The Domain Conference 2015
I just came back to the Netherlands after visiting the Domain Conference 2015 which took place in Fort Lauderdale Florida. The conference took place in the Hyatt Regency located next to the water. This time it was a short 5 day trip. The first travel day was Friday. Left home at 6.30 am and arriving at 2 am(my time) or 8 pm local time at the hotel after going to taxi hell at the airport. The only action for the Friday was checking in and heading straight to bed to get a good nights sleep and deal with the timezone difference.
Saturday Adam Dicker also flew in from Toronto and he got picked up at the airport by Eddie Sixto and George Verdugo. We spend a good hour in the pool which got the white man from Canada turning pink very quickly. We had a nice lunch and networking was already on its way. The outside temperature and humidity were really hard on the body though.
This was my third trip this year together with Adam Dicker and it seems these trips are getting more and more productive every time. Although we are communicating on a daily base through the miracle of Skype I can state that nothing beats contact in real live. So spending time together every couple of months serves more than only one purpose. I also gets us on the same page and working on the same goals.
The Conference day to day
Saturday was the outside Cabana Networking Event. The Neu family organized this conference really well and despite the hot and humid conditions it was great to start to know people that I only knew from Facebook and or Youtube. A good lunch with Michael McConville and another nice guy… And an afternoon spend while adjusting to the time and weather. We went out for dinner with George and Steven Verdugo, Eddie Sixto and Barbara, Brian Harris at the Great Grill 66 restaurant which serves execellent food.
Sunday was the DomainFest day. Jothan Frakes opened the day and gave the floor to Adam Dicker adressing the audience with a talk targeted to the new domainers who were there. See the video below what his talk was all about.
After the opening there were various topics in multiple room discussed or lead by specialists in their fields. This small setup up made it possible for people to really engage in the conversations that took place. I had the pleasure to sit in on a talk by Angie Graves who was giving her views on trends and technology. Interesting and thought provoking idea about technology moving like a glacier. She really got me thinking.
Funny thing is I got mentioned on the domain gang in an article . That got picked up by other people and even back home some people are starting to wonder what I’m up to these days.
Adam also had a small room session that afternoon and filled it with an interesting talk giving people the opportunity to ask a lot of questions. Even the more seasoned domainers came to sit in on this conversation.
The Sunday with a cocktail party up on the topfloor bar at the hotel. This party was even more interesting because of the bloodmoon and moon eclips which took place while we were up there. Well I guess you should have seen the real thing. The pictures didn’t quit do the event justice.
started with an Industry update on the usage of domain names around the world. Ray Neu moderated this panel.
Right after that there was a WordPress Workshop given by Brett Napoli who gave us a good rundown of the todo’s and not todos when developing WordPress websites.
During the lunch we were treated on the Keynote speaker Morgan Linton. Morgan is the co-founder of Fashion Metric. He gave us a rundown of the whole process they went through before and after their appereance on Shark Tank and getting Mark Cuban as an investor. Interesting talk with the takehome messages to stay focused and to remember that you are at the start of something rather than finish like people assume.
The remainder of the day was filled with talks with people that wanted to connect to Adam and we had a couple of really nice conversations. That is truly the beauty of a conference like this. Everybody is really approachable and has time or makes time to talk with you.
We spend the evening in the hotelbar in the company of around 15 people and had a great time talking with each other, eating and playing with Google Cardbox that Angie Graves had brought.
We skipped the party afterwads.
Tuesday started with Michael Cyger introducing Adam Dicker and Fred Mercaldo for a 25 minute talk about their thing. Adams talk was cought on camera. Unfortunatly I didn’t tape Freds one which was a shame because that was also a very interesting one.
During the lunch the Domain Industry Awards were presented. And during this lunch Adam once again got the Developer of the Year award.
Right after lunch there was another panel discussion featuring from left to right
Chad Folkening, Solomon Amoako, Adam Dicker and Michael Gilmour who all had there own take on the question if you should Sell or Build. This was also the last video I recorded at the conference.
We ended up in Grill 66 again were we had dinner together with Fred Mercaldo, Scott Ross and Dusty Field. After dinner drinks in the hotel bar. Memorable was the fact that both Fred and Dusty prefered a Dutch beer (although they might not even have know that). Around 11 pm everybody called it a night and ended the day.
A farewell breakfast in the top of the hotel and a couple of pictures and the time to head to the airport was already there. Abrupt goodbyes at the Airport and checking in.
One of the nice things about traveling alone is the fact that it presents you with the great opportunity to connect to total strangers. While waiting at the gate in Fort Lauderdale I got to know a lady who was going to Barcelona to go on a Senior Citizen Cruise. She was reading up on Barcelone while standing at a table. We had a nice conversation while we waited for the plane. An American lady living in Costa Rica. (hmm didn’t we got invited to Costa Rica in 2016?) She was going on a trip with a whole group. Their tourleader didn’t showed up at the airport which made the whole group a bit nervous. I suggested to her to read the whole book during the flight and than take control of the group. Got to give her my business card so I hope she sends me an update on her experiences.
On the long flight from Philadelphia to Amsterdam I was sitting next to a nice young couple who were going to visit Amsterdam, Paris and London. Each for three days. So I could fill them in a bit on Amsterdam. Flying back including the timezone difference got me home Thursday around 9 am.
Although it was only five days this time it was a very very productive trip. Great opportunities to meet new people and catch up with some people I only knew from Facebook. Also great business opportunities for the company. One of the things I noticed again is the true value of face to face contact without the distraction of screens or other elektronic devices. That insight is not only for the one on one contacts but actually also for the workshops and meetings. Each and every talk has its own added value. I think the more successful domainers know the value of those conferences and invest in going there.
Already looking forward to Namescon 2016 in Las Vegas in January.