3 Things We Learned from NamesCon 2018

Barry Coughlan
Feb 6, 2018

And so another NamesCon is in the books. For us at Dynadot, NamesCon is a great opportunity to meet with our partners, customers and prospective customers and chat about what we've accomplished in the past year, what we have planned for the upcoming year and the general goings-on in the industry. As the premier domain industry conference, NamesCon is a great litmus test for not only where the domain industry is currently at but what the next twelve months will bring. And so with that, here are our top three takeaways from this year's NamesCon.

1) Despite ownership change, the conference still has that 'NamesCon feel'

Through a series of acquisitions, GoDaddy became the owner of NamesCon last year with their purchase of Host Europe, owner of WorldHostingDays, who in turn owned NamesCon. In the lead-up to this year's NamesCon a few were wondering how the GoDaddy ownership would affect the conference, which has historically been very neutral ground for domain name industry registrars, registrants, brokers and the like.

So far, GoDaddy has taken a light touch with their association with the conference. It seems they've taken up an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach, as this year's NamesCon still retained that cosy industry feel that Richard Lau and his team have worked hard to develop. Not much about the conference has been altered since ownership changed hands, and that's a plus for all attendees.

2) Some familiar faces, some new faces

It's always great seeing new faces at NamesCon. Whenever there is a regional domain name market emerging, you're soon to see representatives from these markets attend NamesCon (China in 2016). These first time attendees are often new to the industry and are inquisitive, curious and always ask great questions. For an industry that continues to evolve and expand, this type of diverse growth is great. This year I met more domainers from South-East Asia than ever before, no doubt a good sign for NamesCon India in May.

For those familiar faces, it's always great to see industry colleagues and what they are up to. It's only at these types of domain events that you can get a sense of how small our industry can still be - especially when it's a familiar face but in a different branded t-shirt!

3) Blockchain and Domain Names, the future?

There was real buzz about ENS (Ethereum Name Service) on the conference floor, and the prospect of a new layer of domain names on the Ethereum blockchain seemed to capture the minds of industry vets and newcomers alike. Crypto-currency investment and domaining are spiritual siblings and so it was no real surprise to see a confluence of the two industries at NamesCon. ENS is definitely in the nascent stage and it'll be interesting to see where it will be next year, but there was definitely excitement around the ENS listing booths at this years event.

NamesCon is a great event but it's not the only event we'll be at throughout the year. Check our Events page to keep updated on where we'll be throughout the year. If you're attending the same event and would like to meet-up, let us know.