DomainSponsor betting big on DOMAINfest Global conference.
DomainSponsor is betting a million dollars on DOMAINfest Global 2009, the domain name parking company’s domain conference. It will take place in Hollywood, California January 28-30.
I sat down with Oversee.net (parent company of DomainSponsor) marketing manager Vivian Tran and director of marketing Aaron Kvitek yesterday to discuss what’s in store for next year’s event.
After putting on a number of events, DomainSponsor is changing things up a bit while keeping the core intact. Previously the event had multiple tracks based on your domaining skill level. Now there will be a one day “boot camp” for beginners and intermediate domainers the day before the conference begins. Additional focus will be place on networking, although there will still be quality programming throughout the conference.
DomainSponsor is taking a couple fresh approaches to networking.
First, there will be topic-centric networking sessions. Imagine a ballroom where mini-networking events are taking place in all four corners. In one corner there might be a couple web development experts meeting and sharing ideas with domainers. In another you may find attorneys exchanging business cards with domain owners.
Second, DomainSponsor has created a nifty online social networking tool unlike anything I’ve seen. Think of it as Match.com for domainers (except I’m assured it doesn’t ask for your dating status). You select terms that are relevant to you in multiple categories (business interests, hobbies, personality, professional interests) and it creates a target graph showing people that are similar. You can schedule meetings with them at DOMAINfest. But the tool isn’t just for DOMAINfest attendees and anyone can register to use it (even if you won’t be in Hollywood). Also, it won’t go away after the event.
Last year DOMAINfest attracted about 700 attendees, making it the largest domain conference. This year the company is aiming to match or outdo its previous record and is pulling out all of the stops. On Thursday the company announced that Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, will be the keynote speaker.
The company will pump a million dollars into staging the event, Oversee.net executive vice president Jeff Kupietzky told me. It will make much of that back in registrations and sponsorships (even though the event is organized by a parking company, competitors exhibit and help sponsor the event). If you register now you’ll pay $895 and there will be a rebate program for DomainSponsor customers.