WaterNight 2016 Video by NamePros

We are gearing up for WaterNight 2017! To help remind us all of the importance of this annual fundraising event, NamePros has just released their coverage of WaterNight 2016 – featuring interviews with Richard Lau, Co-Founder of NamesCon; Tony Woodruff, Program Director of WaterSchool; Ron Jackson, Editor of DNJournal, Shallom Johnson, Assistant Producer of NamesCon, and Edward Zeiden, Managing Director of NamePros. 

Interested in participating in WaterShave 2017?  NamesCon is currently searching for H2Officers willing to donate every hair on their head to raise funds for WaterSchool's charitable efforts in developing countries.

WaterNight 2017: Call for H2Officers!


Take part in one of the most exciting charity events of the year: the WaterShave at the WaterNight Gala during NamesCon. Last year we had superheroes shave their heads...this year, it's H2Officers!

You’ll be starring in the main event of the evening, contributing your lovely mane to help raise funds for WaterSchool’s charitable efforts in developing countries.


H2Officers should possess the following skills and qualifications to be considered for employment:

  • Able to solicit donations in the weeks leading up to NamesCon by sharing your official donation page with friends, family and on social media.

  • Willing to be interviewed for the NamesCon blog and other interested media parties.

  • Keen to go above and beyond the call of duty, such as by recording a video message outlining why you decided to become an H2Officer and sharing your passion for the WaterSchool charity with anyone who will listen!

  • Long hair, don’t care (officers with short hair also accepted, but we recommend you begin growing it immediately).

  • You look good in a suit… the suit of the law, that is. H2Officers will be wearing “super official” law enforcement uniforms during the entire WaterNight event.

  • You have confidence in delivering citations to law-breaking WaterNight attendees - “If you don’t donate, haters gonna hate!” or “Donate, don’t procrastinate!” are two acceptable lectures.

  • Recognize generous, law-abiding donors by rewarding their contribution with a badge of honour sticker.

  • H2Officers are officially on duty from 9pm-2am during the WaterNight Gala (January 24, 2017 at the Tropicana Havana Room during NamesCon).

  • At the stroke of midnight your hair will make like Cinderella’s carriage and disappear, because that’s when the shaving begins. We hope we don’t find a pumpkinhead beneath all those luscious locks.


E-mail producers@namescon.com with your application or nomination. Just tell us a bit about yourself, why you’d like to take part, and if you have a recent headshot that would be great as well!

Applications and nominations will be accepted until October 31, 2016. Successful officers will be contacted the following week, at which point your training promptly begins.

For more information on WaterSchool, visit www.waterschool.com


DOMAINfest Asia Recap

DOMAINfest Asia wrapped up recently, capping off a week packed with interactive panels, informative keynotes, networking events and more.  We sat down with Jothan Frakes and James Morfopoulos to get their highlights from this year's conference.

NC: This year's event saw the DOMAINfest brand celebrate over a decade of international conferences, again partnering with DotAsia and Allegravita to move DFA from Macau to its' new location of Cyberport in Hong Kong.  How did the change in location affect your experience at DFA? 

JM: Cyberport is a great location. World class facility, great conference rooms, an easy ride from central Hong Kong and lots of restaurants within easy reach for meetings and meals.

Jia Rong Low, Managing Director of ICANN's Asia-Pacific Hub addressing attendees at the conference launch.

Jia Rong Low, Managing Director of ICANN's Asia-Pacific Hub addressing attendees at the conference launch.

NC: One thing we've always loved about DOMAINfest is the content-packed agenda that makes it easy for any attendee to really personalize their experience. Which sessions, speakers or events did you enjoy most? Were there any that stood out as having a very enthusiastic response from attendees?

JM: Giuseppe Graziano's sessions on "Understanding Value: LLL" and the "What is working well with new domain names" panel with Braden Pollock, Edmon Chung, Jeff Sass, and Christa Taylor were highlights.  Also, Tuesday night's cocktail party had good networking.

JF: The launch of .web in Chinese was announced at the event, drawing a lot of interest from exhibitors and attendees. Michael Gilmour's Monetization Sessions constantly packed the room, and I found the Digital Marketing session to be a very engaging panel as well.

The Digital Marketing panel in action...

The Digital Marketing panel in action...

Cocktails and networking!

Cocktails and networking!

Edmon Chung, CEO of DotAsia Organization, explaining that the Internet of Things is best served by an internet of names, or "IoN".

Edmon Chung, CEO of DotAsia Organization, explaining that the Internet of Things is best served by an internet of names, or "IoN".

NC: Any general comments to add?

JM: The Chinese Market is still hot, just not as hot. There are tonnes of new and exciting emerging companies of all kinds (registrars, financing companies, etc. ) which will be interesting to watch in the years to come. 

Jeff Chung introduces the special speakers during the pitchfest at DFA

Jeff Chung introduces the special speakers during the pitchfest at DFA

Mark Van Dendyke, Berry Cobb, and Leona Chen at the Neustar Cocktail Reception

Mark Van Dendyke, Berry Cobb, and Leona Chen at the Neustar Cocktail Reception

Ajitoro the Tiger, and the whole audience with two thumbs to support helping preservation of wild tigers.

