Rick’s Asheville Meetup Grows to 70 and About to be SOLD OUT!!!


Morning Folks!!



Perhaps The most compact but most qualified domainer show ever is surpassing all expectations!!



The appetite for a professional domain show is more than I ever anticipated. And to add to that they have to come to Asheville. Definitely a place not on the beaten track. You have to make an extra effort to get there. That’s what it’s all about. A commitment to make something happen. A commitment to have some success in whatever form it takes. When you have the right ingredients and you have the right people, great things happen. When you have skin in the game, you actually force it!



I can now say this is the most potent group of domain investors in many years and perhaps ever. 



They say you can’t go back to the future? Nonsense! This will end up being as a time marked as TRAFFIC 2004 and armed with 15 YEARS of knowledge and progress, maybe even more important.



The main topic will be "Acceleration" and how we accelerate the use and understanding of Domain names. How to take advantage of our assets in OUR lifetime.



When it’s over it will be compared to some of the historical events that we all refer back to in our history of domaining. Collectively we own billions of dollars in Internet assets and tens of millions of domain names.



Again, we keep the noise out and the business in. Break bread, compare notes, shake up the world. There’s nobody better to rock the domain world than the Top domain investors in the world.



We are talking some of the top investors in the world now plus the sponsorships of Fabulous Directnic and GoDaddy. Making this a true landmark event.



They will ask were you at Ricks Asheville meet-up in 2019? And interestingly enough the overlap of people that attended TRAFFIC 2004 is remarkable. The same people saw something special back then and they see that same special thing now!!



We can all feel it. What’s going to happen in Asheville is going to be eventful. News will emerge, partnerships will be forged, and new companies will be born. More news than the big shows which have had no news because everyone is running, running running. My model slows everyone down so there is actually time to do business.



So those coming to Asheville, please come with high goals and high expectations even if there’s not a thing you can articulate about it right now. The energy that will happen when you take domain investors that now have combined hundreds of years of experience will be interesting. So, expect to experience something bigger and better than ever before.



Have faith in the ability of high-powered Type-A personalities put together in the most relaxed and wonderful atmosphere will come away doing something of significance. And if not it’s going to be a hell of time anyhow. A memorable time that none of us will ever forget. That I can promise you. That you can take to the bank. That’s going to be a reality no matter if only 6 showed up



Now as we approach 70 attendees the breakdown goes something like this



50 Domain Investors



15 spouses



4 Sponsor Associates



There is but ONE TICKET left at $399 as I write this. Then 6 tickets at $599.



Then we are SOLD OUT!!



Then: You can apply for a ticket. Must add value to qualify.



When you come you will immediately see the difference. I keep the NOISE out and the BUSINESS in! Time wasters have many events to choose from. This isn't one of them!



There won't be dozens of folks on stage making promises they will never keep or telling you why they have the next big thing. We will have domainers share thier stories and their dreams.



Just back to basics before this industry got hijacked!



Again, this is a "Dutch Treat" event. Those that acted early got rewarded. There are NO DISCOUNTS! There are NO FREE TICKETS! Please don't even ask!



I was asked about why different ticket price levels?



It means we have more options for expansion of more/better meals and/or events. You are watching an evolution from start to finish. If 6 people showed up we would have 1 dinner and be done. As it grows, we get to evolve into something more dynamic w/o losing the purpose.



It's part of marketing and creating a successful event. Just because something is not for profit does not mean you shoestring everything on the cheap. It means you raise the money and you spend it all. The more you raise, the more you can do! We are going to have an exceptional event with exceptional business men and women and we wull make history!



This has been a dream for well over 15 years! They said it would never work. They said nobody would ever show up in Asheville. Not only are the showing up, they are coming from all over the world!



ON February 8th with this post, the dream started to be put in motion. I had no venue however I picked out the ONLY place I would hold the event back in 2004. Once I made that post I cont5acted the hotel and within the same week, we had a signed contract!



So my biggest job now is to control the size of this gathering without turning qualified investors away.



I also want to give Michael Berkens a special thanks for allowing me to bounce ideas off of him including having the show in Asheville, to begin with! I only expected a dinner with 6-18 folks at most! WOW!



So, we won't be the biggest, but Asheville will damn well be the BEST show ever focusing on DOMAIN INVESTORS and our futures.



Hard to imagine that we are less than 100 days away from August!



Here is the link to REGISTER
Here is the link for HOTEL RESERVATIONS



Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda, make it to Asheville OR WILL? The biggest part of being a Domain Investor is recognizing opportunity before it passes.



Rick Schwartz


Fabulous and Directnic Step up as Lead Sponsor for 1st Annual Asheville Domain Investor Meetup!


Morning Folks!!



Well, it's been an incredible 17 days. Who says you can't move mountains?



