5 Things We Learned From NamesCon

Barry Coughlan
Jan 21, 2016

Last week, from January 10-13, the domain name industry gathered in Las Vegas for NamesCon, an annual commercial conference that focuses on all things domain names. The event brings together people from all corners of the industry, including representatives from registries, registrars, web hosting companies, as well as domain investors, attorneys and cyber security experts to network and attend sessions on current and trends in the domain industry. This year over 1,000 attendees from around the world participated in the event, making this iteration the most successful to date.

The Dynadot team was there in full force, maintaining a booth, networking with other industry folk, hosting our own .PUB party with partner Rightside, and attending sessions on a host of domain topics. There was a lot to take away from the event, so for a recap we've decided to share our top 5 lessons learned from NamesCon 2016. Happy reading!

NamesCon 2016 : Recap

A lot of new faces

The industry continues to grow! Whether it's potential investors or domain related start-ups, there were a lot of first-timers to NamesCon this year. The industry has been a small and tight knit group for so many years that it was interesting to meet people at our booth who were new to the space. New people bring with them new ideas and it will be exciting to see where this new influx of participants take the industry.

The event was packed with great sessions

It's sometimes easy to forget how multi-faceted the domain industry is. There is a business side of course, but there is also a governance side. The keynotes and sessions did a great job of capturing this diversity. From sessions and working groups on the development of the Chinese market, working with ICANN and the popularity of IDNs to keynotes from some of the industry's leading thinkers, there was definitely something for everyone.

gTLDs continue to make an impact

We are now two years on from the inaugural launches of the new gTLDs. In that time frame some generics have already matured, and that was very much evident at NamesCon. While there have been over a thousand new entrants into the TLD space, there have been a few that have pulled away from the pack and are establishing themselves as market leaders. NamesCon 2016 showcased a smaller sample of gTLDs with fine-tuned branding and a healthy portfolio of clients. Walking the exhibition floor and seeing all of the participants you got the sense that the industry is ready to undergo another sea change. Which leads us to the next lesson.....

We are at another turning point in the industry

While the release of the new gTLDs no doubt made the domain name industry pivot a couple of years ago, it seems like the industry is getting ready to shift again. We are past the "wait and see" period in regards to gTLDs, and the evolution of the industry has seen a lot of companies ramp activities in an effort to become leaders in their niche. An already competitive market has become more competitive, and with increased competition comes innovation. New investment dollars, technology, and radical ideas are set to to continue to disrupt the domain name world. It is an exciting time to be a part of the industry!

NamesCon does great charity work

Each year at NamesCon, a gala event called WaterNight is held to fundraise money for clean water projects through Water School. The goal for 2016 was to raise $50,000 and, although they haven't released the final amount yet, from what we've heard twice that was raised! The WaterNight gala is a good reminder that while there is always a lot of changes within the domain world there are always good opportunities to affect changes outside the industry.

Post by Barry Coughlan