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T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East 2013: A Pictorial Review of the Last Bash on Fort Lauderdale Beach 

T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Las Vegas 2013: A Pictorial Review of the Big Show at the Bellagio - See more at: http://www.dnjournal.com/cover/2013/may.htm#sthash.BXu4j45T.dpuf
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Las Vegas 2013: A Pictorial Review of the Big Show at the Bellagio - See more at: http://www.dnjournal.com/cover/2013/may.htm#sthash.BXu4j45T.dpuf
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Las Vegas 2013: A Pictorial Review of the Big Show at the Bellagio - See more at: http://www.dnjournal.com/cover/2013/may.htm#sthash.BXu4j45T.dpuf
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Las Vegas 2013: A Pictorial Review of the Big Show at the Bellagio - See more at: http://www.dnjournal.com/cover/2013/may.htm#sthash.BXu4j45T.dpuf

By Ron Jackson

T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference co-founders Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu staged the 25th edition of their pioneering domain industry conference October 20-23, 2013 when the annual T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East conference was held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel on Florida's Fort Lauderdale Beach (T.R.A.F.F.I.C. West is coming up May 28-31, 2014 at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas).

Schwartz and Neu keep things fresh by periodically moving T.R.A.F.F.I.C. to new venues. The latest show ended a three-year run at the beautiful Ritz Carlton overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Next October T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East will move down Florida's coast to Miami's South Beach for the 2014 event at the fabulous Fontainebleau Hotel.

T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Co-Founders Rick Schwartz and Howard 
welcome their guests to T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East 2013 at 
the Ritz Carlton Hotel on Florida's Fort Lauderdale Beach.

While T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East 2013 was running (including the two days of pre-show cabana networking), we posted daily reports from Fort Lauderdale Beach in our Lowdown section. You can see those posts at these links:

How T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Pre-Show Networking Turned into a Crazy Mix of Mardi Gras and ComicCon 

Photos & Highlights From a Fabulous Day of  T.R.A.F.F.I.C East Pre-Show Networking in Fort Lauderdale Beach Saturday

Opening Day Photos & Highlights from the 2013 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East  Conference at Fort Lauderdale Beach

Photos & Highlights from Day Two at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East Conference Monday at Fort Lauderdale Beach

Photos & Highlights from the Final Day of Business at the 2013 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East Conference + Who Showed Up For a Business Session in a Bathrobe?

T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East 2013 Ends With Food, Friends & Fond Farewells at Wednesday Morning Breakfast

Once a T.R.A.F.F.I.C. show is over we have traditionally put together one big conference review article for posterity. In addition to allowing people to access information about that show in one location it gives us an opportunity to share many previously unseen photos with you. To make room for even more of those I made the review article from the previous show, T.R.A.F.F.I.C. West 2013 in Las Vegas last May, a pictorial recap. Readers enjoyed that format, so we will continue with it in this Cover Story review of T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East 2013. 

Unless noted otherwise, all of the photos in this article were shot by either DNJournal.com or  T.R.A.F.F.I.C. hostess Barbara Neu. Between the two of us we wound up with nearly 2,000 photos from show week. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words so let's let the photos to start doing some of the talking!

T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East 2013 actually started with two days of pre-show cabana and poolside networking Friday and Saturday, October 18-19 at the Ritz.

Above: The Pool deck at the Ritz Carlton on Fort Lauderdale Beach.

Below: Some of T.R.A.F.F.I.C. 2013's early birds gathered 
at the poolside bar for pre-show networking.

Above: T.R.A.F.F.I.C. hostesses welcome Frank Schilling (Name Administration) 
and (at right) Ammar Kubba (Thought Convergence) at the poolside reception table.

Below: Getting together on the pool deck are (standing left to right):
Axel Kaltz
(ParkingCrew.com) and Mark Thomas (Domain Holdings) 
and (seated left to right) Rishi Kanoria (Skenzo), Jim Grace 
(ParkingCrew.com) and Mario Witte (ParkingCrew.com).

Above: A view of the Atlantic Ocean from T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East's Cabana Row.

Below: Guests visiting the Above.com cabana.

After a day in the sun, there were pre-show social events both Friday and Saturday nights. On Friday night (October 18) the  main event was the Ritz's annual All Hallows Eve Full Moon Party held on the hotel pool deck. This popular masquerade party is open to the public but T.R.A.F.F.I.C. reserved a couple of tables for their guests.