In less than 24 hours we have already surpassed anything I expected. Signups have been pouring in. If this continues we will expand the program.



I did not anticipate sponsorships for a show where I am discouraging sponsors. However, we have a domain friendly sponsor in Mike Robertson as I just posted on Twitter as you can see below. It is befitting that it is Fabulous.com now bundles with Directnic.com which was the prelude to TRAFFIC and was held way back in October of 2002 in Beverly Hills. Back to the future my friends!



Seems like domain investors are really hungry to get back to the basics and ready to take back their power. Me too! It's about time. Armed with many years more of knowledge and experience.



This was a dream of mine for decades as I described in my original post just days ago. But not in my wildest dreams did I ever think it would be so widely and quickly embraced. WOW!



Our first room block is about gone and I am trying to get more rooms. So if you get an error message, don't stress yet. The hotel still has rooms at $479/night. So I am hoping to get more rooms at $349 or maybe a tad more. We'll see what the hotel is willing to do. They don't need to sell rooms in August. It's a Supply and Demand "Thang."





Rick Schwartz


Posted on | Comment (1)

Asheville Professional Domain Investors Meetup; A Celebration of Domaining! Registration NOW OPEN!! BOOM!


Morning Folks!!



I look at things differently, and therefore I have different paths and different results. We all do. Less than 3 weeks ago the thought of this event for THIS YEAR was not even born. But when it was, I do what I do best, make things happen. Two sticks for some, a raging fire tool for me.



When I look back at the domain events I have held and the atmosphere I tried to provide, one word finally came to me, "Celebration." When I meet other domain investors it's to celebrate what we do and the success we have found and the new challenges we want to harness. That was the atmosphere at the intimate dinner all those years ago in Asheville that I described in this post. The trick is being able to apply that to a larger group.



That's where the food comes in. When we celebrate, food is NEVER far away. It's part of who we all are. So breaking bread is always the centerpiece of what I do. And since it's a celebration you want really good food, not just cheap food. That makes it a bit more special. And a tad more pricey. But I have an allergy to doing anything on the cheap. I do it RIGHT and I have faith that it all works out. The budget is not a dollar figure. The budget is about what you want and need to ahieve, accomplish and the best way to do it.



Look, we are loners behind our keyboards. We need different things than others. We are creative people. Creative people work best when relaxed. Put is in a room together and it is combustible.



What I do is a thought out recipe for progress and my job is to get out of the way. What makes Asheville different? I'll tell ya......



Objectively I am considered one of the most independent domainers out there. I don't have to answer to anyone. I am not beholden to anyone. My opinions are vivid, strong and unwavering. Time has proven to be my best ally. However, with NEW FACTS and NEW CIRCUMSTANCES, I always re-evaluate.



I learned a lot doing all these shows at TRAFFIC. I know the good, the bad, the ugly. So a new recipe leaves out the bad and ugly. lol. How hard is that? Pretty simple!



So if I am the most independent voice in the Domaining world, my friend Michael Berkens is the most knowledgeable. You can go back a decade, and you will see how many times I refer to Mike as "My research Department." The guy is an information machine that is faster and more accurate than Google! He is also an independent voice. He may not be a renegade like me, but he knows his stuff better than anyone I know in this business.



The only thing I have to sell is this concept that the industry was hijacked by entities that put domain investors and OUR interests at the back of the bus. It was what THEY needed, not what WE as Professional Domain Investors needed. We are not a large group. There are more people working at Godaddy RIGHT NOW ON SUNDAY than there are TRULY professional Domain Name Investors in the world. Now multiply that by all the other companies in the space and you will see and understand what a tiny minority we are. We are a select group whether we like it or not. It's just reality!



Do Professional Domain Name Investors NEED a flawed and automated valuation system to help US or THEM?? Do you know or understand the damage this is doing? Do you care? It's a fraud! And I am not afraid of saying what I believe to be true!



Does keeping domain values artificially low help US or THEM??



Does not disclosing traffic loss and confusion help US or THEM?



Does our traffic and the value of it help US or THEM?



I can go down the list and, I am sure in your comments you will think of your own.



Does ICANN protect US or THEM?



How many times do you have to see that domain investors are being exploited in every which way? Clawbacks, tainted auctions, policies that never default in favor of us. So maybe it's time to get back to basics. If domain investors don't give a rats ass about protecting themselves, why the hell should they?



So why go to another event? Maybe to reclaim your power back. And if you do, that is something to CELEBRATE!! Isn't it about time?



Life is short. We all love what we do. We are all so lucky to do what we do. Nothing better than enjoying the fruits of our labors with like-minded laborers. Trust us to take us back to the future and find OUR path and define OUR path not anyone else's.



