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Thursday Report
(posted Oct. 21)

By Ron Jackson

(Delray Beach, Florida) -  130 domainers from 9 countries have converged on this affluent Atlantic Coast beach community for what is believed to be the first industry trade conference to attract top level management from leading companies, domain investors and attorneys in one place. This is the first of three nightly reports we are filing from the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. 2004 site to keep you up to date on daily developments here.  


The event actually began yesterday with registration and a welcoming cocktail party but the first business sessions were held today. 


Delray Beach, Florida Marriott  
Location of T.R.A.F.F.I.C. 2004 

Conference co-founders Rick Schwartz of (standing at podium in photo at left) and Howard Neu, Esq. of (seated next to Schwartz) kicked things off with a 9am session welcoming the attendees who came from across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Australia, Hong Kong and Kuwait. A capacity crowd was on hand to hear their comments and to attend the opening seminar featuring success stories from other domainers.

New York's Jeff Reynolds
of (in photo at right) captivated the crowd with his account of the acquisition and development of his domain. Reynolds purchased it for $2,650 in an Ebay auction and earned his money back within two weeks! He has since capitalized on the domain's inherent traffic to build an extremely strong business that sell flags ranging from a few dollars to $5,000 each. He has expanded his offerings to more than 300 products and said the domain name made it all possible.
Reynolds' experience was such a compelling entrepreneurial story we are planning to do a complete article on him in the near future. 


There was considerable discussion prior to the event about the high price for registration but a quick tour of the impressive venue made it clear that no cost was spared to produced a major league event. The dining and social events were top notch as were the facilities from the comfortable conference hall to the spacious exhibit area. We had not even expected to see the latter but several companies went to the considerable expense of having professional exhibits built and transported to the venue. 


As you might expect, the largest exhibit and staff came from the event's lead sponsor, Their display (only a portion of which could be fitted into the picture below) was located just outside the main conference hall and was a beehive of activity throughout the day. Attendees stopped by to get the details of DomainSponsor's new version 2.0 program that features improved optimization (they reported overall payout rates jumped 9% this week after just a couple of new optimization features were implemented and more are on the way), a new domain for sale notice option, improved landing pages and statistical reports.



Below are additional photos from the busy exhibit area (starting with 1st photo below). The middle photo shows CEO Monte Cahn at his company's booth while the bottom photo shows Valerie Albert (left) and Joyce Corey from who were on hand to assist President Taryn Naidu at their company's display.








Pool handed out free T-shirts at their booth, offered free embroidered tote bags and there were a variety of souvenirs and keepsakes from other booths. We expect to see these things at mature industry trade shows but were admittedly surprised to see this level of display foresight and professionalism in a first time event. It made our industry look good and in addition to there were reporters from the mainstream press there to see it (including one from the New York Daily News).


Today's luncheon (crowd settling in pictured below) featured talks from three of the top attorneys that specialize in domain industry issues, Ari Goldberger, John Berryhill and Howard Neu. Another leading barrister in this field, Stevan Lieberman, could be found manning the Future Media Architects table in the exhibit hall. Lieberman flew in at the last minute to fill in for his client, Thunayan K. AL-Ghanim (Elequa), who had to cancel plans to attend after being delayed by business matters in Kuwait.



The first of two afternoon seminars focused on the increasing payout rates we have been seeing in the pay per click (PPC) business. A distinguished panel (pictured below) including (left to right) executives Ron Sheridan and Lawrence Ng, CEO Matthew Bentley and CEO Dan Warner delivered plenty of good news in that session. They all predicted payout rates will continue to increase as more and more businesses discover the value of targeted traffic and bid prices up.



It was fascinating to hear the insights delivered by these top level industry insiders and attendees were able to ask their own questions from the audience.



We originally planned to provide more specifics on the day's discussions but after listening to the depth and scope of what was covered we quickly determined that would be impossible to do (and still get a daily report out to you). Fortunately, the show organizers hired multiple camera crews to record the entire conference and they plan to make a DVD available on the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. 2004 site within the next 30 days.




The second afternoon seminar featured a discussion on the differences between commercial and social domains and the respective merits of each. That panel (shown below) included (left to right) Steve Stoeser of, Dave Pelligrinelli of AFX Communications, Jeff Reynolds and Rick Schwartz





This discussion and others throughout the day were expertly moderated by Mr. Neu, a former TV talk show host (and mayor) in South Florida. He kept the proceedings on track by interweaving  questions from the audience with his own insightful queries about the topic at hand. 

Though we had to leave after the final seminar to prepare this report for you, activity continued this evening with a major dinner featuring keynote speaker Ben Stein. That was to be followed by a 10pm-2am offsite party, Traffic Jam 2004, hosted by DomainSponsor. Though they will be celebrating into the wee hours, we expect to see the participants back in action tomorrow morning and we will be back tomorrow night with a recap of Friday's activities.


One highlight of the Friday schedule will be a 7:30pm dinner featuring entertainment and announcement of the winners of the domain auctions currently underway. Attendees were able to place domains up for bid and place bids of their own on a large board in the exhibit area (see photo at right). For example, was listed with a $41,000 reserve and already had a $41,000 bid this morning. Other domains being offered include,,, and to name just a few. 
Our Friday report has now been posted and is available here


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