dozens of business sessions. However, in this complete
conference review we have photos from every one
of them, along with the session topics and
speaker’s names. We have also added new photos
from the Exhibit Hall throughout the report. We hope you will enjoy this
look back at a very big week in the Lone Star State’s
Attendees at the NamesCon Global 2020 entryway,
inside the impressive natural light atrium lobby at
the Omni Hotel in downtown Austin,
waiting for the big show to open Wednesday morning,
A view of the crowd as the opening session welcoming
attendees to Austin gets underway.
conference began with NamesCon Global President and
CEO Soeren von Varchmin (far right) introducing
the moderators who conducted the dozens of
business sessions held throughout the week. From left
to right, they are Monte Cahn (President of RightOfTheDot.com,
the company that teamed with GoDaddy to run the
live domain auction held on Thursday, January 30),
Braden Pollock, Christa Taylor and Bill
the show’s first business session, ParkLogic.com
Founder Michael Gilmour delivered a timely keynote
speech titled The Past, Present and Future of
Domain Investment, loaded with data to help
investors understand where the market has been and
where in may be going.
Below: Next up in the Keynote Hall at 11:30am Wednesday,
SEO expert Bill Hartzer (Hartzer Consulting)
presented SEO and Domains: New gTLD Testing and
Research in a session that gave attendees insight
into the best current search engine optimization
11:30, just down the hall on the Registry Office
Stage (where a number of sessions for newcomers
were presented), Michael Cyger (DNAcademy.com)
covered Domain Investing 101: First Principles for
Buying Domains Properly.
was still another choice for attendees at 11:30, a
special event in the Afiias Lounge where three
ICANN executives covered ICANN’s domain governance responsibilities
and took questions from the crowd in a session titled:
ICANN: Grow Your Knowledge About the ICANN
Organization and Its Role. ICANN Director of gTLD
Accounts Andee Hill (center) conducted the
Above: At 12
Noon Wednesday, attorney Clay Burgess (Online.inc)
took the Keynote Hall Stage to to detail his
journey From Law Practice to Lead Generation
Machine. Burgess shared his successful strategies
for dramatically reducing paid advertising with lead
Meanwhile, at the same time of the Registry Office
Stage, Ryan McKegney (DomainAgents.com) drew a
crowd with his presentation on What Is My Domain
Worth? – one of the most frequently asked
questions for those entering the domain business. With
millions of dollars worth of sales to his credit, Ryan
was the right guy to answer those questions.
Ghoriafi (Afilias), at left, and Ron Jackson
(DNJournal.com). After the noon sessions, I took
a break in the always busy halls outside the meeting
rooms to catch up with some fellow attendees. Here I’m
with Mark, who has been Manager of Premium Names
at .GLOBAL, a registry that was acquired by Afilias
last summer (Afilias was a Platinum Sponsor of
NamesCon Global this year). Mark is now also handling
premium names from several other Afilias-owned TLDs.
12:30pm, veteran web technical expert Christopher
Ambler (a Principal Architect at GoDaddy) appeared
on the Keynote Hall stage to cover DNS Over HTTPS:
It it Doesn’t Scare You It Should!
the same time on the RegistryOffice state, in the
final session before the 1pm Lunch Break Wednesday, Monte
Cahn (RightOfTheDot.com) shared his wealth of
knowledge about Domain Auctions and Brokerage: A
Path to Monetizing Your Domains.
A lot of
attendees used the lunch break to seek out the latest
cool swag in the Exhibit Hall. Diana Jackson
was happy to find this simple but stylish dark gray
T-Shirt at the Name.com booth.
2pm, it was back to work on the NamesCon Global
stages. In the Keynote Hall Pinky Brand (RegistryOffice.com)
shared his advice on Fighting DNS Abuse at Scale.
the same time on the RegistryOffice Breakout Stage
(sponsored by Pinky’s company). Kurt Daniel (Ubersmith),
provided tips on Billing and Business Management
for Domains and Beyond.
