the lowdown on that we called on Modern Domainer's Seth
Coman, who is a key member of of the team getting
everything ready for the event. Our Q & A session with
Seth is below:
Journal: Tell us how the decision to stage
Domainer Mardi Gras came about, especially since you knew
the new event would have to stand out on an already
crowded conference schedule?
Modern Domainer Magazine
Over the last
two and a half years, I’ve been to just about
every domainer-related conference, so I’ve
learned a lot about the conferences. I know how
they’re run, who attends them, what’s good,
what’s bad – what things can be improved upon.
And it seemed like everyone was doing conferences,
so we thought “Hey, we can do a conference too
– and we have a great place to do it in,
New Orleans,” which is where I’m from.
is a great city and has always been a convention
and tourist destination, and nobody had ever done
a show here. I know that domainers are party
people, they like to drink, party, and have a good
time, at all hours of the night – and you
can’t have a better time than in
just seemed like the perfect fit to have it during
Mardi Gras, which is the ultimate
party event. It’s the perfect place at the
Journal: What can you tell us about the show
venue - the Westin Canal Place - as a place to both
experience a conference and the world famous Mardi Gras
Westin Canal Place
is located at the foot of
. It is in the French Quarter, it is walking
distance from everything you would want to go to:
it’s right next to the aquarium, it’s right on the Mississippi
River, it’s right by the ferry that takes you to the
West bank if you want to go to Mardi Gras World –
it’s at ground zero for everything.
a big, beautiful hotel with beautiful rooms –
all the rooms either overlook the Mississippi
River and French Quarter or the CBD (central
business district) and downtown
. It’s the perfect place to enjoy the
conference, or Mardi Gras – as the parades
pass right by.
the show just a couple of weeks away, I understand
that rooms at the Westin are no longer guaranteed
to be available. What accommodations are open to
those who have not registered yet but decide they
want to come to New Orleans for this event?
Site of Domainer Mardi Gras
of this very moment, rooms are still available at the
Westin Canal Place
. Anyone interested in coming to Domainer Mardi Gras
should book their room ASAP - there is a link to
the Westin on DomainerMardiGras.com.
That being said,
has more hotel rooms per capita than just about any other
city you’ll visit. This is a city that thrives on its
tourism and convention industry. There are many hotels in
short walking distance from the Westin, but with the large
crowd of carnival revelers expected, it would be wise to
book your room quickly for this event. Some excellent
hotels very close by are the Marriott, Sheraton
is no doubt that having the conference in New Orleans
during Mardi Gras is a major drawing card. Some may view
it as a chance to party non-stop for several days but
business isn't taking a back seat on your agenda. Tell us
about some of the session highlights and the keynote
speaker you have in store, as well as the social
activities that attendees can look forward to?
One of two Keynote Speakers
for Domainer Mardi Gras
of all, we have two keynote speakers.
Our first keynote is Arthur Hardy, who is
the eminent historian on Mardi Gras. He
will give a talk the first night on what to expect
– and in general give conference goers a little
taste of Mardi Gras so they’ll learn about the
fun they’re experiencing.
second keynote speaker is Tim Burns. He’s
state representative who recently ran for the
Congress, and he has also worked as a business
. He wrote a book a few years ago called “Entrepreneurship.com”
on how to structure business for e-commerce. We
feel that with him speaking to a group of people
who have made their living on e-commerce, we have
a good fit. He will offer domainers a new
perspective on adapting business for e-commerce.
have some excellent session highlights. The theme
of our conference is risk-management for the
modern domainer. We have legal experts,
financial experts, SEO & SEM
on domain tax risks and issues. We have a session
on lessons in offshoring, because we feel that
that is an important issue for domainers. We will
also have sessions on portfolio diversification,
and on other ways you can make money within the
industry. Overall, we’ve gathered some excellent
example, we’ve got John Berryhill and Dan Altman
on legal issues and a special forum on domain tax issues
hosted by Matt Berman of Deloitte & Touche.
