As far as I am concerned, Domain Trade Shows are DEAD! They are run for the wrong purposes, for the wrong people and are just spamfests! They no longer have value. It really stinks when YOU pay and MOST don't! That makes YOU a FOOL! You got fooled!
So I think UNSPONSORED "Meetups" are far superior now and in the future. Forget about the spammy speakers. Forget about the travel and hotel and airplane expense. Forget about it!
Get 10-20 REAL domainers together and just have a "Dutch Treat" dinner and talk, talk, talk. Compare notes. Look for real answers that you can no longer find at the Spam shows.
See "Domain Investors" got overrun by all those companies like registrars, registries,and all related and allied fields. It is THEIR AGENDA not YOURS!
See there are less than 500 professional domain investors in the world. That's about it! There are 12x more people that work for Godaddy than all the domain investors in the world. So if you add up all the people working for companies that CAN'T MAKE YOU ANY MONEY, you will see it is in tens of thousands. Why are you wasting your TIME with THEM????
Look at the shows. You are lucky if a handful of actual Domain Investors actually show up. And it is watered down by perhaps a couple hundred folks that KNOW NOTHING about investing in domains. They know about trying to sell you something. Mostly WORTHLESS GTLD's.
So imagine you go to a show with 190 GTLD registries and a bunch of registrars and 10 domain investors vs a meetup with just those 10 maybe even 20 REAL domain investors. Which do you think has more value? Cut out the sponsors for your free lunch or free whatever and pay $100 for a dinner and do some business!
Non-profit meetups vs ????