TRAFFIC Las Vegas – Day One – I’m Officially Inspired!

Today was my first day at my first TRAFFIC show and I can honestly say I have never been more inspired in my life. It is now clear to me that this is much more than a trade show – this is the opportunity of a lifetime and I can’t believe I’ve missed-out on it for so long! I learned some incredible things today and was able to network with some of the most influential and incredible people I’ve ever met. If it sounds like I’m being overly dramatic…I’m not – it really was this good!

The day started-out with me wheeling my equipment across the Hard Rock Hotel and getting setup in the hallway outside of the convention center.

There was a HUGE Avril Lavigne poster in the background which when zoomed-in looks like I had a professional backdrop which was an added bonus.

After getting the studio setup I walked over to registration where I got my badge and spotted Ron Jackson. Ron has been a personal hero of mine for a LONG time now so it was an honor to meet him in person. We had a nice chat and then headed-over to breakfast at Ago. I had the chance to eat breakfast with Ron Jackson, Rick Schwartz, and Howard Neu – which means I can officially check that off the list of things I would like to do before I die!!

Breakfast was great and it was wonderful to have the opportunity to sit and talk with some of the biggest names in the industry. They were just as incredible to talk with as I had imagined – passionate, inspired, and affirming once again why I love this industry so much!

Next I headed to the first session on ccTLD’s. Rick Latona gave his opening remarks – you can tell how excited he is about the event and that kind of enthusiasm is contagious! Then Rick Silver – the host/moderator for the show began the first panel – Rick Silver is a great speaker and just like the rest of the people I spent the morning with – a truly inspired individual!

The ccTLD panel was incredible and opened my eyes even more to the amazing opportunities that ccTLD’s offer. Here are some data-points that should show even the harshest ccTLD critic why this space is getting ready to explode!

15,800 domain sales were reported in 2008, 1,700 of those sales were ccTLD’s

15,600 domain sales were reported in 2009, 3,777 of those were ccTLD’s

ccTLD’s went from 11% to 24% of the market in just one year!

13.9 million in ccTLD sales in 2008

17.8 million in ccTLD sales in 2009

That is a growth of 28% y/y!

This market is growing…and it’s just getting started!

Currently .de is the most popular ccTLD and I learned something very interesting about .de – domains with a dash are VERY popular in the .de space. While we all may poo-poo dashes – people buying .de domains love it!

The .CO people are here as well and had some very inspiring comments about .CO – it is clear they have big plans for this TLD and I’ll be doing an entire post and video dedicated to .CO because I really think this space could be the next big goldmine in the ccTLD space. Let me be clear though…I’m not talking about typo-traffic – I’m talking about using .CO to build a brand as CO can stand for “company” or “corporation” and should be used as such.

I can’t make this point enough – we have to move-away from the typo-squatting concept – it gives all of us Domainers a bad name. The people at .CO are incredibly passionate about the TLD and are putting a lot of thought into making this a successful global TLD and I’m with them 100%! Stay tuned for a future post about .CO as I think I’ll be talking about this a LOT this year!

After the ccTLD panel I went to the first networking event. We all had the chance to get in front of the group and tell everyone what we do for one minute. Once again – a great group, all inspired people and fantastic to meet some new people.

Next we had another networking event – we sat in a circle and spent one minute with each person before rotating to the next. I’m pretty sure I met around 40 people and can honestly say I’d like to work with all of them!!

I was able to conduct some great interviews today as well which you’ll see on the blog and in the television show. I interviewed the following people:

  1. Victor Pitts (Moniker)
  2. Craig Rowe (Why Park)
  3. Dutch Boyd (Professional Poker Player & Domainer)

I think you’ll like these interviews as I’m really trying to get more insight for all of you on what to expect in 2010 and how you can stay ahead of the game. On top of that I’m trying to ask each person to reveal something you might not know about them so be prepared to learn some fun facts about the people in our industry.

The day ended with a party at the Hard Rock where I got to see Dave Costello play the drums – he is AMAZING!!

The party was a blast and I’m excited to announce that I won a free ticket to TRAFFIC Milan…so guess what folks – I’m going to Italy!!

At the party I finally had a chance to meet Sahar whose blog inspired me to get involved with Domaining. Sahar is an incredible person and it was phenomenal to finally get a chance to meet him and spend some time talking with him. He is a visionary and I am really excited to see the incredible things that will happen to Bido over the next year!

After the party we went to dinner with the .CO team – they are really incredible people and I had a great time talking with them about the incredible potential of .CO – like I said I’ll be doing an entire post and video dedicated to .CO so stay-tuned!

Well – it’s 2:10AM and I just finished what has become a 1,000 word blog post. Since I’d like to get some sleep tonight I don’t think I’ll be able to proof-read this one until after the show so I’ll apologize in advance for any typos. I’m sure you can tell I’m more than a little excited – I feel like my life was changed today.

If you have never been to TRAFFIC you should make it a point to attend this year – the show has already inspired me more than I could have ever imagined and I have a million great ideas for expanding my business along with incredible connections I want to work with this year!

I wanted to give a special thanks to Jodi, Rick, and Ray for making me feel at home here – this really was the most inspirational day of my life…and there are two more days to go!!!

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton