several years now domain investors have been lobbying
Schwartz and Neu in effort to bring the conference back
to the Live Entertainment Capital of the World.
To find out exactly why they are going back now and what
they have in store for attendees, I connected with the
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. co-founders to get the answers to those
questions. Here is how our conversation went:
Journal: Gentlemen, your 2005-2008 Las Vegas
shows were among the most popular in the history of the
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. series. Why were you away from Las Vegas this
long and what prompted your decision to return now?
national and world economy has been a major factor
in our choices of venues for T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
It is much more expensive to put on a show
in Las Vegas than in Florida and the domain
community has been unable to support the multiple
domain conferences that have been held each year
until now. This is the first year since 2009 that
we are doing more than one show, and that
was because the domain community really wanted
us to go to Las Vegas, even though we are
already committed to shows in Florida through
Schwartz: It all comes down to timing!
Plus the famous Need, Want, Desire.
Folks love Vegas. Las Vegas is also a place
most folks are happy to go to and bring their
wives and enjoy themselves.
Journal: One of the most obvious
changes from past T.R.A.F.F.I.C. shows will be the
change of venue, with the world famous
Bellagio Hotel (complete with its dancing
fountains) hosting the event for the first time.
After some great shows at the Venetian (Editor's
note: Our review of the last show there
in 2008 can be viewed here)
what led you to make the move and why do you think
the new location make the 2013 show something
2011, my wife Barbara and I participated in site
visits to 8 different hotels on the Las Vegas
Strip and found that the Bellagio, which is the number
one resort hotel in the United States, was
the most accommodating to us and had the necessary
configuration of meeting space that we required.
Plus, Itís a shorter walk to the ballrooms!!
Everyone loved the Venetian but hated the walk
back to the room. Bellagio will be easy on the
feet. Plus it just happens to be one of the best
hotels in the entire world and the setup is very
conducive to networking, schmoozing and deal
Journal: T.R.A.F.F.I.C. has taken great
pains over the years to present a program that
addresses the most currently relevant issues
to the domain industry. Do you, like so many
others, see new gTLDs as the overriding
issue at this point in time or will the
agenda reflect other concerns?
We are always cutting edge and we wait to
put the agenda together to insure we tackle the
most relevant topics of the day and the year
ahead. We do have a session on new gTLDs but there
has been no clamor for more at all. There
is diminishing buzz right now in this
sector and dozens of companies have withdrawn
their applications. So the future is very
uncertain as of now and with the problems they are
facing on many fronts, it looks like things will
be further delayed and I would imagine we
are apt to see more casualties before they
even launch. One thing we wonít do is
ignore this sector. But it will be events on the
ground that will dictate how much time we spend on
it - as it should be.
As important as a
relevant agenda is, show goers have made it clear that
the #1 reason they spend their time and
money going to T.R.A.F.F.I.C. is for the opportunity
to network. The best of those opportunities usually
come in casual settings like the hotel lobby and
hallways and at the show's social events. What do you
have planned to make sure T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Las Vegas is
the ultimate place to network?
Schwartz: Networking is the backbone
of T.R.A.F.F.I.C.. That is why we break bread together
and help folks meet each other and talk to new people at
every opportunity. And of course it starts with the
Famous opening night T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Cocktail Party.
The one that launched an industry and the one
that pays for the entire show for attendees. Yes, the
networking at our opening event is THAT good.
Folks should make sure they attend on Wednesday night
Howard Neu: In
addition to having the exclusive use of a cabana area
prior to the show, our meeting room configuration
promotes networking and meeting in both large and small
scene from the last T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
conference at Ft. Lauderdale Beach,
Florida in October 2012.
DN Journal: After years of
expansion in the number of domain conferences, an unhealthy
situation (at least for promoters) developed with the pie cut too
many ways for all of the shows to survive. Many turned off the
lights and at the moment only two globally focused shows remain
and Webfest has not yet announced if they will return next
year. As the originators of the category and guys who live the
conference business day in and day out - how would you
characterize of the current health of T.R.A.F.F.I.C. and
the overall domain conference sector that facilitates so much
business for investors and service providers?
Neu: The advent of T.R.A.F.F.I.C. almost 10 years ago
created the domain industry, which has had its ups and downs
throughout the years. T.R.A.F.F.I.C. has survived, and even
flourished while others have fallen by the wayside because it is a
show for domainers BY domainers. Unlike others who have
copied our format, we have nothing to sell except the furtherance
of the industry.
Schwartz: Our recipe
is a bit different and that is why we have been able to
survive all this time while
have not been as fortunate. Itís because we have
a mission and a direction and a purpose and our
goal is doing it right and moving things
forward, not making money. We believe a rising
tide lifts all boats. That is how we get paid.
DN Journal: If people
look at the most successful faces in the domain industry
they will notice that most of those same faces are
seen at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. year in and year out. Yet, even
after nearly a decade of conferences, you still have some
people asking if it is worth the cost to attend?
Why do you think that disconnect exists when the answer
would seem to be fairly obvious?
have a hard time risking anything. They have
this standard of how many domains they can register
for the cost of the show. What they donít realize
is there is no cost because the dividends
and deals done trump all that many times
over. Successful people know the path to
success. They repeat that path. That is why all the
top guys and gals are there and others that want to
be included. I have watched so many come with
Neu (left) and Rick Schwartz at the
2009 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. New York conference.
thank me over and over again for the opportunity.
They tell me T.R.A.F.F.I.C. changed their lives.
Thatís our standard and most donít
understand or recognize opportunity. Opportunity
happens when you do something proactive.
who is rather well-known in their professional
circles, be they politicians, actors or show
promoters, have their share of naysayers and
detractors. The ďdisconnectĒ is promoted by
those people who, for whatever reason, do not wish
to see others succeed in whatever their
endeavor may be.
and Rick - thank you for you time. Before we close
is there anything else you want our readers to
know about T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Las Vegas 2013?
Howard Neu: Las Vegas
is always a great place to visit, even if you donít
gamble. The sights and sounds on the Strip cannot be
duplicated anywhere else. They are an important reason why
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. loves Las Vegas more than any other venue
in the Western United States. It brings a feeling of excitement
to our lives that can be shared with our professional
friends and family. T.R.A.F.F.I.C. has always been a
family of a close-knit industry, one that may have
differences but all have a common goal. Thatís
why T.R.A.F.F.I.C. means BUSINESS.
we have great untapped power. That is the true
magic of T.R.A.F.F.I.C..
When you bring folks of this caliber together, GREAT
things happen. When people leave T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
they feel invigorated and recharged and they have many
things to follow up on when they get back home. So T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
does not end on June 1. Itís the day the NEW
Journal: Those who want more information on
show can visit TargetedTraffic.com.
You can also take advantage of the special show rate for
rooms at the Bellagio Hotel through this
link (if you act before T.R.A.F.F.I.C.'s block
of rooms sells out). We will of course be in Las Vegas to
cover the conference and hope to see many of you in person