Latona will add needed spark to domain conference franchise.
TRAFFIC was the first big domain name industry conference. It was also the first to do many innovative things, such as offer a compelling live domain auction. But lately its star has faded. Attendance is down, and don’t just blame the economy. When I asked people before the last TRAFFIC if they were going, a common response was “It’s not relevant anymore”. They blamed lackluster programming as a big fault. As TRAFFIC sputtered, other domain conferences such as Oversee.net’s DomainFest rose to stardom.
But adding Rick Latona to the bill is sure to add a spark. Here are 5 things Latona, Rick Schwartz, and Howard Neu can do to improve TRAFFIC, two of which have already been done.
1. Make it inclusive – Invitations? Banning people from attending? Latona has already said that’s out the window. It was immature and cast a negative light on the industry. Good riddance.
2. Lower the price – Again, Latona has already said this will happen. The irony here is that Schwartz has been opposed to dropping the price in the past because he felt the quality of attendee would drop. Latona has turned this on its head, saying that small time players can become big ones later. It’s a 180 from the old line of thinking.
3. Improve programming – Publish the agenda well ahead of time, get new speakers, and think up fresh panel topics. It sounds like next year’s shows will feature more themed topics. Much like the ccTLDs conference, new topics means learning something.
4. Don’t oversell it – This will be hard given that both Schwartz and Latona are the consummate salesmen. They’re both good at it, too. But you can only read “this is the most important conference ever” so many times before you start to call B.S.
5. Play nice – It puts a black mark on our industry when competitors try to boost their own position to the detriment of the industry. Don’t be scared of other conferences and when they take place. Work with them to pick the best time for all conferences to be held. Compete by providing a superior product, not by trying to shove our your competition with timing and dates.