So it’s 2016, and I’m glad I chose to kick it off by attending “the domain industry event” – NamesCon. It was amazing! I learned so much more about domaining as a skill set and about our community as a whole. Sessions included discussions on legal issues, how to sell domains, brandable domains, expectations of the Latin-American market, Chinese masterclasses and so much more.
Sunday, which was considered Day One of the conference, began with new additions to the conference this year such as a Network Lane and Topic Tables covering some of the popular topics of the industry right now. Richard and Jothan wanted to offer small business, who may not have the time or resources to participate in a full exhibit throughout the week, a chance to showcase their business on a smaller more manageable scale. If the number of people who filtered in and out of the Network Lane and the fact that they had to move the topic tables to larger rooms was any indication of how people felt about these new additions, I’d say they were a huge success! I would be surprised if we don’t see both networking and discussion opportunities next year.
Monday, Day Two, kicked off with a newcomers orientation and the unveiling of the new Uniregistry platform and app. Attendees were reminded to download the new app throughout the event, and when it came time for Frank Schilling to give his keynote address, a huge surprise was waiting for those who did. Frank gave a live demo of the app by giving away premium gTLD domains to a couple of lucky new app users.
Another big surprise came during the hugely successful RightOfTHeDot Domain Name Auction. A free domain that was given earlier, Paleo.diet, sold for $1700 only hours later! At the end, it was clear that gTLD domains stole the show, and the auction was deemed a success with an unprecedented 70% sell through rate. The highest priced domain sale was Lawn.com for $240,000, with Tuscany.com following behind at $157,500. A complete list of the LIVE auction sales can be found below.
Domain & Price:
Web.hosting- $52,500(Bought by DomainPros.com)
Housingloans.com- $3,000(Bought by DomainPros.com)
Tuesday and Wednesday followed with more sessions on topics like “Do Domainers Have Any Rights Left,” “European Market Perspectives,” “Hosting & Developing Domains,” “Marketing Successes of new TLDs” as well as fireside chats with industry greats like Paul Stahura, Akram Atallah and Derek Newman. Also, Mike McLaughlin shared GoDaddy’s newest improvement to the domain investor’s experience with their new GoDaddy Auction app – “GoDaddy Investors.” The new app allows users to keep track of their auctions with simple and secure app features from their mobile phones.
We heard from Matt Barrie, the new CEO of Escrow.com, about the company’s success in domain name transactions, completing over $240 million worth of transactions in 2015. Escrow.com has recently experienced a lot of change, beginning with their acquisition by Freelancer.com and their subsequent change in staff and leadership, leaving its current customers wondering about the future. Barrie offered reassurance, however, by sharing plans to improve the customer experience through expanded services. He also mentioned the possibility of using the Freelancer platform for domain development. Additionally, Escrow’s support of Domain Name Sales through an advanced API allows a “Buy It Now” feature on their landing pages.
Overall, the NamesCon crew managed to put on another spectacular conference, and I would be surprised if we don’t see an even bigger turn out for the event in 2017. Kudos to Team NamesCon!