Above: A brigade of superheroes stands watch over a reclining Judi Berkens while she 
recharges during an electrifying All Hallows Full Moon Party at the Ritz Carlton Hotel.
(Friday night, October 18, 2013).

Below: T.R.A.F.F.I.C.'s Ray Neu and Kimberly Howard at one of the 
Full Moon Party tables the conference reserved for T.R.A.F.F.I.C. early birds

On Saturday night most of the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. early birds got together in groups of varying sizes at some of the many fine dining locations nearby. DNForum.com owner Adam Dicker personally hosted several dozen guests for a big dinner at Shula's on the Beach.

The Saturday night dinner hosted by Adam Dicker (seated with star superimposed on his shirt)
ended with everyone gathering for a group photo to commemorate a great night.

On Sunday, the 2013 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East conference officially got underway with the traditional Opening Night Cocktail Party  at 5:30pm kicking things off on a high note. Over 200 more guests arrived on opening day to join the early birds who had already spent two productive days networking at the Ritz. 

Above: Among those enjoying T.R.A.F.F.I.C.'s Opening Nght Cocktail Party were (L to R): 
Steve Kaziyev
, Jason Schaeffer, Dan Adamson, Cate Colgan, Russ Goodwin
Dave Evanson
and T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Co-Founder Howard Neu.

Below: Also on hand for opening night festivities were (left to right) were Bill Lozada (center) 
with Igloo.com's Holly Griesel (left) and Tessa Holcomb.

After the cocktail party a large group of attendees who do business with Frank Schilling's companies - InternetTraffic.com and DomainNameSales.com - boarded buses for a short trip up N. Ft. Lauderdale Beach Boulevard to the S3 Restaurant where Frank hosted a dinner party for his many clients and friends.

At the end of the night, a group of the last Schilling dinner guests to leave posed for 
the group photo above (Frank is third from the left in the front row.

On Monday morning (October 21) it was time to get down to business with a full day of sessions starting with welcoming comments from show co-founders Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu at a 9am Power Brunch. Those were followed by The Adam Dicker Show, hosted by Michael Cyger of DomainSherpa.com. Adam, who owns DNForum.com and blogs at TheArtOfTheName.com, gave attendees a treasure trove of practical advice on how to make money with domains that they could take home and put to use right away.

Above: Michael Cyger (left) interviews Adam Dicker during the first business
session of the 2013 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East conference (Monday, October 21).

Below: A shot of the capacity crowd on hand for The Adam Dicker Show.

Next up with one of this year's most highly anticipated sessions - Team Schwartz vs. Team Schllling in a spirited debate over new gTLDs. Frank Schilling (Uniregistry.com) and teammates Tim Johnson (.kiwi), Jeffrey Sass (.club) and Monte Cahn (RightOfTheDot.com) made the case for new gTLD success while Rick Schwartz and his lone teammate, Lonnie Borck, carried the .com mantle and explained why they believe new gTLDs will be left in .com's dust. 

All contributed points in the battle while leaving Schilling (at left in the photo above) and Schwartz (at right) to do the heaviest infighting. Schwartz had the exchange videotaped and you can see it for yourself below (due to its length, the video was broken into two parts - both worth watching every minute of):

Part 1:





l of the photos in this article were shot by either DNJournal.com or my friend and show hostess extraordinaire Barbara Neu - See more at: http://www.dnjournal.com/cover/2013/may.htm#sthash.M4MKgtjq.dpuf

Part 2:


The day's next session featured Domainer Success Stories from four panelists who had many of them to relate

Above: The Domainer Success Stories panel discussion featured (left to right) Braden Pollock (LegalBrandMarketing.com), moderator Howard Neu (standing), Ari Goldberger (ESQwire.com), Gregg Ostrick and Adam Dicker (DNForum.com).

Below: After trhe Domainer Success Stories session, attendees enjoyed a networking luncheon in the adjacent food and beverage ballrooom.

After lunch it was time to Meet the Bloggers in a 75-minute session that featured seven of the industry's leading bloggers and writers who offered their opinions on industry trends and also fielded questions from the audience. 

The Meet the Bloggers panel Monday afternoon featured (left to right) moderator Howard Neu, Ron Jackson (DNJournal.com), Michael Berkens (TheDomains.com), Michael Cyger (DomainSherpa.com), Andrew Allemann (DomainNameWire.com), Owen Frager (The Frager Factor), Elliot Silver (DomainInvesting.com) and Adam Dicker (TheArtOfTheName.com).

