Today will be the last day of T.R.A.F.F.I.C. New York as the silent auction atMoniker.com closes at 6PM. On top of the nearly $11 million in domain names we sold at the live auction, estimates and buzz around the silent auction expect that to go many millions higher. It will bust all previous records and sets the stage for an even bigger more important auction at the Florida show in October. A poll of industry regulars yesterday seems to think that about another $4.5 million in sales could be achieved. We will see how close they are. $15 million in domain sales would be impressive. That would bust the doors off the old record by nearly 300%!! Many think that future auctions may bring in as much as $50 million. I see some shrugs. I think what is really the story here is that folks are trading assets that are more expensive than most folks home and there is no 30 year mortgage. What there is, is a checkout stand and nearly all these deals are paid cash. CASH! I think many overlook such an important piece of this puzzle. Rewind 5-10 years. This tiny "Cottage industry" was largely made up for 20 and 30 something's sitting in a 1 bedroom apartments in their underwear. Today they bring their own attorneys with them. Their staff's. Their wallets. And they make multi million dollar deals on a handshake. They are sharp, intuitive and they have created great lives. They still sit around in their underwear in the morning, (Actually most have upgraded to a bathrobe. Like the one I am wearing right now) but the 1 bedroom apartments have turned into 6 bedroom estates. They have young kids running around and births of new domainers is a common trend. Many of them are very charitable and are always looking for ways to "Give back.Grassroots.org would be a good example of that. But just as they have matured, so has the domain business. It has come of age. There IS gold in them thar hills. They can no longer close their eyes to buying power that is off the charts. The type-in traffic that our domains get are the gold they all search for but are just discovering. When they look at the stats, they think their spreadsheet is messed up. While other's talk about click thru rates of 2%, we talk 70%. How do you expect them to get their heads around THAT? Those that do figure it out have been rewarded well.
Sorry, sometimes I just drift off. But don't ever think it is not all related. We have a story to tell and we have stats as the artist that draws a picture that not everyone can see.
Looks like the attendees that showed up in New York were happy with the results. The seminars were the best we ever had according to many of the folks we are hearing from and the panelists all did a superb job in representing our industry. An overwhelming majority of nearly 75% of attendees polled want to go back to New York. That's a number that is hard to ignore. An even larger majority (92%) gave T.R.A.F.F.I.C. New York a big thumbs up on a poll we conducted immediately after the show.
There were lots of new faces and you can see the foundational expansion of the industry in real time and I must say it is about time! New York was THE defining moment and as an industry we proved we were up for the challenge.
The board of advisors met last Friday and those minutes will be posted later this week on wadnd.com We addressed ways to make the show more affordable and have a free night where attendees can plan their own get together's and parties without hurting the overall chemistry of the show. Eliminating a dinner and cocktail party will help reduce some price levels and open TRAFFIC up to more attendees which sponsors and attendees always seem to like. The only thing we ask to get the reduced rates, is commit early.
There will be a lot written and said about the New York T.R.A.F.F.I.C. show in the coming days and weeks. The importance of what transpired in New York City cannot be minimized. It was a water shed moment as promised and we will look back for many years to come on what was accomplished and the course it has set us on. There was definitely a sense in the air that we have all done well in furthering the industry and begin to get the recognition we deserve. The domain industry is not represented by cyber squatters and infringers and opportunists. They get the ink, they get the headlines, they are the stereotype. But we have an industry outside that world that is run much cleaner and made up of seasoned businessmen that have a track record of success. We do have business ethics. Most know where the line is. We don't want to be lumped in to a group that takes advantage of other peoples intellectual property and worse. We are professionals. We follow the rules, we pay our taxes and there is a vast difference between us and them. A difference few have ever articulated. And keep in mind that the rules have largely been written on the fly. Many times with no rhyme, reason or precedent and no consistency whatsoever.
Again, I have drifted off. But these things need to be said and they need to be said strongly. There IS a difference and it is up to us to make sure that difference is known. We hope the ICA will assist in getting the message out.
We are already working on the October show. We will focus on "Verticals" and as always the theme will be making more revenue from your domains and raising the value of your assets. T.R.A.F.F.I.C. once again has set the standard and the bar are higher than many would have believed just a short time ago. The secret of TRAFFIC is no secret at all. It's the attendees. THEY CREATE their own MAGIC and their own OPPORTUNITY. Then they rise to the occasion by recognizing the opportunities that they CREATED. Talk about making something from nothing. Lock these folks up in a room for a day with nothing but a computer. By 5 pm they will have a thriving and profitable business.
As we enter the summer and all the distractions associated with this season, I look forward to some relaxing time as I am sure many of you are and then a very important fall season that will see a HUGE growth in online advertising. A growth like we have never seen before and it will turn traditional advertising outlets on their ear. It may hit so hard, so fast that they are simply stunned in what is about to unfold this Christmas.
Have a GREAT day!!