Thank you to everyone who participated in our post-conference survey! We asked, you answered...and now we're going to answer you back.
As promised, we have read all of your responses and this feedback will directly shape how we plan NamesCon 2017 and beyond. Here's some of the trending comments, followed by what we plan to do about it.
On our official communication...
- More communication regarding speaker call for submissions, Domain Auction submission deadlines and live auction participation prior to the show.
- Comprehensive guide for sponsors outlining everything that's required from companies.
- Earlier confirmation of speakers and agenda topics.
- Detailed session descriptions in the printed agenda.
- Public list of exhibitors and attendees.
- Would like to see more social media, photography and general coverage during the show.
Our plan of action:
- NamesCon has migrated our newsletter service over to MailChimp, which will enable us to send you richer e-mail updates that are accessible on a wider range of devices. You can expect to hear from us on a monthly basis regarding registration updates, important deadlines, industry news, and more. Ensure you're signed up for the NamesCon newsletter as all show communication will now be shared through this service.
- Our deadline for speaker submissions has been moved up (watch our website for a dedicated page on speaker submissions) and we will be strictly adhering to this schedule so that we can have confirmed speaker and session details on our website at an earlier date. This will also enable us to include more information within the printed conference guide.
- To protect the privacy of all exhibitors and attendees, we will not be creating a public list of registered guests despite several requests for us to do so or create an opt-in system. Las Vegas is renowned for its spammers, and we guarantee if we put your name on a public list it would negatively impact the majority of our guests. We are implementing a comprehensive show app this year that will allow companies, speakers and attendees to interact and network prior to, during and after the show. This means you will be able to create an in-app profile or export your existing profile from Facebook or LinkedIn, follow the movements and actions of other attendees, send private messages, and create groups according to shared interests. It's going to be really, really cool.
- NamesCon will have a dedicated social media staffer next year, plus an additional photographer. With our updated newsletter and show app, we'll have plenty of avenues to disseminate show news and updates to attendees, and you'll have an opportunity to share your own updates, photos and news with the NamesCon community.
On NamesCon registration pricing...
- Early bird ticket rates are fair and affordable.
- Ticket price should include at least one meal.
Our plan of action:
- We will continue to offer pre-registration and early-bird pricing rates (psst... act now as our early-bird pricing expires on February 14th!). After reviewing sales trends from previous years, we have now eliminated one of our pricing tiers so that we may extend our Advance Savings tickets for a longer period of time.
- NamesCon registration prices have been kept low to remain accessible to a wider audience. Including meals for everyone would drastically increase ticket prices, which is not a priority for all attendees. Already included in your ticket price is an open bar at the Opening Reception and the WaterNight Gala, a dinner buffet for Women in Domaining, plus free coffee and tea. We are looking into the feasibility of including another open breakfast or dinner during NamesCon 2017.
On the hotel and conference venue...
- Hotel rates were reasonable.
- Many people would like a larger, more modern hotel and conference venue in the future.
Our plan of action:
- NamesCon is committed to remain at the same venue for 2017, and based on our growth we will explore alternate options for 2018 and beyond. Remaining at this venue allows us to keep registration prices low; a more modern venue will affect ticket prices, so we are striving to strike the necessary balance between maintaining affordability and delivering what our conference guests need and want. We will absolutely implement another survey after NamesCon 2017 and carefully consider what the community at large wants before making any decisions on venue.
On the agenda and flow of events, including socials...
- Schedule was quite tight and didn't leave enough time for networking - too many things happening at once.
- Limited seating in the workshop rooms.
- Topic Tables should be held in larger, dedicated rooms.
- It was sometimes difficult to determine what was happening where - too many sessions, not enough information in the conference guide.
- Offer more social events in the Exhibit Hall.
- Invite non-industry keynotes who can draw parallels between their industry and the domain industry, rather than domainer keynotes that focus on company/product marketing.
- About 25% of respondents suggested that three days would be better than four.
- During evening events, attendees are more interested in networking than dancing: turn the music down!
- Women in Domaining venue was unclear and not an ideal setting for networking.
Our plan of action:
- We will be adjusting the agenda for NamesCon 2017 and minimizing both the frequency and number of sessions, focusing on higher-quality content in audience-appropriate venues. We will be restricting the panelist session rooms only to those connected to the main Exhibit Hall (two breakout rooms and one keynote room), as well as the number of sessions taking place concurrently (maximum two breakout sessions occurring at the same time, and no other events taking place during a keynote).
- Topic Tables will be moved to two larger, dedicated rooms located across from the main Exhibit Hall. Many of these sessions will be repeated throughout the week for those who miss the Sunday event.
- With fewer sessions and a renewed focus on quality of content, we hope the agenda will be easier to navigate and we'll have ample space within the conference guide to publish more detailed information. We will also have a new mobile app, so you will be able to access all of this information (plus important updates such as room changes!) right from your smart phone.
- Gaming tournaments (such as ping pong, billiards and foosball) will be scheduled in the main Exhibit Hall during the afternoons, complete with a dedicated host/referee!
- Sunday will remain an official conference day and as the Network Lane was a roaring success we will again have 30+ company tables. The Topic Tables will take on more of a "Meet The Expert" theme. Sunday evening brings our Opening Cocktail Networking Party and Monday morning starts with our regularly scheduled sessions and events for three days, with final sessions and exhibits now ending earlier on Wednesday.
- We'll be adjusting the Sunday Opening Reception to more of a lounge-style event to accommodate efficient networking. And we'll watch the volume during the WaterNight Gala - at least during the earlier hours of the evening!
- The Women in Domaining Lounge will not be renewed for NamesCon 2017, however the dinner will of course continue! We will be moving the location to a warmer, more intimate venue to facilitate networking.
On the decor, layout, session rooms and meeting spaces...
- It was hard to hear in some of the rooms as noise drifted in from Exhibit Hall or from loud doors.
- More seating and lounges in common areas such as hallways.
Our plan of action:
- We will examine the possibility of closing the breakout room doors to minimize noise bleeding between rooms, however there are several logistical tradeoffs that may happen here (for example, we could add doors to the rooms but disruptions may continue as audience members enter and exit and the door slams open and shut). Our team promises to investigate solutions to the noise concerns within session rooms.
- Lounge furniture is available only on a limited basis from the hotel and we therefore cannot necessarily control what furniture is placed where in common areas of the conference area. There are several existing spaces for sitting and relaxing that will continue to be offered next year, such as within the Exhibit Hall and the Business Hub.
On attendees, networking and the show as a whole...
- Expand attendees and exhibitors to include other related industries.
- Market more to end users and client prospects.
- More scheduled or facilitated networking opportunities.
Our plan of action:
- NamesCon is working to expand the show to include a wider range of both attendees, exhibitors and speakers. If you have enjoyed attending NamesCon, we encourage you to encourage your network to attend next year and see what we're all about.
- Facilitating networking opportunities remains a top priority for us; the new app will be a useful tool to this end, as will our efforts to restructure some of the social activities that occur during the show.
We hope this addresses all of most of your concerns, and we sincerely thank you again for your honest feedback. As always, you can contact us at any time to discuss concerns, ask questions, or even pass along a virtual high-five to our hard-working team.
On a final but most important note, our early-bird pricing of $299 is valid until February 14th, so show yourself (and your wallet!) some love and register for NamesCon 2017 now! It's going to be even bigger and better than our 2016 event, and our entire team is very excited to implement the changes outlined above to ensure we see all of your smiling faces at next year's show.