3 questions and 3 things I’m looking forward to at Webfest

Will Webfest deliver under its new name?

WebfestAfter so many years of calling it DOMAINfest, it’s kind of strange to type Webfest.

But that’s the new name of DomainSponsor’s annual conference.

I don’t mind, especially since there’s no more funky capitalization. (I always had double check if it was DOMAINfest or DomainFEST.)

This year’s conference takes place February 5-7 at the usual location: the beautiful Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica.

The focus is shifting away from being about domains only to also include search engine optimization, mobile, landing page optimization, and more. But I suspect the crowd will still be dominated by domainers.

Here are three questions that will be answered at this year’s conference:

1. Will attendance suffer with the change of focus?

The change from domains-only to web development and monetization has been going on for a few years. This isn’t new. But the name change makes it official.

Will this turn off some domain investors?

What about the fact that Oversee.net no longer owns Moniker and SnapNames? Will that have any effect? (Moniker and SnapNames will still have a big presence at the show, including the auction.)

It would appear that non-local attendance isn’t as strong as previous years. The hotel still has rooms available, while typically it’s sold out by now.

2. Is DomainSponsor ready for the show?

Everything about this year’s show has been “later” than usual: the announcement of dates, when the web site was updated with event details, sponsors, dine with experts, etc. The keynote hasn’t even been announced yet.

Is the company ready? Is it going all in this year? We’ll have to wait and see.

3. How much traffic is Scott Day getting on his Webfest.com domain?

Hopefully he’s at the conference so I can ask him. (The official event URL is WebfestGlobal.com.)

Here are three things I’m looking forward to at this year’s Webfest.

1. The parties.

This year’s parties include cocktails under the Space Shuttle Endeavor and a night at the Magic Castle. The conference is known for its parties, and these should be fun.

2. Women in Domaining reception.

I’m not invited, but I think it’s great that Moniker continues to support this event.

3. Catching up.

The best thing about Webfest is kicking off the New Year by catching up with fellow domain investors. The timing is great and the conference does a good job of making it easy to sit down with colleagues and meet new people.

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