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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
updated daily
to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

Photos and Highlights From the Closing Day of a Fabulous DOMAINfest Global Conference in California

The 2010 DOMAINfest Global Conference closed last night with an unforgettable party at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. It was the culmination of a three-day event that, despite the high standards set by the three previous shows in this annual series, still managed to exceed everyone's expectations. Based on the buzz this show is sure to create, going forward I think two words will be associated with DOMAINfest Global - "Can't Miss." When dates for the 2011 show are announced write them down (in blood if necessary) and make sure you are there.

The final day Thursday (Jan. 28) at the show hotel - the oceanfront Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica - began with three seperate structured networking sessions that ran simultaneously in the Exhibit Hall.

Experts (who wore white lab coats to make them readily identifiable) answer attendees' 
questions about how to tap new end user markets for domain names in one of the three 
structured networking sessions at DOMAINfest Global Thursday morning.

In one corner a group discussed New End User Markets for Domain Names, in another the topic was Website Development Tips and a third gathering got tips on SEO/SEM for Domain Names. Attendees were free to circulate from one group to another during the hour-long session.

Next up was a second Pitchfest contest (the first was held on opening day Tuesday) that gave four companies (RootOrange.com, Skinected.com, RapidDomainBuilder.com and DevRich.com) a chance to talk about new domain monetization solutions they have developed. A panel of judges that included David Liu (Jefferies), Douglas McPherson (New Ventures Group), attorney/entrepreneur Richard Morganstern  and Ron Sheridan (RSS.com) then picked the winning presentation. That honor went to Chad Folkening (eCorp) for his new RapidDomainBuilder.com platform.

Chad Folkening answers questions from the crowd after judges chose his 
RapidDomainBuilder.com as the winner of Thursday's Pitchest Contest.

But wait - there was another big winner. After the final presentation the audience was allowed to vote on their favorite solution from among the eight companies that presented over two days and their choice wasn't the same as the judges. RootOrange.com wound up winning their vote with RapidDomainBuilder.com close behind.

RootOrange.com Co-Founders Frank Langston (left) and Camilo Acosta beat out seven other companies to win the People's Choice Award for Best New Domain Monetization platform.

After an outdoor lunch break in the Fairmont Miramar courtyard (on a gorgeous Southern California day), it was time for one the show's main events - Moniker's Live Premium Domain Auction. The four-hour sale (that included both in house and internet bidding) produced over $920,000 in sales. Coupled with the results from the Low and No Reserve Auction Tuesday night (just under $151,000) Moniker wound up selling over a million dollars worth of domain names at the conference.

Scene from Moniker's Live Premium Domain Auction Thursday at DOMAINfest Global

The top sellers in the auction were LoanCalculator.com ($215,000), GolfLessons.com ($65,000), PearlEarrings.com ($50,000) and a pair of names that went for $45,000 each; Husband.com and Golfshirts.com.

Within an hour after the auction closed DOMAINfest guests boarded a fleet of buses that took them to the world famous Playboy Mansion for a blowout party and fundraising event (for Jenny McCarthy's Generation Rescue Foundation) that ended the show on a very high note.

Inside the DomainSponsor tent at the Playboy Manson party last night. Guests were 
also free to roam the more than five acre estate that includes a separate gamehouse, 
zoo and the famous Grotto.

The most popular accessories at last night's party were digital cameras. In the photo below, Army.com's Mark Van Dyke gets to be the center of attention.

Dozens of professional models were brought in to make sure the the event was overflowing with beauty and pizzazz, but many guests from our own industry brought the same qualities to the party including Laura Schmidt (Thought Convergence Inc.) and Bari Meyerson (Moniker.com) whom you see in the photo below.

Now that the best DOMAINfest Global conference to date is in the books, I will be flying back home to Florida today. Tomorrow I'll start working on our comprehensive review articles of both DOMAINfest Global and last week's T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference in Las Vegas. Though we filed daily updates with photos and highlights from both shows that was just scratching the surface. We have many untold details and unseen photographs from the back to back conferences that will be published in our reviews. 

These two events spotlighted a lot of new and exciting things happening in our industry and I am heading home feeling extremely optimistic about how things will play out for domain owners and developers in the months and years ahead.

(Posted Jan. 29, 2010)

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