Ajitoro the Tiger, and the whole audience with two thumbs to support helping preservation of wild tigers.

The 12th Annual Domain Industry Awards

The NamesCon team would like to extend a heartfelt congratulations to all of the winners of this year’s Domain Industry Awards!  The full list of winners includes:

Developer of the Year: Michael Cyger, DNAcademy 


Blogger of the Year: Elliot Silver, DomainInvesting.com 


Registry of the Year: .CLUB

Registrar of the Year: GoDaddy

Broker of the Year: Dave Evanson, SEDO 


Domain Investor of the Year: Michael Berkens, TheDomains.com


Domain Company of the Year: SEDO

Goodwill Ambassador, 2016: Ron Jackson, DN Journal

2016 Hall of Fame Inductees:

Nat Cohen, ICA



Gary Chernoff



Women In Domaining Profile: Maria Cypher

Maria Cypher, Principal and Creative Director at Just the Word and Catchword Branding

Maria Cypher, Principal and Creative Director at Just the Word and Catchword Branding

Maria Cypher
Principal, Creative Director
Just The Word, Catchword Branding

Fast Facts

LocationSan Francisco Bay Area & New York City

How long have you been in the domain industry? Since 1999, when a naming client got up in the middle of a meeting to register a dozen available domains we’d just presented to him.

Favorite extensionDot-com!

Domain name you wished you owned: Any short, real word with positive associations. Domains.com would be nice.

Now reading: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, and Can’t we talk about something more pleasant? by Roz Chast.


Describe your company, business, or vocation.

Just The Word (http://justtheword.com/) is the domain-sales division of Catchword Branding (http://catchwordbranding.com/), a leading naming firm. We list over 1500 brandable domains, categorized by industry, that make for excellent company and product names. I oversee Just The Word and am the founding partner and creative director of Catchword.

How does your service or product helps deliver value to your customers?

The fact that Just The Word is a part of a serious naming firm means that we fully understand the kinds of names that work for products or companies. We like to think we have the best brandables in the business, and have had domain brokers tell us that!

We don’t list other people’s domains or take a commission. Instead, all our domains are carefully chosen from two decades of naming work. As a result, entrepreneurs and marketers can find the right domain without having to sift through lots of gobbledygook and inconsistent pricing.

What fact about you would surprise people?

I am the lead singer of a Bay Area cover band called Highway 13 (highway13music.com). We gig every month or two at local restaurants, festivals, charity events, and private parties.

What is something you have tried, but will never do again?

Singing Billie Jean and trying to sound like Michael Jackson. I might try singing Billie Jean again, but I will never again try to sound like the king of pop!

Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?

My father, Richard Williams. He was a child prodigy on the popular radio program “Quiz Kids” in the 1940s and later became a career diplomat and U.S. Ambassador. Despite his illustrious childhood and career, he’s the most unpretentious, thoughtful, and light-hearted person I know.

He taught me the value of humility (though he’s way better at it), curiosity, kindness, and laughing to the point of tears.

What's your most vivid childhood memory?

Meeting my Chinese relatives in Tianjin, China in 1979. The U.S. and China had just re-established diplomatic relations after 30 years, and my Chinese mother had not seen her brothers or sisters in all that time. I got to meet cousins, uncles and aunts living in 2 rooms with no private bathroom or TV. A completely different world had opened up.

Latest and greatest accomplishment in your career?

Both Just The Word and parent-company Catchword have reached a great place in their evolution. We have an amazing team, top-tier clients, and a culture of fun and innovation. Not to say that there aren’t new worlds to conquer—there always are—but I am really proud of the company and culture we’ve created.

What would you do if you just inherited a pizzeria from your uncle?

The MBA in me would spend serious time with the books to make sure it was being well-managed. And then I’d watch a few episodes of Restaurant Impossible to make sure we weren’t making obvious mistakes. But mostly I’d leave it to the manager and staff and try to avoid eye-contact with all that pizza!

What are three albums that have shaped you as a person?

It’s torture being limited to three, but sticking to the criteria of actually shaping me as a person:

1) Give Up The Ghost (Brandi Carlile) — Brandi’s voice is incredible in its expression and pitch-perfection. She inspires me to be a better singer.

2) Rumours (Fleetwood Mac) — This album is really a proxy for all the great rock of the 70s and my love for music that came out of it.

3) The Honest Hour (Assembly of Dust) — One of the best live recordings ever, showcasing incredible musicianship and poetic lyrics. This band and the songs on this album helped make me a lover of live, jammy music.

Where is your favourite place to escape?



HEXONET Boat Cruise: Recap With Photos

We’d like to thank everyone who joined us for the HEXONET Boat Cruise on August 18!  What better way to experience the Vancouver skyline and mountains than an evening cruise through the Burrard Inlet, set to the music of DJ STATN (aka Statton Hammock at Rightside). The MV Harbour Princess made its way up to the glacial fjord at Indian Arm and attendees were treated to a dazzling sunset with a view from the open upper deck and floor-to-ceiling windows on the main berth.

