The End of an Era……The Start of an Era…..Part 2

Morning Folks!!

Every so often we hit a 'Crossroads in life'. A point where we make major changes and major decisions. For some change and decision are 2 of the hardest things. Those things do not come easy. Do not come without a lot of thought.

In January I will attend a domain show for the first time as
an attendee. The first time I can go to TRAFFIC with my wife and have no other
responsibility other than to make money and make deals. Something I seldom can
do when running a show.

So for the first time I will come to TRAFFIC in Las Vegas
and I look forward to a week of fun and enjoyment. I am excited to see what
Rick Latona and his team will present.
Younger, hipper and in tune with the needs of 30 something’s.

The Hard Rock is a great venue.
Younger, hipper and in tune with the needs of 30 something’s. lol But seriously, I look forward to seeing
TRAFFIC from the other side. Another side.

Many things will be different, but
many things will remain the same. Either way, it will add a new dimension, a
new signature. Something fresh and
different. And I am excited to see their vision as I know many of you are. You will have new faces that greet you
when you register and a new experience based on a solid formula.

So with this post, I ride into the
sunset for the first time since 2004. I am going to enjoy the year off. No schedules to put together, no panels
to assemble, no thinking all day and all night how we are going to make the
next show the best show.

Lots goes on to put on a show. Do you think it is easy to
pay $96/gallon for HOT WATER in New York?? It kills me, but we have little choice.
Coffee is even more! The opening night cocktail party costs over $200 per
person. Yup, you heard me right. $200 a pop. One person. Then add Breakfasts,
lunches, brunches, open bars, snacks,
food at registration. It is astronomical. So we went to the Big Apple.
We did what we needed to do 3 times. We paid the piper and have a series of

On to South Beach next October. Costs are huge there too but
only $79/gallon for that hot water. Oh the save the day. So we are going to
restructure the pricing for South Beach TRAFFIC. Everyone benefits, everyone has to pay. That has always been
the premise behind TRAFFIC. That’s why I am such a prick about it. You expect
us to feed you and expect us to help your business move to the next level and we
are supposed to pay your way to get in the door? I don’t think so. Howard and I take great personal and
financial risks to put on these shows.
Our risk is much higher as we have nothing to sell and we do everything
First Class. At TRAFFIC, you gotta pay to play. Those that think TRAFFIC costs too much will never know how
much they lost by not coming and not investing in themselves. Not taking the
risk to move up to the next level. And to be blunt, it is not our job to reach
down and pull you up. We try, but the ultimate decision is yours.

So as I explained on stage at TRAFFIC in New York, we don’t
look to attract domainers that make $1000 a month. Sorry, these folks are
“Extras” from central casting. They don’t make you money, they COST you money
by wasting YOUR time with folks that can’t do a damn thing for you. Now I don’t
mean to insult or put down those that are on the ladder and make that
$1000/month. Keep going. I just believe it is not up to us to lower prices so
you can attend. Quite the contrary. I believe you need to raise your game and
take the risk. Step up to the plate. With our tiered pricing, everyone can
afford to come to TRAFFIC, you just need to take advantage of the early bird
specials we offer and plan ahead. That is the secret formula..

So as the Latona crew takes us to Las Vegas in January and
then around the world for the rest of 2010, I am hopeful that we are on the doorstep
of a great year with great things. Challenging as it may be, I think 2010 will
be the “Year of the Deal maker” As I stated early in 2009, make just ONE great
deal that you can look back to. In 2010, you need to make DOZENS of deals because the deals will be out there.

So I am coming to Las Vegas TRAFFIC with an agenda! An
agenda of deal making because for the first time ever, I won’t have the
responsibility to make sure the train runs and runs smooth and on time. My
“Conductors hat” gets passed to the Latona guys.

The bottom line, after 5 years…….we accomplished a lot. We
brought an industry together. We had too many “Firsts” to list. We made a
difference in the lives of a lot of people. That is a satisfying feeling. That
is something I will be proud of until the day I die. Our “Baby” is all grown up
and going out to see the world. Truth be told, that was a dream of mine a
decade ago.


I wish Latona and the crew all the best. Take good care
of our “Baby”. I can’t tell you the amount of hours we put in over the years.
But it was a labor of love 24/7 and I did it with my best pal Howard and that
made all the difference in the world.

A big thanks to Howard and Barbara and Ray and of course
my wife Alina for always going the extra mile to make sure that TRAFFIC was
more than a trade show. It was and is and will remain a “Family show” No rules.
No corporate BS. No meetings to figure out the obvious. Just a motto that if
you do it right, it will come out right. Take no short cuts. Do everything
first class. Never be cheap. The best ingredients = the best result. Pretty simple stuff when your focus of life
is not about losing your job. When
the focus is actually accomplishing something and not afraid to fail. Fail in
front of everyone in the industry. Fail and then rise to achieve.

So thanks for a great 5 years! I sincerely hope that we have
made a difference for you and your family. That is how we measure success.

Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz