Domain Roundtable hits the mark in Washington D.C.
The past week has been a whirlwind. I arrived in Washington D.C. a week ago Friday for Domain Roundtable. I didn’t rest until getting home Wednesday night. Here’s my take on the conference.
Attendance – I estimate 150-175 people attended this year’s Domain Roundtable conference. That’s in line with other conferences lately, but I think it would have been much higher if it weren’t for unfortunate timing. It was the last conference in a flurry of events this year, and came on the heels of TRAFFIC ccTLDs. It also concluded just days before ICANN’s Sydney meeting, and Domain Roundtable tends to attract many of the same people that go to ICANN meetings.
Panels – Thought Convergence, parent company of Domain Roundtable, knocked this one out of the park. I was on the first panel of the conference, which looked at what effect changing demographic and web user trends will have on domain names. From the moment I saw a preview of the panel’s questions, I knew this was going to be interesting. The questions were thought-provoking. I’ve never had to think so much about questions before speaking on a panel. All of the panel moderators threw out the standard, re-hashed questions and examined an unique angle on the industry.
Food – With attendance down from previous years, I assumed Thought Convergence would skimp on food. I was wrong. It was over-the-top. I say this even though I was spoiled with a fantastic dinner hosted by David and Michael Castello the Saturday before the event, and dinner at a Wolfgang Puck restaurant with the NameMedia team Monday evening. The event food was not standard hotel food to say the least.
Auction – There wasn’t a “real auctioneer”, which was somewhat of a disappointment. Technology problems also bogged down the auction a bit. But I think the results were good, headlined by the sale of Contests.com for $380,000.
People – As usual, Domain Roundtable attracted a good mix of industry professionals ranging from domainers to registries to policy wonks. There were a lot of faces that don’t usually make it out to these shows, including Mike Mann and Rob Monster. Mann hosted a pre-conference party at his part-time home in Bethesda.
My only regret about the conference was that I spent much of the time writing rather than meeting with even more people and attending all of the panels. Ron Jackson of DNJournal will have more comprehensive coverage of the conference on his site later today.