The HEXONET and NamesCon teams were very happy to welcome attendees from the domain industry and beyond, with a special thanks to the ‘Domain Expert Panel’ participants Kevin Kopas (PIR), Amanda Fessenden (Uniregistry), Daniel Schindler (Donuts), Marc Gawith (Rightside), and Tony Kim of HEXONET, with regrets from Chris Campbell of Afilias who was unable to attend.

Moderated by NamesCon founder Richard Lau, panelists shared their personal stories of how they came to be involved in the domain industry and discussed how the industry needs to come together behind joint marketing efforts to bring more awareness about new TLDs to the general public. Each of the panelists agreed that unity between companies - potentially even in the form of commercially bundling TLDs among different registries - is needed to communicate the value of creative TLD marketing and online identities to a wider marketplace. We filmed the panel live on Periscope and the video is still available for viewing if you’d like to enjoy the full discussion.

Congratulations to Jordan De Vuyst of Strata Living, the winner of the 13” MacBook Pro Retina prize, generously awarded by Kelly Campbell of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA).

Check out our full image gallery from the event. Tag yourself and your friends, and if you haven’t yet shared your own photos feel free to use the #HEXONETCRUISE hashtag on social media and don’t forget to tag @hexonet and @namescon!

Until next time :)

NamesCon Speakers: Call for Submissions

The agenda for NamesCon 2017 is well on it’s way to completion. We’ve identified most of our sessions, keynotes, and panels and are excited to share them with you in early October when we publish the schedule online!

We know that each of you has an amazing network to draw on, and we’d like your input. In the effort to include as diverse a lineup of speakers as possible, we’re opening up the following panels for nominations:

1. Basics in Digital Branding and Design:

Learn actionable methods to improve your company’s visual identity across digital platforms and streamline the online user experience for your customers.

2. Using Creative Content to Leverage Your Brand:

This panel will bring together experts in public relations, marketing and brand strategy to provide best-use examples of content marketing in the domain industry.

 3. India Masterclass:

This panel of experts will forecast trends and sales prospects from the emerging Indian market. Don’t miss out on the next hot investor wave.

4. Comparing Domain Sales Strategies:

Learn how the best in the business get the most out of their inventory.


Please include the speaker nominee’s full name, email address, and current position.

Send links to and/or descriptions of the nominee’s relevant expertise, including any previous speaking engagements.

Self-nominations are allowed.

Each individual can only be nominated for one panel - please prioritize the one they are most suited for.

Email your nominations to producers@namescon.com by September 10, 2016.

*Please note that NamesCon speakers are not compensated in any way. Speakers are responsible for coordinating their own registration to the event.


Last Chance for HEXONET Cruise Tickets


We’ve had such a great response to the HEXONET boat cruise that we’ve opened up another 20 seats for registrations!  If you haven’t bought your ticket yet, now is your chance.  Here’s a little taste of what we’ve got planned:

We have a great roster of speakers lined up for our panel discussion, including:

  1. Chris Campbell is the Senior Director of Business Development for Afilias, where he manages registrar accounts. Afilias runs the master directories and DNS for over 25 top level domains, including .INFO, dotMobi, .PRO and many others.

  2. Kevin Kopas is Channel Manager, APAC at Public Interest Registry, a non-profit organization that administrates the .ORG TLD as well as new extensions .NGO and .ONG.

  3. Vern Jurovich, COO at Uniregistry, a position in which he helps oversee all aspects of the company, as well as assisting CEO Frank Schilling in business development and day to day operations across all markets. Uniregistry is a registrar and web services provider, as well as a registry that administers many gTLDs, including .HIV – the world’s first open charitable top-level domain.

  4. Daniel Schindler is Co-Founder & Executive Vice President, Business Development at Donuts, a company that was created to apply and run new gTLDs and was ranked #14 in The Wall Street Journal’s Top 50 Start-ups for 2012. Prior to co-founding Donuts in 2010, Daniel spent the better part of the last decade as Chief Executive Officer of CentralNic.

  5. Matt Overman is Vice President & General Manager of Aftermarket & Premium Domains at Rightside. He leads Rightside’s monetization and premium domain sales business. Previously to taking on this position, Matt served as General Manager of NameJet, establishing it as the premier auction marketplace in the domain name industry.

  6. Tony Kim is Chief Marketing Officer at HEXONET, where he is responsible for all marketing, product marketing, and product placement for the company. Prior to joining HEXONET, Tony held both executive and director level positions at various technology companies and startups. Tony specializes in Internet startups and developing new business models.

Your host for the evening, HEXONET is a leading developer and service provider of reseller technologies for the domain industry. Thousands of resellers, service providers and registrars from across the world use HEXONET technology to enhance their own service offerings or use them as their white-label backend domain platform.

After the panel, we’ll have tunes from DJ STATN (also known as Statton Hammock, from Rightside) to close out the cruise.  

Don’t delay!  Register now for your free ticket before they’re gone, and save your spot on what is looking to be one of the most enjoyable domain industry networking events of the summer.

Women In Domaining Profile: Sherene Blackett

Sherene Blackett, Managing Director at Proficient Professional Services Inc.

Fast Facts

Location : Barbados

How long have you been in the domain industry? :12 years

Best city for conferences : Las Vegas


Describe your company, business, or vocation.   

I am an accomplished and results-driven Business Executive in the Financial Services Industry.  I am the Managing Director of Proficient Professional Services, a Barbados based company providing primarily management services to International clients with additional specialization in company formation, corporate, accounting and tax services, as well as compliance and financial advisory services.  

With a wealth of experience in the financial services sector, I consult for a select few active business companies in the domain industry, retail and manufacturing sectors, and serve on the advisory board of two charitable Foundations which provide international funding to clean water projects to regions with immediate need. In addition, I've established Hopen Inc., a Barbados organization working with and assisting persons living with HIV/AIDS.

How did you become involved with Women in Domaining?

I remember enjoying the camaraderie at one of the very first events at Domainfest in LA, and it’s been wonderful to get reacquainted with those lovely ladies as the group grows every year and I make new acquaintances now at Namescon in Las Vegas.

Can you tell us about a memorable experience you had at a previous WID event, and what you got out of it?  

I always enjoy meeting other women in the industry and sharing stories about our respective journeys to where we are today.

How does your service or product help deliver value to your customers? What makes your brand stand out?

I offer a very personalized service which is impossible to replicate.  I’m thankful that I have had years to experience to fall back on because there is no one day that’s the same as another. I have to think on my feet and get the job done!        

What fact about you would surprise people?

Most people are surprised that I am a Chartered Accountant as my experience has progressed far beyond the accounting field.

Do you prefer to be right, or be liked? Why?

Definitely right coz who cares if I’m liked. I want to leave the world better than I found it!

How does your career compare to what you envisioned in your youth?

I always envisioned having a career that I loved and I am overjoyed that I am passionate about what I do every single day.

Latest and greatest accomplishment in your career?

Starting my own company has been the most challenging time in my career – and having made it through the first year and a half successfully, there’s nothing that can stop me now.

Where is your favourite place to escape?

Living in Barbados has definitely afforded me the opportunity to sit back and enjoy the simple pleasures in life, so even though I live in paradise I often escape to neighbouring islands for a much needed escape from work life.

If someone wrote a biography about you, what would the title be?

Living Life to the Fullest

What object would you put in a time capsule that best represents who you are today?

I would definitely put in one of my kadooment or Carnival costumes and pray to God that looking back on it ten or more years from now, even though I probably wouldn’t fit into itI’d still have the desire to make every day count and not get hung up on the day-to-day hum drum.

What is the one question we haven’t asked that you want to answer?

I have two beautiful children that I live every single day just to make their lives even better.

You can connect with Sherene on LinkedIn, or visit pps.bb for more info.

Be sure to follow Women in Domaining on Facebook and on their website to stay up to date on upcoming events and opportunities.

HEXONET Cruise Powered by NamesCon: This August in Vancouver

We can't wait for August 18th, when NamesCon will be teaming up with HEXONET to host a domainer boat cruise, featuring the Pacific Northwest's most breathtaking scenery!

Panoramic views of the Vancouver city skyline and coastal mountains will set the scene for a brief panel discussion featuring representatives from event sponsors Afilias, Donuts, PIR, Rightside and Uniregistry.

Join us for an evening of networking with domain, internet and tech industry players, and enjoy a selection of light snacks and refreshments courtesy of our very generous sponsors.

Register here, and don't delay! This event has a limited number of spaces available, and you won't want to miss this boat.

The MV Harbour Princess

The MV Harbour Princess


Harbour Cruises is located at 501 Denman Street in Downtown Vancouver. Upon arrival, proceed down the ramp to the MV Harbour Princess. Pay parking is available in the parking lot on Denman St, between Georgia St and the seawall. 

Please be prompt! Boarding begins at 6:00pm, and we set sail from 6:30-9:30pm.


Women In Domaining Profile: Andee Hill, Donuts Inc.

Women in Domaining is an amazing group of women who are all connected to the world of domains.  One of their biggest networking events each year is the Women in Domaining dinner at NamesCon, and in the lead-up to our 2017 conference we'll be publishing profiles of some of these women to share their contributions and aspirations with the entire NamesCon community.

Andee Hill, Director of Business Development at Donuts Inc. 

Fast Facts:

Location: Born and raised in Huntington Beach, California

How long have you been in the domain industry? I have been in the Internet industry since 1999. 

Previous careers? Managing office technology and being a salon owner/operator. 


Describe your company, business, or vocation.

Donuts.Domains is the largest new gTLD registry with close to 200 new domain extensions.  

What are your thoughts on the new TLDs? 

It is exciting that the world now has so many affordable and descriptive naming options. While I continue to recognize the value in a great dot com, I think there are some wonderful opportunities to be had with these new gTLD’s.  They can be short, descriptive and memorable. They look good in print.  

How did you become involved with Women in Domaining?

Early on, there were very few women in the industry and many of the evening events were male focused.  It made sense for the women in the industry to get together and network.  Credit should go to Lisa Box and a few other female domain industry veterans as the early organizers of these get-togethers.  

Can you tell us about a memorable experience you had at a previous WID event, and what you got out of it?  

These events originated with a few women in a hotel room chatting over a bottle of wine.  As women’s presence in the industry has grown, so have the number of women in high level positions in our industry.  I am proud to be part of this group of strong and smart women.  I look forward to the continued growth of female influence in the domain industry. I appreciate the support domain companies lend to groups like Women in Domaining. 

What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming NamesCon?

I look forward to meeting and sharing ideas at NamesCon.  Also excited to attend another great Women in Domaining event! 

Connect with Andee on LinkedIn, or visit Donuts.Domains for more info.

Be sure to follow Women in Domaining on Facebook and on their website to stay up to date on upcoming events and opportunities.

NamesCon Looks Ahead to DOMAINfest Asia, September 19-22

cyberport_banner_4 DOMAINfest Asia will be in Hong Kong September 19-22, and there are only 15 more days to take advantage of the special discounted price – just HKD$1,100 (about $142 USD) if you register before June 30th, 2016 with the promo code EyeOnDotAsia.

This year’s conference will be full of exciting content, with a roster of the world's leading domain industry professionals and thinkers participating in a jam-packed 4-day event. It’s a perfect opportunity to learn more about how your brand can make the most of new opportunities that are growing in Asia, while networking with major players in the domaining industry. Check out the DFA website for photos from the 2015 event.

DOMAINfest is teaming up with Internet of Names to bring international domain registries, registrars and domain experts together to Hong Kong this September. The event this year will again be co-hosted by the great teams at NamesCon, DotAsia, and Allegravita. The venue is none other than Cyberport, a creative digital cluster whose 700-member community is home to four grade-A intelligent office buildings, a five-star design hotel, and a retail entertainment complex.


NamesCon is looking forward to being in attendance and educating ourselves on the latest domain and investment trends emerging from the region; says co-founder Richard Lau, "When NamesCon acquired DOMAINfest several years ago, we immediately recognized the unique characteristics of that event - particularly the potential in developing the DOMAINfest brand as a regional show. We see particular value in the DOMAINfest Asia initiative, as one of the biggest roadblocks to domain investors around the world is understanding the trends and motivations inherent in specific geographical regions. We look forward to meeting the domain community at Cyberport this September!"

Register here for DOMAINfest Asia now, and save big by using the code "EyeOnDotAsia" before the June 30th sale deadline!

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 9.27.44 AM



Sponsors Renew Early for NamesCon: Highlights From Confirmed Participants

The Uniregistry Lounge in the main Exhibit Hall
The Uniregistry Lounge in the main Exhibit Hall

We are seven months away from NamesCon 2017, and already our list of sponsors is the largest it's ever been at this point in the year. In addition to our faithful renewing companies, we have many new organizations who are jumping into the fray! NamesCon would like to thank all of our returning sponsors, and extend a warm welcome to those who will be joining us for the first time.

Here's a quick recap of some highlights from just a few of the companies who have already confirmed their involvement at NamesCon 2017, taking place January 22-25 in Las Vegas.Uniregistry is back as our title sponsor, and you know they always have a few tricks up their sleeves to happily surprise attendees! You can look forward to enjoying their communal lounge in the Exhibit Hall - a large, comfortable and open space to catch a quick break amidst the hubbub of the show floor. 

Escrow.com is back as our Registration sponsor - and hey, did you know that we'll be opening up stations for name badge pick up one day early this year? Now you'll be able to check in as early as Saturday, January 21st - so when the show begins on Sunday morning you can stroll right into the conference area with your Afilias lanyard around your neck.

Redirect.com and Hexonet will be exhibiting at NamesCon for the very first time, along with many others. We know you will have new and beneficial conversations in our unique "town hall" style Exhibit space.

RightOfTheDot will once again be at the helm of the popular NamesCon Domain Auction taking place the afternoon of Monday, January 23 - and submissions are already open, so check out how to submit here.

Rightside returns as the sponsor of our Opening Reception on Sunday evening, so pick out your party shoes and practice your best networking greetings. We promise to turn the volume down a bit this year!

Larger booths will be all the rage: Several returning sponsors are hitting the Exhibit floor with larger booth footprints this year - so even though we added six new exhibit locations, we're very close to selling out of space already!

NamesCon is known for building creative engagement into the conference, and minds + machines will be contributing some fun and games to the agenda...but we can't yet share exactly what ideas they have bouncing around!

We all love to stay connected, and on that note domainsponsor returns as your WiFi and Charging Station provider.

We'd like to thank all of the companies who have already signed up for NamesCon, as the list is too long to share in one post. Watch for more communications on sponsor confirmations, exhibitor announcements, and more news coming from the NamesCon team. If you are interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at NamesCon 2017, act quickly as we have just a handful of standard booths remaining within the Exhibit Hall. Contact us today for more information.

And of course, if you haven't already registered for NamesCon 2017 - do it today! Join almost 1,500 domain name industry professionals for the largest, commercial domain name conference in history.


All About That Swag: How to Make an Impact With Cool Stuff


Every conference attendee in history has had high hopes for a conference bag filled with cool gadgets that you'll actually want to take home with you. While printed flyers are effective for a one-time impact, imaginative swag and gifts can make a lasting impression on potential clients and colleagues. And NamesCon is working to promote less paper in the conference bag by offering a discount for those exhibitors and sponsors who submit an item instead of a brochure!

