Jan 152015

NamesCon’s Jothan Frakes (Milathan photo)

The NamesCon team led by Jothan Frakes and Richard Lau ended up printing just over 900 badges for the 4-day domain industry conference.

That confirms the Las Vegas event‘s status as one of the largest outside of ICANN meetings. “There will be a NamesCon 2016,” Frakes told Milathan at the close of the conference. “We expect to schedule it around the same time period, and possibly at the same Tropicana Las Vegas venue.”

In the meantime, Frakes and Lau will work on organising smaller “regional” events through the DomainFest brand they acquired just before NamesCon 2015. “We see DomainFest as a more portable brand to help us showcase the domain industry to localised communities,” Frakes explained. “So it could be a DomainFest@London for example.”

Some NamesCon 2015 participants we talked to felt the conference had gone far beyond previous domain industry events in both program scope and diversity. “We had over 50 workshops and more than 150 speakers and panellists,” Frakes confirmed. “Our program included sessions on Internet governance and innovative new gTLDs such as .frogans which have never been featured before at domain industry events.”

Industry experts such as Frank Schilling are convinced the growth of events like NamesCon is being driven by the unprecedented expansion of the domain namespace that is the new gTLD program. During his NamesCon keynote, Schilling described an environment which we would call “constructive competition”, where competing domain selling platform such as Sedo and Schilling’s own DomainNameSales continue to grow their sales volumes despite fighting each other for market share.

The domain aftermarket certainly felt vibrant during the NamesCon live auction. Over 130 names were put up for sale, including several new gTLD domains with wine.club the top seller in that category at USD 140,000! Total auction proceeds stood at just over USD 990,000. While there were a number of low amount sales, five figure transactions or above were few and far between. The top selling name was homecare.com at USD 350,000.