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July 25, 2016

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2010 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Vancouver Preview: Show Promoter Rick Latona Gives Us the Inside Story on What's In Store

By Ron Jackson 

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 few.

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  


before now. To get the inside story on what is in store for T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Vancouver attendees when they arrive at the show venue, the Renaissance Vancouver Harbourside Hotel, we hooked up with conference promoter Rick Latona for the special preview interview below.

DN 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. 

Rick 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.

DN Journal: 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?

Rick Latona: 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.

Rick Latona
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Promoter

DN Journal: What can you tell us about the show agenda you have planned for Vancouver attendees?

Rick Latona: 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.

A T.R.A.F.F.I.C. networking session 
in Amsterdam, Holland last year.

DN Journal: 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?

Rick Latona: 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!

DN Journal: 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?

Rick Latona: 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.

DN Journal: 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?

Rick Latona: 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.

DN Journal: 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?

Rick Latona: 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. 

Jodi Chamberlain

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.

DN Journal: Is there anything else you would like to add about T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Vancouver before we sign off?  

Rick Latona: 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!


Editor's Note: I will be in Vancouver to cover the show for you and am looking forward to seeing may of you there. 

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