Luckily, more and more companies are beginning to shift their thinking into the wide world of brandable items that will avoid the recycling bin - from the smaller end of the scale (think mobile chargers, lip balm, stylus pens, high storage flash drives) to more extravagant items (bluetooth speakers, seasonal items like scarves or sandals, and notebooks).


One way to buy strategically and maximize your brand’s impact is to think about your swag in terms of tiers. For instance, tier one is an item at a lower price point, maybe a microfiber screen cleaner or an iPhone horn. Your tier two gifts should be reserved for a really warm lead or a client appreciation gift, something like bluetooth speakers or USB battery chargers for smartphones that are a good deal more expensive, and also have a good chance of being much more appreciated.


At tier three, strategy shifts to a big-ticket item that will draw eyes and attention to your booth. If your budget allows, splashing out on a newly-released game console, tablet or wearable tech will guarantee you a full bowl of business cards and opportunities for conversations with potential clients.

At NamesCon 2017 we will be introducing some gamification aspects to the exhibition floor through our new mobile app. Exhibitors who bring prizes to be won will be able to take full advantage of this feature, as they will be able to attract attendees to their booths more easily and effectively. Want to learn more about how we can build giveaways into your presence at NamesCon? Contact us for more info!

NamesCon 2017 Golf Outing

At the suggestion of several attendees, we are coordinating a golf event for those wishing to arrive in Las Vegas a day or two prior to NamesCon (which officially begins on Sunday January 21, 2017.)

NamesCon Golf Outing Saturday January 21, 2017 10am shotgun start (up to 5 hours of green time) Fee: $275* *Includes green fee, cart fee, bag gratuities, unlimited practice balls, custom cart signs, scoring, proximity markers for on course contests, and transportation from/to the Tropicana. **Callaway XR club rental sets are an additional $45. ***Lunch and beverages are not included.

"The only championship course located right on the Las Vegas Strip, Bali Hai Golf Club is 18 holes of pure paradise. Players of all skill levels will enjoy the South Pacific-inspired layout, which is highlighted by seven acres of water features, a signature island green, more than 4,000 trees (including 2,500 stands of towering palms) and 100,000 tropical plants and flowers. Transition zones are accented with Augusta white sand and set off by black volcanic rock outcroppings for the ultimate Balinese experience."

NamesCon is opening up our name badge pick up one day earlier this year, meaning those who do arrive on Saturday can skip the Sunday-morning registration rush and waltz straight into the conference area.

If you're interested in reserving your spot on the green, please contact us ASAP as this event will not proceed if we don't meet our minimum number of participants. We must receive enough interest by June 30th in order to proceed with the booking.

DNSeattle 2016 Recap: Liquidity in the Domain Marketplace

20160512_184953 Michael Cyger threw yet another great industry meetup last night in Kirkland, WA (just outside Seattle), with about 90 domainers from all levels gathering at the new GoDaddy expansion space overlooking Lake Washington. Rightside's DJ STATN, famed for his performances at both the Rightside Opening Reception and Uniregistry's Hakkasan party during NamesCon 2016, provided music to kick off the first hour of networking, snacking and drinking.


There were many familiar faces in the crowd, and several people had traveled cross-country to attend the event. We were equally surprised to speak with a few attendees who regrettably hadn't been to a NamesCon before, and to those individuals we say this: send your bosses our way and we'll outline all the reasons why you need to be at NamesCon 2017! We are also offering a special registration discount for DNSeattle attendees.


Mike Cyger addressed the audience with a thank you to the event sponsors (GoDaddy, Donuts, domainsponsor and Rightside, with prizes from EstiBot, domainIQ and DNAcademy) before introd ucing the panel of speakers:

  • Jeffrey Emerick, Domain Investor
  • Joe Styler, Aftermarket Product Manager, GoDaddy
  • Dave Evanson, Senior Broker, Sedo

Jeffrey first outlined what exactly domain liquidity is: domains that will sell pretty much immediately once they go on the market. Even if you list high-value domains at 99c, it will go up to whatever the market wants. These are usually 3 letters, short domains. "I started investing in that, when you could get 3 letters for under 10 grand. Then I realized you could buy 4 letters for $15, there was a huge discrepancy in price." Jeff also noted that the best thing about owning liquid domains is that when you come across another great deal, you can purge those liquid domains immediately in order to free up income to acquire that great find.

Mike pointed out that brandable domain names on BrandBucket (a service Jeff uses regularly) do have value but you need the right buyer to come along before you can start that negotiation. Whereas with 3 or 4 letter domains, those are the ones that always have value in the marketplace that you can auction off and sell at any time.

Joe expanded on the definition of liquidity by saying that if you sell within a week, that’s pretty liquid. Domains are not a commodity like a stock where you can just flip it. Dave emphasized that within a liquid marketplace you have have to have a lot of buyers and a lot of sellers. A premium domain broker can sometimes make a quick sale for a seller that wants liquidity, but overall it definitely takes a longer time the higher the price because there’s fewer buyers. Domains in general are really not liquid. The cheaper ones are closer to it, but not there yet. "I can sell a name for someone very quickly. Maybe 2-3 days, at a 20% reduction from what I could have after 3 months, maybe 30% if I have 6 months. The more time you have the more you can do on behalf of the seller."