below: In a another special session at 2pm in the
Aflias Lounge, The
Internet Commerce Association (ICA),
the on-profit organization that fights to protect
domain registrant’s rights, held their annual
meeting (a dinner followed Wednesday night),
conducted by General Counsel Zak Muscovitch
(above) and Executive Director Kamila Sekiewicz
board member Nat Cohen speaking from the audience
at the ICA Meeting Wednesday afternoon. It the
leaderships of Zak, Kamila, Nat and the other board
members, the ICA has experienced explosive growth
over the past couple of years. I would encourage
everyone with a serious interest in this industry to consider
2:30pm, Alex Melen (SmartSites) took the stage
in the Keynote Hall to talk about Using Data and Machine
Learning to Grow Your Domain Empire.
the same time, business development consultant Samantha
Frida was on the RegistryOffice stage giving the
audience tips on Developing a Data-Driven
3pm Wednesday Alvin Brown (KickstartCommerce.com
and DNAdverts.com) took over the Keynote Hall Stage to
share his thought on Domain Investing and Guarding
Against Economic Downturn.
at 3, on the RegistryOffice stage, the original
founder of NamesCon (now owned by WHD/GoDaddy),
Richard Lau told attendees how to Design,
Develop and Exit!, something he has done successfully
with Resume.com, Logo.com and, of
course, NamesCon itself.
Below: Those ready to take a break from the
business session had a perfect place to do that in the
The Exhibit Hall where a table tennis Game Area
was set up under the sponsorship of ESQwire.com.
Above (left to right) are ESQWire attorneys Jason
Schaeffer and Ari Goldberger with veteran
domain investor/developer Steven Kaziyev. All
three know how to handle a ping pong paddle but are a
little loose with the rules. Below Ari and Jason
ganged up on Steven in a two against one match!
upstairs at 3:30pm on the Keynote Stage, Bradley
Kam (Unstoppable Domains) provided everything you
wanted to know about BlockChain, a technology
he knows inside out since his new business is built on
Meanwhile, at the same time over at the RegistryOffice
stage, Marco Hoffman (left) and Christian
Voss delivered InterNetX & Sedo’s Domain
Report – facts and recommendations for Domainers
opening day of business (Wednesday, January 29)
concluded with a single 4pm session in the Keynote
Hall where industry veterans Morgan Linton
(Bold Metrics), at left, and Braden Pollock (LegalBrandMarketing.com)
shared their personal experience in a session titled A
Year in the Life of a Domainer.
below: A picture perfect first day closed with the opening
night reception at the Omni, sponsored by .VIP
and MMX. The three-hour event ran from 5-8pm,
giving attendees what most say is the main reason they
go to conferences – networking in a casual
environment where you can make new friends and catch
up with old ones. Below, holding down the fort at the
bar are (L to R) are Tobin Pociask, Bradley
Arthur, Gregg McNair and Kevin Kopas.
Also at the
opening night reception were (left to right above)
NamesCon Head of Operations Helga Neumer,
attorney Karen Bernstein and Ilze
Kaulins-Plaskacz (ExcellentDomains.ca). Meanwhile,
in a nearby booth (below) Dave Chandler (left)
and Page Howe were busy comparing notes.
Above: In a
grand finale to Wednesday night, the Internet
Commerce Association (ICA) held their annual
dinner at Max’s Wine Dive with a sell-out
crowd on hand for the event, a sign of just quickly
the ICA is growing now.
highlight of the dinner was the presentation of the
ICA’s 4th Annual Lonnie Borck Memorial Award.
The honor was created in honor the widely known and
universally loved domain investor that we lost way too
soon in 2016.
In its first three years, the accolade recognized
outstanding work in protecting the rights of domain
name registrants. However, this year, in keeping with
Lonnie’s generous spirit, The ICA decided to broaden
the scope of the award to honor the winner’s overall
contributions to the domain name community.
shocked but deeply honored to hear ICA Board
member Nat Cohen call my name as this year’s
winner and introduce me to the fellow ICA members that
I respect so much . Executive Director Kamila
Sekiewicz (at left) and General Counsel Zak
Muscovitch handled the presentation and I was
grateful to have them there to help hold me up!
Sekiewicz, Ron Jackson (DNJournal.com) and Zak
it’s time to continue with our wall to wall DAY
TWO coverage Thursday, January 30. If you
wish you can also skip ahead to DAY
THREE Friday, January 31 or DAY
FOUR, the Saturday, February 1 Fun Day that
closed the show.