Journal: The GeoDomain Expo has always offered something unique
in the domain conference space – total focus on developing
quality domain names into real businesses. This month you are
also going to treat attendees to an attractive new location with the
show heading to New Orleans. Tell us why you selected the city and
the show venue (the Roosevelt Hotel). Also, what role will NewOrleans.com
owner and AC member Don Jones play in hosting the show?
Executive Director, Associated Cities
Carleton: I fell in love with New Orleans when I
spoke at the Domainer
Mardi Gras in 2009 and again this year.
When I visited New Orleans again in search of the perfect
location for our 2010 conference, I found the Roosevelt
Waldorf Astoria Hotel to be one of the most glamorous hotels
I had ever seen and knew that it was the perfect venue for
the 2010 GeoDomain Expo
GeoDomain Expo is hosted by a member of Associated Cities,
in their respective hometown. NewOrleans.com owners Bill
Hammack and Don Jones have made phenomenal
strides in the sites’ development since acquiring the
domain less than two years ago, growing it to be one of the
best examples of GeoDomains today.
most respected businessmen in the business directories and
yellow pages industry, Bill and Don have a great story
to tell and there is a lot to learn from their experiences.
It seems everything they touch turns to gold. In
addition, they also own three of the best
restaurants in New Orleans.
Don, Bill, and their team at NewOrleans.com will prove
to be an invaluable resource in the production of this
Journal: How are things shaping up with respect to highlights
of the show
agenda, your roster of speakers and the other things you
have planned for show week?
Carleton: Fantastic! We’ve spent a considerable
amount of time to choose the most successful speakers in the
industry, as well as success stories tangential to the industry who
can bring something new to the table. The pioneers continue to break
new ground and evolve within this ever changing landscape.
Journal: While the show organizer, Associated Cities, is
an association of .com city domain owners and the show is
geared toward AC members, at past shows I have seen a lot of
attendees who are not .com city domain owners. They come because
many of the strategies talked about; content development, attracting
direct advertiser relationships, etc. can be applied to all kinds
of domain names. As a result the show is attracting a wide
range of people, requiring you to stage a show that meets the needs
of both AC members and domain owners from the industry at large who
like what you are presenting. How do you go about serving
everyone’s needs given the kind of audience you now attract?
Carleton: I think you’ve basically answered the
question within your question! AC started with the majority
of the most successful city.com owners in the world and, as
with any pyramid, there are many different levels. Newcomers
to the industry and owners of smaller sized cities continue
to innovate to levels that even the “old guard”
The formulas that have been
developed and proven by the industry leaders can be applied
to many different domain verticals. Unlike any other
sector of domain development, there is minimal overlap and
competition amongst GeoDomain owners and development, thus
the sharing of best practices amongst attendees of
the Expo is unsurpassed.
Journal: Another question along those same lines.
Over the past couple of years the mainstream domain industry
has seen a huge decline in PPC earnings. As a result
there has been a surge of interest in
scene from the 2009
GeoDomain Expo in San Diego.
domain development as a
means of building new sources of revenue. Of course,
the geodomain sector has always been all about development.
That being the case have you seen an uptick in interest in
the Expo specifically from domain owners who were previously
focused on passive domain monetization methods such as
Carleton: Development is the future, parking is the
past. It is no secret in the domain name industry that
GeoDomains are the jewels of the crown. In fact, Associated
Cities was the first domain name organization to make development mandatory
for membership. GeoDomainers as a whole have been
developing longer and better than any other sector of the domain
industry, and have a plethora of knowledge that they are more than
willing to share with all attendees.
filled the conference room for the opening of the 2009 GeoDomain
Journal: This month’s Expo will be going on at the
same time as one of the biggest annual events in the Big Easy - the
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. As a result hotel
space in the city is going to be at a premium. You just announced an
April 6 deadline for taking advantage of the Expo’s discounted
rate at the Roosevelt Hotel. After that it will be much tougher
to find a room, but you know a number of people will decide to come
at or near the last minute. What options will people have if they
don’t act by the 6th?
Carleton: Jazzfest draws as many people as Mardi Gras
and we are holding rooms at a giveaway rate at one of the most
beautiful hotels in the U.S. We don’t want to cut people
out, but there will surely be people who will make last-minute
reservations to attend the conference who will be struggling to find
a room. We are going to do our best to help them secure hotel
arrangements and we are working to secure additional rooms at the
Roosevelt as well as other area hotels. The bottom line is that no
one should wait to reserve their room at the New Orleans
Roosevelt Waldorf Astoria!
Journal: Just a few days ago Associated
Cities announced that it was changing its corporate
structure from a for-profit organization owned by a
limited number of shareholders to a non-profit trade
association. How will this change help the
organization and its signature conference, the GeoDomain
Expo, going forward?
Carleton: The Associated Cities reorganization
into a 501(c) 6 non-profit association is a landmark
in realizing the vision of a membership-governed
industry-wide trade association for the GeoDomain community.
Journal: Is there anything you would like to add
Carleton: The 2010 GeoDomain Expo is the epitome
of what domain conferences are all about. See you in
and Patrick Carleton at the
2008 GeoDomain Expo in Chicago
Note: You can register
for the 2010 GeoDomain Expo here. The registration fee