Mike asked Dave to elaborate on what really makes a domain name liquid. Dave responded that, generally speaking, lower end domains with a lot of appeal are the most liquid. Premiums would be closer to liquidity if they are appealing to more rather than fewer, but they're too expensive. Short dotcoms are still king: one syllable, descriptive, easy to remember. Two or even three-word dotcoms that are descriptive and potentially good at generating business are next up. Certain verticals will appreciate better than others, such as insurance (hasn’t peaked yet), e-commerce and globalization.

Joe then noted the difference between micro trends and macro trends. Micro trends would include domains around events, such as the recent death of Prince or the upcoming US Presidential election. Macro trends are short numerics or letters. Joe himself will be watching different markets, such as India, as well as the new TLDs and how they take off. 

One of the themes the continually emerged was that of supply and demand. In order for a marketplace to really boom, there has to be a high demand for valuable (or scarce) goods. As Jeff said, "scarcity is the most important influencer" when it comes to domain liquidity. 

The panel discussed the 2015 rise in Chinese premium names, where there was a lot more demand than there was supply. Prices went up within a marketplace of many active buyers, however those trends have since cooled down considerably and the investors are watching China to see if there will be a resurgence of interest. Joe noted that there's still a lot of liquidity in the market, lots of sales in the aftermarket, as there are always new businesses that are starting out that need a good name.

In terms of what's next, Dave advised that Sedo is watching India, as this may be the next frontier for investors. All panelists agreed that they didn't foresee any major changes coming up within the industry in the next year. Because liquidity in the Chinese market has already taken a big hit, "that shouldn't drop too much more" said Joe. He also agreed that India is growing quickly and he'd be watching the investors there. "That's where you really have watch. The tipping point in China was the investors who came in and put all that money into the market." Keep an eye on the people can spend. Joe was keeping an eye on the country code .in, which seems to be growing in popularity in India with more .in's coming online and advertising support, but .com is still king.

Mike took a few audience questions, including one posed by Greg from Google: How are domain prices determined, what market forces drive this? How much of domain is built by speculation, and how much is based on value of domain for someone who wants to use it to host a site.

Jeff replied that sites like lllsales.com can help determine value, it shows actual market value and brings attention to current trends. Market value is market value, based on conditions that day. As more companies come out with ways to track current sales, it will bring prices higher.

Dave had a different perspective, saying that domain valuation is highly subjective. He compared it to physical real estate. If you have ten townhouses on the same street, built at the same time, with slight differences, there's public data and sales history. Good comparables. You can pretty much know within 5-10% what the house will go for. Domains don’t work this way. There’s no exact comp to work with. He also explained that when lower end domains are sold the prices are public, but once you get over $100k only about 10% of sales prices are published, and after $50k maybe 20%. You don’t have as much data. Homes also turn over much faster than domain names, which someone may sit on for 20 years. This also affects the available comps. Also: how motivated is the buyer? How knowledgeable? How motivated is the seller? Is the buyer wanting to flip? Is the business model backed by VCs that really want this name? The worth varies person to person. Depends on the domain: if it’s generic and common and there are comps available, it will be tighter. You could ask 10 brokers about a name, 5-6 will be tight, 1 way down, 1 on another planet, other 2 you don’t even know where they are. Appraisals from various sites will give you different numbers. "It’s subjective, and it's not going to get much more scientific than that."

If you'd like to view the full panel, the recording is available in Periscope!

Thanks again to Mike and all who participated for a great event, attendees learned a lot and it was a fantastic venue for networking. Remember, our super-secret, for-your-eyes-only discount link for $299 tickets is right here.

NamesCon Guide to Las Vegas: Where to Stay

Bungalow Deluxe Room with balcony overlooking the Tropicana pool For the time and cost-savvy attendee, there's no better choice than our conference hotel, the Tropicana. Stay close to the action so you don't miss out on any sessions, keynotes or networking events, and maximize cuddle time with your snooze button in the mornings! NamesCon has negotiated preferred rates on various room types for our conference attendees, plus a reduced resort fee. View your Tropicana booking options here.


While we strongly encourage our attendees to book at the Tropicana to make the most of their time while at NamesCon, we are aware that many guests choose stay at nearby hotels. Attendees should be advised that the $30M pedestrian bridge improvement project for the 22-year old walkways at Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard South will interfere with access between neighbouring hotels. The overhead walkway that connects the Tropicana to the MGM Grand is currently scheduled to be closed during NamesCon 2017. Attendees who are considering a stay at the MGM may want to take this into consideration before making a final decision, as the closure will add precious time to your commute between hotels. NamesCon will provide updates on the construction schedule as more information becomes available.


We know at least one conference attendee last year brought their dog along for the ride - if you're traveling with your best furry friend, The Four Seasons, Vdara or The Cosmopolitan are within reasonable distance to the Trop and are pet-friendly hotels.

Featured Attendee Profile: Roy Arbeit, The Domain Name Association

Roy.Arbeit.TheDNA Roy Arbeit Executive Director The Domain Name Association

Describe your company and how long you have been there?

