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Conferences

20 August 2010

DOMAINfest Part II: Small Groups and Some of the People I Met


With Chef Patrick and Craig Rowe of WhyPark at Domainfest NY

With Chef Patrick of Moniker and Craig Rowe of WhyPark at Domainfest

This part of my report from Wednesday’s DOMAINfest Networking Event will be dedicated to the afternoon’s group panel discussions and live auction, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one of the best parts about going to DOMAINfest—the people!

Networking

DomainSushi and ChefPatrickOne of the first people I recognized was Patrick Ruddell, of ChefPatrick.com fame, who joined Oversee.net’s team in April 2010 as a broker for Moniker/Snapnames. If you were following our Twitter feeds last week, you’ll know that we bonded over Coca-Cola, since we are both self-proclaimed addicts and champions of Coke products (he even admitted he used to have a Coca-Cola bathroom set, which I think takes the cake).

Patrick is extremely good at what he does, an all-around approachable dude, family man, and definitely one of the more entertaining characters at DOMAINfest.

There were also several key figures who were involved in the Affiliate Summit conference, which was held earlier in the week, including Andrew Hazen. Andrew’s company Prime Visibility is well-known throughout internet marketing circles for boosting SEO and conversion rates for Fortune 500 companies, and in addition to countless other online ventures, he is well-known in the Twittersphere. I’ve been a huge fan of his work for a long time, and he couldn’t have been nicer.

I’m anxious to tell you about the small group discussions, but I should point out a few of the other interesting folks I talked to, including Craig Rowe of WhyPark, Prabhjat Singh of CoolThings.com, Dan from eDomaining.com (you can follow him at @eDomaining), David Cox of TargetMarketing.biz, who specializes in home services and construction names, Kim Boswell, Lori Anne Wardi of DotCo and her intern Shira, and Christoph Grüneberg of Domainvermarkterforum.

Small Group Panels: Meet the Experts

The afternoon’s expert panels were divided into four groups – #1 Local Search Trends, #2 How to Get the Most Out of Affiliate Marketing, #3 Online Advertising Trends, and #4 Legal Q&A.

I spent the most time in Group #3, talking to Jay Berkowitz of TenGoldenRules.com, who stressed the importance of getting the associate assets related to your domain. Let’s take the example of TrademarkAttorneys.com. If you’re looking to build up traffic and repeat visitors to your site, you should really own ALL of the available assets related to that domain, so Facebook.com/trademarkattorneys, and trademarkattorneys.blogspot.com, as well. Set up a Twitter account and follow all of the trademark attorneys you can find, and RT (“retweet”) their posts.

Set up a newsletter that goes out on a monthly basis with the Top Ten Questions to Ask Your Trademark Attorney, and within the email newsletter, provide links back to your site. A lot of this is common sense, but it helps to be reminded that the domain name is not enough. If you’re looking to sell a name, you might even be able to offer these associate assets as a package deal.

Legal Q&A at Domainfest

John Berryhill and Ari Goldberger (pictured above) were the experts for the Legal Q&A, and I swear—they need to have their own podcast or TV show. They’ve both specialized in internet law and domain name disputes since before the UDRP existed, and they explained everything in a clear (and often hilarious) manner.

Group #1, Local Search Trends, which included experts Andrew Alleman (of DomainNameWire), Elliot Silver, and David Asplund (of Zco, mobile app developer) was also helpful. Andrew Alleman said that the biggest thing in local search marketing right now are the Google Listings (for businesses) that show local businesses on the map. You have to be a brick & mortar business (or at least have a business address) to sign up, but a lot of people have been finding ways around that, by using P.O. boxes or fake address. Andrew believes Google is going to start cracking down on that in the near future.

A lot has been said about the Moniker Live auction that took place on Wednesday, so in order to save space (and because I’m still sleep deprived right now), I’m not going to go into great detail. There were some good deals to be had, including FreeCreditReports.us, Companion.com, and GroceryStores.com. The folks at Oversee.net did a great job organizing and promoting DOMAINfest, and the Grand Hyatt was the perfect location for such an event. Lunch and the Power Networking Dinner were good, although according to some, they “skimped” compared to previous years.

Overall, I met some great people who I hope to keep in touch with post-conference, and I’m already looking forward to my next event!

What I Learned for Next Time

As successful as DOMAINfest was from a networking perspective, there are a few things I’d do differently next time. If you’re considering attending a domain conference, don’t make the same mistakes I did:

  • Bring a Printout of Your Portfolio: I’m not talking about the people who go around trying to sell you their lists of names, but a list can come in handy when you need to intelligently discuss your portfolio. In hindsight, it seems obvious, but when Christoph Grüneberg asked which German .DE names I had, I could only come up with 3-4, which is just ridiculous. It would have helped to have a list in a binder, broken down by categories.
  • Arrive Early: I had no choice but to fly into JFK that morning because I had something Tuesday night, but I missed the coffee & informal networking in the morning. I think it’s advisable to arrive the night before for these industry events, if possible, because there are often things going on beforehand (especially since in this case, the event coincided with the Affiliate Summit, which is a huge event).
  • Get Plenty of Sleep: Again, my schedule left me with no choice, so I arrived on 2 hours of sleep. I had to down a 5-Hour Energy drink halfway through the day.
  • Use Your Most Visible Brand: If I could do it over, I would have listed DomainSushi on my name tag, instead of my company name. At this point, my blog is much more recognizable and relevant, and it’s a lot easier for people to remember. I never thought I would need business cards for a blog, but I do. People seem to love the name and the branding, and it’s confusing to have to give people a personal business card (in this case, the one I use for my music business). I’ll definitely be better prepared next time.

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About Nadia

Nadia is the editor of DomainSushi. Her love affair with domain names and web development dates back to 1998, and she is passionate about educating the tech community, small business owners, and laymen about domain name strategy. Follow her on Twitter: @DomainSushi.

View all posts by Nadia →

2 Comments

  1. Patrick RuddellAug 25, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    First I made it on CNN and now DomainSushi.com, I'm famous baby, lol.

    Thanks for the kind words. It was great meeting you in person.

    I love Coca Cola and yes I had the bedroom set and matching bathroom set when I was younger :-)

  2. NadiaAug 26, 2010 at 4:02 am

    Hi, Patrick! It was great meeting you, too. Highlight of the conference! If I ever visit The World of Coca-Cola®, I'm taking pictures and bringing back souvenirs. :-)