more seminars including one that sounded a scary
Latona's live domain auction
hosts a closing night party outdoors.
Epik Swapfest brings the curtain down on T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
to Page 3
up: 2010 T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
Award Winners are revealed.