Our lessons in offshoring will actually include a
presentation by Jodi Chamberlain of Offshoring.com,
the experts on offshoring. The diversification panel
includes Rick Latona, a well known industry leader, Patrick
Carleton from Associated
, as well as many others. We will also have a
presentation on the future of domaining, focusing on what
risks may appear to the modern domainer in 2009 and beyond.
social activities are going to include a
style crawfish boil, which is going to be absolutely
wonderful. It’s going to be held the first Thursday night of
the conference – and if you haven’t experienced a crawfish
boil, you’re in for the best surprise of your life.
Friday night and Saturday night, we’re going to have
balconies, one night sponsored by Parked.com, the
other sponsored by Thought Convergence/TrafficZ. It is
going to be incredible – you’ll see things you’ve never
is also the live domain auction that will be conducted
21 with both in house and online bidding. You attend and
support all of the conferences out there and were just in Los
Angeles where DOMAINfest Global staged a very
successful show. Is the timing of Domainer Mardi Gras, just
three weeks after DOMAINfest, creating any problems in
motivating people to pack their bags again so soon?
Ron, that’s a good question. The reason we had this
conference is because we wanted to have it the weekend of
Mardi Gras, so we were at the mercy of the calendar. We
would have loved to have this a month or two months after DOMAINFest
– and I think in the future there will be more of a gap
– but, that being said, a lot of people are coming to
our show. People come to these conferences to network,
and even though it’s just slightly less then a month after
DomainFest, a lot of people are coming, they’re going to
have a really good time, and they’ll just get another
chance to network more.
people have said that they weren’t going to be able to
make it because it was so close to DOMAINFest, but
unfortunately we can’t decide when Mardi Gras comes.
Hopefully they won’t have to worry next year.
and speakers will be filling
this conference room at the Westin
Canal Place for Domainer Mardi Gras.
Journal: As you noted earlier, having been to so many conferences staged by various promoters you've had a chance to get a close up look at what works and what doesn't. What are some of the ideas you have picked up and perhaps improved upon that will be featured at Domainer Mardi Gras?
learned quite a bit about what works and what doesn’t. At
this conference, attendees won’t be bombarded with constant
panel discussions where speakers mainly engage in
self-promotion. Our panelists and forum participants are
experts in their fields, and will give educational-based
lectures and discussions on their area of expertise.
of simple panel discussions like you see at so many other
shows, we’ll have an
mix of moderated forums, single-presentations, and traditional
session-style panel discussions - all geared at educating and
informing the attendees on risk management for domainers -
education which is essential, with the recent downturn in the
domestic and global economy.
we’ll have some light-hearted moments - including a
traditional New Orleans second-line march and a very
satirical Awards Ceremony - keeping in line with the
classical nature of Mardi Gras (Mardi Gras was created to
mock and poke fun at traditional European monarchies - hence
the “king” and “queen” and “court” of each
carnival organization). Expect a fresh format and wild
entertainment like you’ve never experienced before at
a domain conference.
knows about the devastating hit that New Orleans took from Hurricane
Katrina and for many attendees this will be their first
trip back to the Big Easy since the storm. Are there any
lingering issues from that tragic event that would keep
people from enjoying the kind of unforgettable experience
this great city has provided millions of visitors through
its storied history?
Coman: This is a good question – and you know, a lot of people who haven’t been to New Orleans since Katrina have asked me the same question. For starters, New Orleans has
come way back since the hurricane. There are, of course, still areas of
devastation, and the city as a whole is years away from being the city that it was before the storm, however, what most people don’t realize is the French Quarter, the CBD, the downtown area – the tourist areas –
were not really affected by Katrina. There was absolutely no flooding in the French Quarter.
The French Quarter area bounced back immediately, so there shouldn’t be any concerns from anyone regarding any problems enjoying the conference due to
view of Hurricane Katrina
| Katrina. The places you’re going to go were not affected by Katrina. In fact, we’re going to actually have to get in a bus, and go to my neighborhood – which was affected by Katrina – to see the effects of the devastation.
Journal: Thanks Seth, looking forward to seeing
you and all of the other attendees in New Orleans for
Domainer Mardi Gras!