Domaining Europe 2012 Highlights Valencia, Spain
The domain industry is still alive and kicking with businesses in the field still thriving and ever growing. This can never be more evident than in the recently concluded Domain Europe 2012 Conference held in the beautiful and picturesque city of Valencia in Spain. The said conference, a 3-day affair held from April 26-28 of this year, was able to bring together the best of the best in the domain industry for that all-important meet up and in keeping abreast of what is new and happening in the field of domains.
Dietmar Stefitz of Inverdom.com, the show's founder, organized the said conference for the fourth time in Valencia. This time, he did it together with veteran Trade show and events producer Jodi Chamberlain. The said domaining event, which was held at the four-star Hotel Sorolla Palace, brought into the Spanish city a healthy crowd of domain investors and developers hailing from 23 countries around the world.
The Domaining Europe 2012 is not just all about getting updates and new information regarding today's domain industry and where it is headed. An important aspect of the conference also has to do with the industry movers and shakers being able to meet up with the others and extend their networks and forge new business relationships. Dietmar and Jodi have been effective in being able to strike up the perfect balance to make this conference a success.
The conference started off with the first business session regarding new opportunities opening up for domain investors and developers in the midst of changing market situations in the industry. Jason Boshoff, CEO of DomainHoldings.com, gave the opening address during this session. It was then followed by the first panel discussion of the conference, the Domain Brokers Roundtable, offering the audience expert advice on increasing domain sales.
On the second day of the conference, Mr. Stefitz kicked off the whole day of business sessions by giving his welcome address to the guests and attendees. He noted that the business of domain investing is centered on a family atmosphere and encouraged experienced domain investors and developers to share their knowledge to the newcomers in the industry in order to help the industry grow further and succeed in the coming years.
Paul Keating of Law.es, considered as one of the world's top domain attorneys, was next up on stage and talked about the many risks involved in the business of domain name investing and how to effectively manage them. Mr. Keating also talked about certain government policies and proposed laws in the US as well as Europe that might affect the domaining industry in the near future.
The next item on the agenda was a talk about the history and the future path for domains. Mr. Xavier Buck, Founder and Chairman of EuroDNS.com gave the keynote address on the Domains: Past, Present & Future session. Mr. Buck predicted that new gTLD's numbering around 1,100 and 1,300 would become active by 2015, with a majority of them representing brand names. He also indicated that location-related domains would be those expected to be more successful in the future as compared to generic term domains. He also predicted that there will be around 1 billion domain names registered across all extensions by 2020, about five times more than the
estimated 200 million domains currently registered. It showed a very bright future for the domain name industry.
The next session in line was a talk by Alvaro Anon, a leading figure on website usability, gave valuable advice to the attendees regarding topics associated with website development. The talk was mainly given in Spanish with a headphone translation system made available for the English attendees. The talk was then followed up by a panel discussion about advice on the ever popular topic of whether to park or develop domains. Braden Pollock of Legal Brand Marketing moderated the said panel discussion.
The next session was an open discussion on ccTLD's and gTLD's, with panelists giving their own comments on the categories that they specialize in. The final panel discussion tackled the direction of domaining in the next five years. The session ended with Gregg McNair addressing the audience about The Water School, an organization that aims to eradicate diseases by offering low cost clean water solutions in the developing world. Mr. McNair gave the audience a clear insight on the work of The Water School and how the domain industry has come to adopt the organization, with about two thirds of its funds for programs coming from the said industry.
The final day of business sessions was capped by the Domaining Europe Awards, with various honors given to several important people, acknowledging their contributions and work in the domain industry. The different awards were handed out by awards committee chairman Chisco Santibanez along with show founder Dietmar Stefitz. The last event for the day was the dinner given for the attendees at the Red VLC Restaurant. It gave the attendees the opportunity to get to know each other on a more personal basis. Such is its importance that the dinner stretched out until the wee hours of the next morning.
Domaining Europe 2012 came to a close with the attendees given an official networking day with focus on leisure and exploring the sights of Valencia. The leisure trip centered on a visit to Hoya de Cardenas, a winery and vineyard that gave attendees a taste of the local wine and a view of the Valencia countryside. It was followed by an exploration of local cuisine for lunch at the El Tollo Hotel and Restaurant. By nightfall, everybody was going back to Sorolla Palace Hotel preparing for their trip back home. But surely, all of the attendees go home with the memorable and insightful experience that Domaining Europe 2012 was able to give them.