Monday's business day closed with T.R.A.F.F.I.C.'s live domain auction. DomainNameNews.com live blogged the auction results as they came in.

A scene from the live domain auction Monday, Oct. 21, 2013 with auctioneer Joel Langbaum 
(who also filled that role in the first T.R.A.F.F.I.C. auctions nearly a decade ago) at the podium.

With business out of the way Monday, attendees were able to take a break for a few hours before heading out to the official T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Party that ran from 9pm to 1am this morning at the Atlantic Surf Club, located next door to the Ritz. 

Above: T.R.A.F.F.I.C. hostess with the mostest Barbara Neu (leaning on table) with guests 
at the official T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Party at the Atlantic Surf Club on Fort Lauderdale Beach.
(Monday night, October 21, 2013).

Below: Another group at the Monday night party is book ended by 
Germany's Christoph Grüneberg at the far left and Ammar Kubba at far right.

The final day of business at the 2013 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East conference got underway Tuesday morning (October 23) got with a 9am breakfast at the Ritz, followed by Two-Minute Elevator Pitches - a session that gave attendees a chance to take the stage and promote their latest enterprises. I then took the podium to present a report on 3Q-2013 domain sales that were up dramatically from both the previous quarter (37.5% higher dollar volume across all extensions) and the same quarter a year ago (up 47%)! The details are in our October 2013 newsletter.

At 10:30am it was time for the day's big event - presentation of the annual T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Awards recognizing excellence in various industry categories (as chosen by domain industry voters). The 2013 winners (accompanied by photos of those who were present to accept their awards) were: 

Best New Monetizing Solution: Frank Schilling's InternetTraffic.com

Best Overall Domain Solution: Sedo

Sedo's Brad Lemire (center) accepts the Best Overall Domain Solution Award from 
Co-Founders Howard Neu and Rick Schwartz.

"We Get It" Award:

Developer of the Year:
Michael Cyger

DomainSherpa.com's Michael Cyger (at right) 
accepts the Developer of the Year Award.

Broker of the Year:
Negar Hajikhani, Sedo.com

Sedo's Negar Hajikhani (4th from left) accepting the Broker of the Year Award 
(the first female to win the honor).

Best Domain Blog:
DNJournal.com (Ron Jackson)

DNJournal.com's Ron Jackson (2nd from left) 
accepts the Best Domain Blog Award.

Sponsor of The Year:
Go Daddy

Domainer of the Year:
Frank Schilling

Bandit Berkens Goodwill Ambassador Award: 
Gregg McNair

PPX International Chairman Gregg McNair (2nd from left) accepts the Bandit Berkens Goodwill Ambassador Award with the owner of the beloved late Yorkie the award is named for, Judi and Michael Berkens at his side (Bandit was a frequent visitor to domain conferences who showed unconditional love to everyone he encountered). The annual award recognizes the person who voters feel has been the industry's best goodwill ambassador over the past year.  

Domain Hall of Fame: (two new members are voted in each year):

Jeff Gabriel (The broker in the record-setting $13 million sale of Sex.com who is now with DomainNameSales.com and was  previously with Igloo.com (when the company was known as DomainAdvisors) and Sedo.com). Jeff had a good reason for missing T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East this year - he was with his wife Melissa who gave birth to their son Richard the same day Jeff was named to the Hall of Fame! C

Igal Lichtman (the late great domain investor/developer and entrepreneur who was profiled in the first ever DN Journal Cover Story back in 2003 and was featured again in our February 2012 Cover Story). Mr. Lichtman passed away in February 2013.

Members of the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Domain Hall of Fame that were in attendance at this year's show took the stage for the induction of two new members that were named Tuesday - Jeff Gabriel and the late Igal Lichtman. Two of Igal's close friends, Hall of Fame member Adam Dicker and leading industry attorney Ari Goldberger (2nd and 3rd from left, respectively) accepted Mr. Lichtman's Award and will present it to his widow, Michal LichtmanT.R.A.F.F.I.C. also commissioned noted Florida sculptor Bradley Arthur to create a unique metal menorah (held by Ari in the photo above) that was also presented to honor Igal. 

