One of the most highly anticipated T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
conferences in years is coming up June 8-10 when the
pioneering industry trade show makes its first ever appearance in Canada...and
a very special place in Canada at that. Vancouver, British
Columbia is the epicenter of an area that has played a huge role
in domain industry history as it has produced some of the most
successful domain investors of all time, including Frank
Schilling, Kevin Ham and Garry Chernoff to name a
Considering that Vancouver also happens to be
one of the most beautiful cities on earth, it is surprising that a
major domain conference has not already been held there
Journal: Like many in the domain industry we have been
looking forward to the Vancouver T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference
ever since the dates were announced. In addition to being
one of the most attractive cities on the planet it has, as I
mentioned in the introduction to this interview, spawned an
amazing number of successful domain investors.
Latona: Absolutely. In fact, you forgot to
mention Yun Ye who sold his portfolio to Marchex
for $164 million back in 2004. He’s from Vancouver
as well and Kevin and Don Ham have told us they’ll
get him to the show but we have yet to confirm it,
unfortunately. Hopefully we’ll get to see him there. We do
know that Kevin and Frank will both be in attendance.
From casual conversations I have had over the past few
months an unusually high percentage of people I have talked
to have indicated they plan to be at this show. Have you
seen a similar high level of interest from your end?
Yes we have. That’s why we are taking the path least
expected. While most people would keep the price high to
have a great return on the excitement level the show has
generated, we want to go the other direction. We figured
we’d push the envelope on attendance by lowering the
price so much. For those of you that haven’t noticed,
we have special pricing on TargetedTraffic.com
right now. You need to act fast though because it
goes up in days. We want to see just how big of a show we
can make it.
What can you tell us about the show agenda you have planned for
The agenda is up now at http://targetedtraffic.com/vancouver/schedule.php.
We have three full days of events.
On day one we have a brunch followed by opening remarks.
Seminars include “Advanced Parking Solutions” as
well as a speed networking session. The main event for day
one is our Test Track (sponsored by .CO Internet),
the exciting panel where entrepreneurs pitch our panel of investors.
Hopefully someone will get funded right on the spot.
On day two, after brunch, we’ll have a session on ccTLDs
followed by another networking event. The rest of day two is devoted
to Canada with a drop panel, a panel on the .ca
extension then an auction exclusively dedicated to .ca names.
On day three, after brunch, we’ll have a panel on
developing domains followed by a session on the resale market and
the future of domains. The show will end with our Main Event
auction of premium names, sponsored by Latona’s
Brokerage and Auction House.
in Amsterdam, Holland last year.
You always put a very strong emphasis on networking. If the
kind of crowd everyone is expecting shows up in Vancouver
this conference should be especially strong in that
category. Can you tell us more about the kind of networking
sessions you will have?
On days one and two we have speed networking events.
The show will be large enough that we’ll have to break it
into two separate days. The speed networking events
are an excellent way to get to know people. Just make sure
you drink a lot of water so your throat doesn’t get sore!
You ran two auction events in you last show in Milan,
Italy last month. Tell us what you have planned for
domain sales in Vancouver – the kinds of domains you want
in the catalog and what the deadline is for people to get
their domains into the auctions?
Thanks for asking! We are looking for 50 premium .ca
names to auction in our Canadian auction on day two. As
for the main event, we are looking for premium .com
|and .net names, primarily.
However, they don’t have to be ultra-premium. We’ll take
the $5,000 and $10,000 sales as well. Singles and doubles
can win the game. I know you have a lot of international
readers and I shouldn’t use baseball analogies but
there’s no better way to put it.
You are running five of this year’s six T.R.A.F.F.I.C. shows and
this will be the third show you will have staged in 6 months. At the
same time you are running you various other businesses. How are you
managing to keep all of those balls in the air and still produce a
quality product with each conference?
It isn’t easy. Fortunately, I have a great support team.
Jodi Chamberlain runs our T.R.A.F.F.I.C. shows for us
and I think our attendees would agree that she does a bang-up
job. She’s a strong woman and completely in charge.
The stage is hers, so to speak.
Within the past few weeks several new conferences have been
added to an already crowded 2010 show calendar. For example DOMAINfest
is running run one-day shows in Florida and New
York as well as a two-day conference in the Czech
Republic next fall and Chef Patrick is doing a
combination conference/cruise in October. As part of the
organization that started it all, T.R.A.F.F.I.C., do you
think all of these shows can survive? What will separate the
winners from the losers?
No, I don’t think they can all survive in their
current state. Oversee had a good idea with their one
day shows but those are truly regional. It makes
sense to go to the New York show if you are in New York but
would you travel there for a one-day event? I wouldn’t.
One thing that I’ve learned over the past
three shows is that you have to give attendees more reasons to
come, not less.
Patrick’s domainer cruise is a novel approach but it’s just
that, a novelty.
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. means business and we will continue to prove
that to all that attend our events.
Is there anything else you would like to add about T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
Vancouver before we sign off?
Yes. We need more auction
submissions. We have room left for entrepreneurs that
want to participate in Test Track and we want you, the reader
to come to the show, regardless of who you are or how long
you’ve been in the business. More, more, more… That’s
my mantra this month!
I will be in Vancouver to cover the show for you and am looking
forward to seeing may of you there.