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Saturday Report
(posted Oct. 23)

By Ron Jackson

(Delray Beach, Florida) -  The landmark T.R.A.F.F.I.C. 2004 conference ended today with a single morning session featuring the first annual meeting of the World Association of Domain Name Developers (WADND). There was also discussion about the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. 2005 location and ways the conference could be improved next time out (not that many found much to complain about with this impressive debut edition).

Closing Session
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. 2004 

Rick Schwartz (L) and Howard Neu, Esq.
(Note that Mr. Neu finally capitulated and     exchanged his usual nicely tailored suit for a Hawaiian shirt Saturday).

T.R.A.F.F.I.C. co-founders Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu, Esq. set up WADND as a new corporation this year. It is meant to answer a long standing desire domainers have had for a professional organization that will give them a voice in matters that affect the industry. A WADND website will soon go live with a mission statement and a list of newly elected directors.

One of those directors will be Dan Warner, the Chief Operating Officer of Dark Blue Sea Ltd. (parent company of 

Warner, one of the most respected executives in the domain industry,  agreed to serve despite an extremely hectic work schedule that keeps him running an average of 60 hours a week from his base in Brisbane, Australia. He immediately began offering suggestions for both WADND and future T.R.A.F.F.I.C. show locations (San Francisco being his first choice).

Warner suggested that membership on a private domain forum operated by Mr. Schwartz be broadened to include qualified domain owners who hold more than 100 names. Schwartz responded that plans were underway to revamp the board and add 100 new members. 

Dan Warner
COO, Dark Blue Sea Ltd.

Schwartz noted that a key reason members of his board are courted by companies that monetize traffic (and the reason so many companies supported this show) is that many members hold high quality portfolios of domains that produce targeted traffic in heavy volume. While expanding board membership Schwartz said he wants to maintain high standards for both the people and portfolios represented. The greatest weight will be given to the individual's personal reputation and desire to share, learn and help move the industry forward.


With respect to the location of the next show, Schwartz said this year's Delray Beach Marriott location has proven to be so popular with attendees that it will be the top choice to host again next year. A Miami Beach location will serve as a backup. Schwartz said there is a good chance the show will move to the West Coast in 2006 as Warner suggested. Ron Sheridan (pictured at left), the Director of Business Development for (this year's lead sponsor) said his company would immediately commit to sponsoring a West Coast show. In addition, it was announced that DomainSponsor has already signed on as the lead sponsor for T.R.A.F.F.I.C. 2005.

Before Sheridan left the podium he announced the winners of four Robosapien robots that were selected from a lottery drawing entered by visitors to the company's elaborate show exhibit. One of the lucky winners, Russ Goodwin, shows off his in the photo at right. 

A perfect prize for future drawings might be one of the upcoming double DVD sets featuring this year's conference seminars and activities (including indexed chapters to easily find the material you want to view). Multiple video crews taped all events and Schwartz expects the set to be available by Christmas. You will have to be an extremely good little boy to get one from Santa though as they are expected to cost $995 per set.

While that might take shoppers at the local Blockbuster aback it is not unusual for high cost, low production industry media. When I owned a small chain of record stores I paid $500 a year for one book (produced by Billboard magazine) listing music industry contacts.


Shepherd of AshantiPLC Limited
isn't signaling "touchdown" but he agreed plans to expand next year's show will insure another winner.

In today's meeting the organizers agreed to an audience suggestion that next year's show be expanded by a day. The general consensus was that there wasn't quite enough time to meet everyone one wished to meet this year. This year's show ran Wednesday-Saturday. Next fall (same week in October) it is planned to run Tuesday-Saturday (one day for registration and welcome, three days with a full slate of activities and a fifth day for a final business meeting as was held today).

The debut edition of T.R.A.F.F.I.C. proved to be a fitting coming out party for an industry that is ready to take its rightful place at the center of the internet stage. 


Executives from, and other leading companies here all agreed that "traffic is king and he who holds the traffic makes the rules." Guess who holds the traffic? You and your fellow professional domain owners.

Ten months of hard work went into producing the show and we join others in congratulating Mr. Schwartz and Mr. Neu on their remarkable success with this event, success that we believe will help all domainers, whether they were able to attend this year's show or not. When we join forces to push the industry forward, we all move forward.


Click for Thursday Report


Click for Friday Report


Editor's Note: We compiled so much material from the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. 2004 conference we have decided to produce a special wrap-up of the entire week that we will publish Monday afternoon (Oct. 25). This will include additional information and photos not seen in the three nightly reports we produced during the show.



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Domain Name Journal
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