lost one of its most fervent
supporters today and the world is
without one of its nicest guys. We
and countless others in our
business were saddened to hear of
the passing of Domaining Europe
conference founder Dietmar
Stefitz who leaves us after a
long battle with cancer.
had a passion for domains
that started the day he registered
his first name back in 1994.
The native of Austria who
spent the last 30+ years of his
life living with his family in Spain,
was one of the first to fully
grasp how the Internet and its
essential building blocks, domain
names, would change the world.
Stefitz immediately began
investigating ways to merge the
physical and virtual worlds and by
2000 he was using the web to
produce virtual trade shows
in a variety of fields.
the next few years Stefitz learned
there were others who shared
devotion to domains and website
development. Since these were his
true brothers and sisters in
arms, Dietmar wanted to meet
compare ideas with these
in person. So, in 2008 he staged his first domain conference in
the physical world, an event dubbed Domaining Spain that he hosted is
his hometown – beautiful Valencia, Spain. Only about 30 people
attended but Dietmar was in heaven and the seed had been
put on a professional production and was such an affable and accommodating
host that those early attendees spread the word around Europe (and beyond)
and his show soon quadrupled in size and adopted what had become a more
fitting name – Domaining Europe. I went to my first one in 2012
when Dietmar surprised me by personally showing up at the airport to
pick up my wife and I. Once at the show hotel, he stayed by our side to make
sure there were no problems getting checked in to our room. It was the first
time I ever met him and I would soon learn the unexpected “special
attention” I got from Dietmar is what everyone got from him. He
loved domain people, loved every day he spent with them and would go out of
his way to help them.
Europe Founder Dietmar Stefitz sharing a laugh with Gregg McNair (PPX
International Chairman) during the 2012 Domaining Europe conference
in Valencia, Spain.
Stefitz stopping to the smell the roses
in his Valencia home garden in 2018.
the show must go on (just the way Dietmar would want it), he will be sorely
missed. Still, it is gratifying knowing Dietmar was able to spend his life
doing what he truly loved to do. He certainly brightened our world too,
with that big smile whenever you saw him and the boundless enthusiasm he
shared for the business we are in. People like Dietmar are the reason why so
many of us consider this a “family business” rather than just
another generic spoke in the global business wheel. It was an honor to
know you sir and we will never forget you.