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2010 GeoDomain Expo Preview: Three Days in New Orleans Devoted to Networking and Domain Development 

By Ron Jackson 

The 2010 GeoDomain Expo, presented by Associated Cities, will run April 28-30 at the historic Roosevelt Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New Orleans. This year's conference coincides with one of the city's biggest annual events - the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival - so it will be an especially exciting time to be in New Orleans.

To give you a taste of what is in store for this year's GeoDomain Expo, we hooked up with Associated Cities Executive Director Patrick Carleton for more details about the big event in the Big Easy. Our interview with Patrick follows below.

DN 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?

Patrick Carleton 
Executive Director, Associated Cities

Patrick 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

Each 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.   

Amongst the 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 GeoDomain Expo.  

DN 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?  

Patrick 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.   

DN 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?  

Patrick 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” learns from.  

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.  

DN 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 

A 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 parking?  

Patrick 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.  

Attendees filled the conference room for the opening of the 2009 GeoDomain Expo

DN 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?  

Patrick 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!  

DN 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?  

Patrick 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. 

DN Journal: Is there anything you would like to add in closing?

Patrick Carleton: The 2010 GeoDomain Expo is the epitome of what domain conferences are all about.  See you in New Orleans!

Brad Spirrison (Midwest Business Inc.) 
and Patrick Carleton at the
2008 GeoDomain Expo
in Chicago

Editor's Note: You can register for the 2010 GeoDomain Expo here. The registration fee is $1,195.  


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