.Nxt conference is .gone

New top level domain name conference scheduled for next week is cancelled.

A conference can survive one cancellation if there are extenuating circumstances.

That may have been the case with the .Nxt conference previously scheduled for June in London. ICANN had postponed the release of the list of new top level domain name applications, which was a big milestone scheduled for ahead of the conference.

But a conference will not survive a second cancellation, especially the week before the event.

Unfortunately, that’s what just happened with the largest independent conference about new top level domain names, .Nxt.

Conference organizer Kieren McCarthy cites low attendance and sponsorship for the cancellation. He blames this on ongoing uncertainty about the new top level domain process. Fewer than 100 people had registered for the event.

There are a couple other reasons I can think of for this low support. Location (London instead of San Francisco) may have been an issue. I also suspect that there was less value for previous event sponsors. New TLD consultants and registry service providers already have their clients; sponsoring this event wouldn’t be as fruitful.


  1. James says

    A future conference, if one is even necessary, should be umbrella’d under the brand of ToLeDo as in “TOp LEvel DOmains.” The new tld’s need a sexier name than “tld’s.” Toledo works. The event could be held either in Toledo Ohio, or Toledo Spain. Toledo2013.com is currently unregistered (any other tld besides .com for this event would, ironically, be a poor investment). Anyone else have a better name than tld for what’s right of the dot?

  2. says

    The first paragraph of the explanation is very telling:

    “Why have you cancelled?

    The number of sponsors and confirmed attendees were not sufficient to cover the cost of the conference. Unfortunately, we are not in a position to bridge the financial gap.”

    In other words, they would have lost money. Anyone who is serious about business knows that there’s a risk of losing money. Instead of taking that loss in cash, it was decided to take the loss in credibility/reputation.

  3. says

    Hi Andrew,

    I think you are broadly right. The TAS delay and the ongoing problems with the program have meant that at this stage it is still an ICANN-process affair, rather than the beginnings of a new industry.

    We aimed firmly at applicants for this conference but what they’ve told us in the past fortnight is that they have gone back to watching-and-waiting mode. Lots of people have said they were interested in following the event remotely but that can’t cover the high overheads of a physical meeting.

    I have to say it’s a huge disappointment – the conference itself had really shaped up well. Hopefully we’ll be able to capture some of the months of work in other forms – write ups, webinars, white papers etc.

    I’d just like to apologize again to all those that did plan to attend. We’re working on making it as painless as possible.


  4. says

    I attended both previous .nxt conferences in SanFran. The information was cogent and well presented. Kieren is very knowledgeable and connected and lines up a good array of industry experts. I had hoped to attend this conference as well, but the location was prohibitive.

    Looking forward to seeing what elements are presented online – great idea.

    Delays in the process are causing uncertainties for all involved.


    Yes, New gTLDs need a sexier, catchier name – a name that instantly conveys meaning and understanding of the subject matter.

    Average users and regular people have no idea what a gTLD is. It takes two to three minutes to explain it, and even then they really don’t get it.

    We have something in the hopper for this.

  5. says

    I have attended both of Kieren’s Dot-Nxt conferences in San Francisco and it should be noted that it is top notch. It is true that the uncertainties and delays surrounding the new gTLD program are the true culprit. The process is certainly still riddled with many question marks and it seems many applicants are staying put just waiting to see how it will unravel. The timing has been unfortunate given the unforeseen issues with TAS, digital archery batching, and the many question marks and events that transpired that no-one could anticipate. I hope that we have some clarity when it comes to the program soon.

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