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February 01, 2013

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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.

Networking at Webfest Global: If You Want to Go Somewhere, Find Someone Who Has Already Been There!

The headline above is a famous quote from RichDad.com's Robert Kiyosaki, who has always emphasized the importance of networking. Kiyosaki also said, “The richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work.” Those are wise words to keep in mind if you are going to next week's Webfest Global Conference that runs February 5-7 at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, California

The show will have more things going on (and be just as much fun) as a three-ring circus, but one thing trumps everything else on the agenda - that is the opportunity to network with others in the industry. Sure, you will get some good ideas that can help you improve your business from the business sessions and seminars,  but people and the relationships you build will have the greatest impact on getting you where you want to go. That's why you keep seeing 

so many of the  industry's key figures at major events like this and it is what the vast majority of show goers cite as the #1 reason why they go to a conference. 

The organizers of Webfest Global know that too and that's why they have filled the week's schedule with activities designed to help you make new contacts and friends and enjoy more time with the ones you have already made over the years. In fact  the very first thing on the agenda is a 9am Speed Networking Session on opening day, Tuesday, February 5. Be sure to bring lots of business cards and a pen with something to write on!

A new networking twist Webfest is introducing is called Break the Ice While Breaking Bread that will be available at every breakfast and lunch. At those meals 20 tables will be set aside for those who want to talk with others who have a common area of interest. For example there will be tables for Domain Parking, others for Alternative Monetization, others for TLDs, etc. - 10 different areas of interest in all. Webfest has even built a new mobile app that allows you to search for people with skills you seek, or who share your interests. You can then use the app to send them an invitation to join you at a specific table.

You never know who you may end up having lunch with at Webfest Global. At last year's show Stefan Schinzinger (left) chats with John Ferber (DomainHoldings.com), who 
sold his previous company, Advertising.com, to AOL for 
almost $500 million.

Webfest Global is also bringing back a popular networking feature from previous shows - Dine with an Expert. This is a lunch-time event in which a half-dozen well-known experts will each sit at a table of their own, along with eight guests that want to dine with them. To sit with your preferred expert, go to the Dine With an Expert page (linked to above), scroll through the experts, then click on Make Lunch Appointment when you find the one you want to sit with. Better hurry though - it is first come, first served and in the past the tables of many experts have filled up quickly. 

In addition to those special networking events, evening social activities and all of the break time in the lobbies also present the kind of networking opportunities that are unique to major industry conferences like this.  Be sure to take advantage of them!

In a related note, one of the people you might want to look up at Webfest Global is industry veteran Merlin Kauffman, a personable young man who has been one of the most successful domain investors over the past decade. Merlin will be there to talk about two new websites he is launching.  One, live now, is NameBuy.com, a new domain sales platform about which Kauffman said, "selling your domain name has never been so simple. It provides liquidity to all domain investors for single domain sales or entire portfolios. We are now accepting all submissions of .COM domain names which are 5+ years or older."

Merlin's second offering, which is scheduled to go live within the next couple of days is PortfolioMarket.com, a site that Kauffman described as "The first and only marketplace dedicated to buying and selling cashflow domain portfolios." With Merlin behind them, I'm sure that both of these services will be worth taking a close look at.

Merlin Kauffman

One other Webfest week note. Last Friday I told you about the Water Night fundraiser  for The Water School that will be held at the Sonoma Wine Garden in Santa Monica Tuesday night (February 5), right after Webfest Global's official opening night dinner that will be held at two restaurants in the same building as the wine garden. The wristbands required for admission are available for a $50 donation in advance of  

the event, but - in a bit of new information since my original post - as soon as they hit 200 guests (which they are close to now), that will rise to $100.  

If you show up at the door without a wristband Tuesday night, the donation on site will also be $100, so get your wristband now. This event will be a lot of fun, a great networking opportunity and it supports a tremendous cause. I hope to see you there!

(Posted January 31, 2013)


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