The other current Hall of Fame members in attendance were Ron Jackson (far left in the photo above) and, to the right of Mr. Goldberger, Howard Neu, Rick Schwartz, Michael Berkens, Monte Cahn and Chad Folkening.

After the awards it was the time for the first of three business sessions held Tuesday - a Domainer and Broker View of the State of the Industry.

The State of the Industry panel  featured (left to right) John Ferber (DomainHoldings.com), Bill McClure (Coffee.org), Ammar Kubba (ThoughtConvergence,.com), Lonnie Borck (B52.com),  Gregg Ostrick (domain investor) and Tessa Holcomb (Igloo.com).

In the session that followed, Kubba (still in a bathrobe after turning up a bit late for his sessions!) joined Adam Dicker, Rick Schwartz and Michael Berkens for The DomainSherpa.com Five Live! program. The fifth member of the quintet was interviewer Michael Cyger (DomainSherpa.com) who had the four veteran domain investors evaluate and appraise domains submitted by audience members. It was an extremely useful educational exercise that later morphed into a highly entertaining "registered or unregistered?" competition in the second part of the program. 

The DomainSherpa.com Five Live! session featured (L to R) Adam Dicker
Michael Cyger, Ammar Kubba, Rick Schwartz and Michael Berkens.

The latter portion of this session required the panelists to guess whether or not certain domain names Cyger came up with were available or already registered. Perhaps aided by his distracting attire, Kubba wound up winning the contest by getting 5 of the 6 domains right.

The final day of business concluded with a T.R.A.F.F.I.C. staple - the Meeting of the Chiefs - in which leaders from nine well-known companies took the stage to offer their thoughts on current industry affairs and answer questions from the audience.

The Meeting of the Chiefs panel featured (L to R): Paul Nicks (Go Daddy), Adam Dicker (DNForum.com), Andee Hill (Escrow.com), Gregg McNair (PPX International), Michael Gilmour (ParkLogic.com), moderator Howard Neu (standing), Donny Simonton (Voodoo.com), Victor Pitts (Above.com), Ammar Kubba  (ThoughtConvergence.com - and back in normal clothing!) and Joe Higgins (RookMedia.net).

The Meeting of the Chiefs concluded the business portion of T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East 2013 but there was still more networking and socializing to come. At 8:30 Tuesday night guests were welcomed to the traditional Closing Night Party at the Ritz with dessert, coffee, beer and wine. 

Above: Jon Hewitt (Protrada.com) and T.R.A.F.F.I.C.'s Danny Pryor (right) 
at the closing night Dessert Party.

Below: Alina Schwartz and Karen Bernstein (right) also took the opportunity to chat.

Toasting another successful event (left to right) are Barbara Neu, Michael from 
TrafficCaptain.com, Sedo's Negar Hajikhani, Judi Berkens and 
Michael Berkens

Above: After the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Closing Night Party many accepted Gregg McNair's nightly 
invitation to drop by his suite for some late night networking at his Igloo.com party.

Below: Earlier I mentioned that Ammar Kubba showed up at his Tuesday panel discussions  in a bathrobe.  That seemed to trigger a new fashion trend. At the McNair/Igloo.com party more than a few guests showed up in bathrobes, including host Gregg McNair (in the red bowtie) and T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Co-Founder Rick Schwartz.

The curtain came down on the 25th edition of T.R.A.F.F.I.C.  Wednesday morning (October 23, 2013) when the 2013 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East conference closed with the show's traditional Farewell Breakfast at the Ritz Carlton.

Above: A scene from the 2013 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East Farewell Breakfast Wednesday morning (Oct. 23)

Below: At one breakfast table Wednesday morning (left to right) Bob Olea, Alan Hack, Lonnie Borck, Freddie Schiwek, T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Co-Founders Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu, and Bill Sweetman enjoyed comparing notes before saying goodbye until next time.

Next time will be May 28-31, 2014 (with two days of pre-show cabana networking May 27 & 28) when T.R.A.F.F.I.C. reconvenes at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas for T.R.A.F.F.I.C. West 2014. Once again we will be there to cover it all for you but, better yet, come out and join everyone in person. Registration is open now.

Until then, thanks to the entire T.R.A.F.F.I.C. team - Rick & Alina Schwartz, Howard & Barbara Neu, Ray Neu, Kimberly Howard and Danny Pryor for all of their hard work in making T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East 2013 such a memorable and productive event.


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