The Domain Name Association or the DNA is a non-profit industry trade association representing the interests of the entire domain name industry and advocating for the use, adoption and expansion of domain names as the primary tool for users to navigate the Internet. Launched a little more than two years ago, the DNA provides a forum in which industry members can collaborate, exchange ideas, educate and raise awareness of domain name‐related issues.

I just joined the DNA in mid-March. I have over 25 years of experience in senior marketing and business management positions with the last 15 years in non-profit associations. My role is to take this successful industry-led organization and help bring it to the next level of influence and membership.

Can you tell us about how your service or product helps deliver value to your customers?

As with many things in today’s world, the only constant about the Internet is change. The DNA aims to stay one step ahead of this change by providing industry-leading educational opportunities to increase awareness of domain name choices and usage. Education is a priority for us. It is a key area where we have begun to focus and deliver value to our members, the industry as a whole and to end-users. Some other benefits we offer include: original market research, materials for use in communicating with key influencer (user) communities including the ever-popular InTheWild.Domains – where we track and document the use of creative domain names in public spaces and advertising. We also conduct webinars and prepare Power Point presentations and other content to help spread awareness and useful information about the benefits and utility of domain names, as well as to share and encourage best practices amongst and beyond our members.

What are your thoughts on the new TLDs?

The new domain extensions are an exciting part of the ongoing evolution in the domain name space. Top Level Domains in general have a growing importance to play in the general business environment. The opening up of new domain extensions creates opportunities for brands, organizations, services and individuals – everyone and anyone with an online presence. But what is most exciting in my mind is the expansion of creative possibilities and innovation that the combined use of old and new domain extensions offers to marketers and other business and service providers.

What kinds of changes do you foresee within the industry in the next year? 5 years?

Over the next few years we expect to see continued use of traditional top level domains along with the integration, acceptance and usage of the new extensions and Internationalized domain names into online identities. We further expect to see a continued maturation of the domain name space, with some of the more innovative product changes taking root and some of the outliers falling off.

What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming NamesCon?

I’m looking forward to meeting some of the industry’s most influential thought leaders at NamesCon 2017 in Las Vegas. NamesCon provides an excellent opportunity to meet with a variety of people from across the Domain Name industry. I’m eager to have the chance to leverage the experience and knowledge represented to better understand how the DNA can meet the needs of its members and the industry at large. Attendees in turn can learn how the DNA is helping to promote the domain name industry. And the chance to get out of the New York’s January snow and absorb some Las Vegas sunshine is a great bonus too!

How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger?

As Executive Director of the DNA I work with our volunteer leadership and members to promote, advance and support the common interests of the Domain Name industry.

Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?

The gentleman that hired me into Ernst & Young as a Marketing Director, Tim Gregory became a mentor and friend and certainly had a significant influence on my business career. One of the smartest business executives I ever worked with, he taught me what strategic marketing was all about.

What are you proudest of in your life?

My three children – a girl and two boys. The amazing thing is that they actually survived me as their father!

Latest and greatest accomplishment in your career?

I actually view my being named to the Executive Director role at the DNA to be my latest accomplishment and an exciting challenge. The industry is exciting, the people I’ve met and begun working with are smart and fun to work with.

Where is your favourite place to escape?

MetLife Stadium, home of the NY Giants (American football) and Yankee Stadium (baseball)!

DnHouston Meetup Will Donate to Local Flood Relief

Houston-Flood-2-Townhall Don't miss a great meetup event taking place this Thursday, April 28th in the Houston area! DnHouston is organized by Angela St. Julien of Brand.bar, with support from DomainAgents and other fantastic sponsors like Donuts, Igloo, PIR and more.

We know PIR has organized some swag bags for all attendees, one NamesCon ticket will be raffled off during the event, and Angela has some other surprise prizes lined up for attendees as well. Only 50 seats were available and we do know that as of right now there are spaces remaining, so RSVP now to save your place.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 11.10.49 AM

Eric Lyon and Kevin Kopas will join Angela as speakers at the event, taking place at the Crush Wine Bar in the Woodlands district just outside of Houston. The city has been experiencing some unfortunate floods as of late, so all ticket sales from the event will be donated to local flood relief. NamesCon was so inspired by this generosity that we've decided to step up as well and donate $100 from every ticket sold using the event's discount code (DnHouston attendees will receive a special 40% discount code at the meetup) to the Gulf Coast Synod Disaster Relief fund.

RSVP now and we hope all attendees have a fantastic time! DnHouston promises to be an amazing event organized by some amazing folks, and your attendance will directly support the flood relief for Houston area residents.

Pets Love NamesCon (and NamesCon Loves Pets)

image (1) Did you know that April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals month? We here at NamesCon love our cats, dogs, horses, hamsters, and just about anything else furry (or not!) to cuddle.

So, to celebrate the last week of a month dedicated to the care, integrity and love for animals, we're running a Facebook photo contest and the winner of this "off-fur" will receive a free ticket to NamesCon 2017! Simply publish a photo of your pet (extra street cred if you pose your pet with NamesCon swag, as Richard has in the photo above) to our Facebook page and a winner will be randomly selected on April 29th. Feel free to post more than one photo or share images of all your pets (please limit to one entry per day), and don't "procatstinate"!

Be sure to tag your entry with the hashtag "#NamesConPets"

Contact us with any questions, and happy snapping.