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Hopes and Plans for My First NamesCon Conference

While there are a number of valuable domain related conferences, the NamesCon Global conference is, possibly arguably, the most attended and influential domain conference.  I am attending my first NamesCon conference this year. In this post I highlight some of my hopes and expectations for the event.

Meet People

My number one goal is to meet face to face those in the domain community that I have come to know through their writing, social media presence or NamePros activity. I also look forward to meeting new friends within the domain community.  

The GoDaddy promoted NamesCon Meetup should be one of many good opportunities to do this, along with the Global sponsored opening reception. 

One piece of good advice the NamesCon organizers make for first time attendees is to take advantage of those minutes before and after sessions to meet the people around you, and I definitely plan to do that. 

Interview People

One reason I am going to NamesCon is to do a number of interviews that will develop into articles on NameTalent over the next few months. I hope to have a mix of interviews with both well known domain community people and those who are not yet as well known but have an interesting personal story, project or viewpoint. If you would like to be interviewed, please reach out to me. As I like to say, let me help you tell your story! 

Learn From Experts

Between keynotes, panels and roundtables, there are a host of opportunities to learn from experts. For example, I believe strongly in the importance of story telling. I am so excited to hear Kate Buckley  speak on Storytelling in sales: How to spin a yarn and  land a whale.  She speaks Monday at 1 PM.

By all accounts Paul Nicks, VP and GM Aftermarket at GoDaddy, gave an influential and illuminating keynote last year (you can watch it at this link), and I look forward to hear his views on Domain Trends and Insights. He is speaking Monday at 11 AM.

It is hard to imagine a more inspiring personal story than that of Bhavin Turakhia, Founder and CEO of Flock/Radix that started from a small web hosting business in India to become a billionaire in our industry. I look forward to seeing the insights he has  to offer those starting out in domain names. He speaks Monday at 10 AM. 

The Expert Round Tables on the final day of NamesCon 2019 have a who’s who of big name facilitators and  should be an incredible learning opportunity across diverse topics.

Michael Cyger speaking on Domain Investing 101 and 201! Should be a great learning session on Sunday. The Domain Sherpa Review also promises to be outstanding.

These are just a few examples, but from start to finish there are opportunities at NamesCon 2019 to learn from experts. If still on the fence about whether to attend or not, you can view the full agenda here.

Learn Something New

While I have learned a lot about domain names, especially over the last two years, I still have big gaps in some ares of domaining.  For example, I don’t  know drop catch processes very well, and I am certainly not an expert at auctions (both as a seller and buyer). Brandable names are important and interest me but I feel far from expert in them. I look forward to advancing my education in these areas, and others, using both formal sessions and informal interactions with experts. 

Like others, I mention the word blockchain fairly frequently, but my understanding of blockchain is shallow. I look forward to learning from Matthew Gould, CEO of Unstoppable Domains in his session at 2:30 PM on Sunday on Domain Names on the Blockchain.

Legal Expertise

I think that there is no doubt that legal aspects of domaining are becoming more and more important for us all. Quite frankly some recent UDRP decisions perplex me.  A number of the panel members at NamesCon, people like from Zak Muscovitch General Counsel for the Internet Commerce Association, have extensive legal expertise around domain issues. I am particularly looking forward to the fireside chat on WIPO taking place at 1 pm on Sunday.


Sometimes I think those of us in the domain community instinctively speak too quickly, trying to convince others of our viewpoint, rather than to carefully listen to alternative views. I look forward to listening and to being open to changes in my views on some aspects of domain investing.

Meet End Users

While it is fascinating to exchange ideas with other domain investors, perhaps we can learn more from insightful end users.  In that regard I am really looking forward to hearing Blake Janover, of, and Mike Kugler, of, speak on Tuesday at 11 AM.  Andrew Allemann of DomainNameWire is the perfect moderator, as he covered the stories of these $500,000 acquisitions through direct interviews with the principals.

Meet Vendors

I regularly discover tools and services valuable to the domain community that I did not know about before. I plan to visit every vendor in the exhibit area, and in particular look forward to discussions about how their offering is unique and new plans they have for 2019. I hope that some of these interactions will lead to reviews of products on NameTalent over the coming year.


I am looking forward to the excitement of watching the live portion of the auction, to see those big transactions unfold live! I just listened to the interview that Andrew at DomainNameWire did with Monte Cahn. That provided good background on domain auctions over the years, and a perspective on this one.  

It’s Just A Start

While this is my first domain conference, I have attended dozens  of conferences in other areas in the past. An important thing I learned from that experience is that the conference is a start, and I look forward to following up with those I meet online or by telephone in the coming months. 

Read What Others Are Saying

Several of the prolific domain bloggers have already written about what they are looking forward to at NamesCon 2019.  See for example the three things that Morgan Linton is most looking forward to, and the one keynote that Elliot Silver of Domain Investing wouldn’t miss

Your Voice

There is a poll and thread active on NamePros where you can vote for what you most look forward to, and add your own comments. The early votes favoured the meetups/parties and the live auction. So be  sure to vote there, and perhaps leave comments here as well.  

I very much look forward to meeting many of you at NamesCon 2019 in Las Vegas! And this will be one time that what happens in Vegas will not stay in Vegas!

About the author

Bob Hawkes

Domain analyst and commentator with particular interests in quantitative analysis, new uses for domain names, nontraditional end users, and bridging the gap between the domain community and end users. Background in science, research, education, outreach and communications, as well as almost two decades running a small home-based business. My first domain name acquisition was 2001. I hold a modest domain portfolio with legacy, country code and new extensions. Based in western Canada, but my domain outlook is global! My goal is to provide fresh insights and an evidence-based balanced outlook on the domain industry.


  • Bob,That is very constructive schedule…hope it will be very productive one too…

    Looking forward to see articles about all the information you gathered from covering NamesCon 19..

    It will be nice if you already prepared one/two questions for the people you mentioned above… Which can give the expertise insights in available short time..
    Obviously they all will have tight schedule…

    Good luck,

  • Thanks for all the research you provide Bob.

    Yes, the 2018 NamesCon / Godaddy / NameFind talk by Paul Nicks is absolutely unmissable and they kindly put it on YouTube:

    If the link doesn’t work you can try searching for:

    NamesCon 2018 – NameFind, GoDaddy’s Domain Name Portfolio

    Big data analysis by NameFind indicates that sales velocity can be up to five times higher if you use BIN pricing. And how they determine their pricing is also highly informative.

  • Hi Ravi, Thanks for your positive comments. The already prepared couple of questions each is a good idea. I am really looking forward to NamesCon!

  • Bob,

    I am the guy who will look like Santa Claus in January – look me up. At the worst case I am fun and easy going to be around and we will get a couple of laughs in along the way.

    Heading out to the airport in 20 minutes.

    See you this week – with respect, Mike

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