NamesCon 2016 was another stellar domain name conference hosted by Richard Lau, Jothan Frakes and the whole NamesCom team.
I understand the amount of work needed to prepare everything and in order for all to go according to plan. Stress must have been through the roof before and during NamesCon.
Because of this I tried not to bother them too much although I wanted to talk to Richard about his holidays in Greece this past summer.
The NamesCon agenda was full with 2 or 3 sessions happening every hour and with the exhibit hall open 10-6 every day. There was something for everyone and it was wise to prepare your schedule in advance or else you could miss your sessions.
I had arranged some meetings before the conference but left a lot of room in my schedule to improvise. Every year you get to meet interesting people you didn’t expect to. I attended a few of the keynotes and sessions. But not too many. (I took Elliot’s advice from last year.)
I think there was a lot more drinks this year than last year. Between the Donuts 2 wine tastings, free beer, free drinks, the Uniregistry Hakkasan party, the NamesCon opening party and Waternight and of course a meetup at MGM on Saturday for drinks there wasn’t much chance to stay sober. Don’t get me wrong! I don’t complain… 🙂
Sunday was a bit different this year with the network lane and the topic tables. I loved the network lane. I didn’t sit at any of the topic tables but these were a bit too loud until they were moved to other more quite rooms.
The auction was much better paced this year and produced great results. I only felt (and others told me) that most of the New gTLDs in the auction were from registries. That could be more balanced next year. Meanwhile Mike Berkens sold a domain he bought at the auction minutes later as a package with one other domain name.
There were some surprise attendees among us (Google anyone?) and some people came all the way from China. I expect a lot more next year.
You can watch here a couple of videos from 2 of the best keynotes at NamesCon about Uniregistry and Escrow.com.
I also want to thank Shane and Aaron from DomainShane.com for the luck at New York, New York.
I gave out my first interview this year to Angela St. Julien and the NamePros.com crew. It will be on YouTube in the a few days.
Finally the Tropicana is at the moment the correct size for this size of conference but I am not sure what will happen if the conference keeps adding 300+ attendees (like 2016 did) every year. Also the Tropicana needs to give some more attention to cleaning the rooms, delivering the swag to all attendees and with the internet connectivity both at the rooms and the exhibit hall. Again these are complaints by both me and other people.
I flew for 32 hours to get to Las Vegas from Athens and back, was on 6 different flights, walked more than 35 miles in 5 days (most inside the Tropicana) and talked to so many people until I almost lost my voice again like last year.
And because everyone keeps asking me if I gamble in Las Vegas, I have to say NO. I gamble on domains (and winning until now) and that is all the gambling I do. Even if I wanted there was no time to gamble during NamesCon.
It was all worth it and I plan to be back next year. The best about NamesCon is meeting and talking to all these amazing people I have been talking to online for the past 14 years, seeing again people I met last year and meeting new people. That alone is reason to keep coming back to NamesCon.