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October 08, 2012

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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.

Saturday's T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Pre-Show Photos & Highlights from Fort Lauderdale Beach - Show Opens This Evening

The 2012 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference opens this evening (Sunday, Oct. 7) with a 6pm welcoming cocktail party at the oceanfront Ritz Carlton Hotel on Florida's Fort Lauderdale Beach. Many people arrived early for two days of pre-show cabana networking and social activities Friday and Saturday (see the Friday highlights here). The fun continued Saturday under gorgeous blue skies.

The Ritz Carlton Hotel - Fort Lauderdale Beach - Site of T.R.A.F.F.I.C. 2012

I snapped the photo of the show venue above early Saturday morning from the beach in front of the hotel. You can see it was a postcard perfect day. Saturday's activities were centered around the 7th floor pool deck and cabana row that sit atop the lower section of the hotel.

The view from cabana row at the Ritz - taken Saturday mornng 
shortly before show sponsors arrived at their cabanas to welcome guests.


Later Saturday morning Diana Jackson stopped by the Above.com cabana 
to chat with Above.com's Director of Domain Services Victor Pitts.

On the pool deck, Ray Neu (left) and two beautiful "T.R.A.F.F.I.C. cops" were on hand
 to welcome guests with a glass of champagne or a mimosa and fresh fruit. 
Skenzo's Vishal Manjalani
(at right) was one of the first to arrive.

Diana and I spent the day on the beach, by the Ritz pool and visiting friends on the deck and in the cabanas with the pre-show crowd steadily growing each hour as guests arrived from around the world. By the time the show officially opens this evening, more than 300 attendees will be on hand. Most will stay until the conference ends its run with a farewell breakfast Wednesday morning (Oct. 10).

The Ritz is ideally located with dozens of shops, bars and restaurants just steps away on Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard. Saturday is college football day in America, so several Florida Gators fans spent a few late afternoon hours in local sports bars watching the Gators beat Louisiana State 14-6 in a battle of two teams ranked in the nation's to 10. 

Some of the more adventurous guests spent the afternoon on a deep sea fishing trip - the first ever for several visitors.



DomainInvest.lu's Freddy Schiwek relaxes with a 
mimosa  after his long flight from Europe to South Florida.

Saturday was a perfect day for deep sea fishing and these T.R.A.F.F.I.C. attendees 
took full advantage of the friendly weather to spend a great day at sea
(Photo courtesy of Steven Kaziyev).

CityPartners.com's Steven Kaziyev (right) with one
of the fishing guides on Saturday's deep sea expedition

After their trip the fishermen and women returned to the Ritz with tales of the one that got away (as well as several bags of those that didn't)! With limited storage options at the hotel, much of the catch, after being cleaned and fileted by crew members, went to T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Co-Founder Howard Neu's freezer, so locals might want an eye out for an invitation to a big fish fry after the show. 

Saturday evening was open to explore Fort Lauderdale and many did just that, with small groups heading off in every direction to sample the area's waterfront restaurants and clubs. With most within easy walking distance, it was a breeze to hit multiple locations. Stops included Whiskey Blue and Lulu's among others.

A group of early T.R.A.F.F.I.C. 2012 arrivers that made at stop at Lulu's Saturday night 
included Bob Olea (at center hugging hiw wife Trudie). Bob, who is a commercial airline
pilot, was profiled in our July 2012 Cover Story. (Photo courtesy of Steven Kaziyev).

The crowd at the Ritz will be growing throughout the day today when most attendees will be getting into town. The cabanas and pool deck will be open all day with the show regstration desk opening at noon. The first full day of business gets underway Monday morning at 9:30 with opening comments from conference founders Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu. I'll have photos and highlights from Sunday activities including tonight's welcoming cocktail party for you in my next post tomorrow from Fort Lauderdale Beach tomorrow. 

(Posted October 7, 2012)

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