Professional Domain Investors are a small and intimate group. Our numbers are too small to be significant. We are in the hundreds. Maybe even a thousand. But what we have in our portfolios are significant, meangful, and our small group needs to step up to the plate. If we don't believe in our assets, why would anyone else?



As of RIGHT NOW, registration is open for the Asheville Meetup. If you missed Woodstock or were not born. If you missed the inaugural TRAFFIC 2004 or many of the other momentous shows, If you missed the opportunity as it passed you by, don't miss this one.



"Successful Trade Show Heralds the Start of a New Era For the Domain Industry" That was Ron Jackson's famous headline. Everyone including Ron was skeptical when they first arrived. Nobody was skeptical when they left! Nobody should be skeptical about the blowout that Asheville is going to be!



The link is now active, Take a peak. Feel free to circulate. (Please)



https://www.eventbrite.com/e/1st-annual-asheville-professional-domain-investors-meetup-family-outing-registration-57272887749?aff=affiliate1



And you can book your room for just $349 while they last at this link:



https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/asheville-grove-park/meetings/1st-annual-domain-investors-08012019



UPDATE: 2-26-2019 6PM EST: The initial block of hotel rooms was exhausted in a little over 24 hours. (unbelievable!!!!) The new block has just been loaded in their system and is ready to go again. 45 more rooms online now.



The most talked about, independent, and anticipated event in the domain investment industry this year will be in Asheville. Mark my words. From a 20 year dream to a seed planted just 18 days ago to reality now! BOOM! That's how it's done! The rest is all fun!



Rick Schwartz


It’s Official. Contracts Signed! Asheville Multi-Day Meetup Agenda Announced!


Morning Folks!!



The only difference between a dream and the reality is action. The only difference between wishing and reality is action. The only difference between hoping and reality is action. The only difference between anything in life and reaity comes with action No action no results. No results mean you’re stuck. Bad results indicate you’re going in the wrong direction. Good results mean to keep on keeping on.



Two weeks ago today I decided to have this intimate get together in Asheville this summer. Then decided it would be better and more fun if a few more domainers showed up. So a new show was born. Going back to basics.



My dream was born in Asheville (and I hope to have your dream born in Asheville as well) the first time I went to the Biltmore Mansion. I was sitting at their outside cafe and the call came from Kaplan Educational in New York City came in on my Motorola Flip Phone. They had agreed to buy eScore.com for $100,000. Theory turned into reality for the first time. No longer was investing in domains some crazy idea. Now it was proven. And the fuel to go to the next step was re-ignited.



We have an agenda planned. Hope you like it it’s a work in progress. But it will be based around certain objectives that I will explain more in depth when a podcast I did the other day gets published.



Now it's official!! The contracts are signed the deposits are given and I must say it was an interesting sprint doing this in just 14 days. In 28 shows I produced with T.R.A.F.F.I.C., none ever went this smoothly or quickly.



Thursday, August 1, 2019...7PM-11PM Cocktail Party. Open Bar from 7-9 and lots of food!



Friday, August 2, 2019...11am-5PM General Session and Luncheon. What do you have? What's your dream? What's the one domain you have you can't believe you still have and should be a business? Where to from here? Hopefully, we will each introduce ourselves and in 5-10 minutes, tell us what you are about and where you are going. Just lay your cards on the table and allow the other great minds in the room mull it over.



When great people that have a degree of success in life actually know what they are doing and don't have an agenda get together, GREAT things happen! I have proved that many times over the years. This is T.R.A.F.F.I.C. 2004 redux armed with 15 years of knowledge, progress, and more grey hair. A model I devised and others have copied and have lasted a long time. But it was always hijacked by sponsors that were worried about their bottom line but not our bottom line.



So, now after a 5-year show business retirement so that I could get out of the way of the gTLD noise, it is time to show and time to go back to the future! Trust that I have a good recipe or I would NEVER EVER ask you to leave the comfort of your home. Come armed to help others and you will help yourselves.



Friday Night August 2, 2019...8PM-9:30PM Asheville Ghost Tour



Friday Night August 2, 2019...10PM Until ??? The Asheville night life is unique and vibrant. You won't soon forget it. Asheville is also the capital of Rooftop Bars. So while everyone is on their own, we will be gathering at the best one in town!



Saturday Morning, August 3...9AM Incredible Breakfast Buffet at the Blue Ridge Dining Room. Not part of the official show agenda but if you decide not to sleep in or have room service, those that wish to have breakfast can group together at that time and continue the discussion.



Saturday August 3, 2019...1PM-5PM Asheville Micro Brewery Tour.



Saturday Night, August 3...10PM You are on your own with fellow investors to enjoy multiple music venues as well as the aurora of Asheville and maybe something sweet. I suggest a visit to the French Broad Chocolates. The line moves fairly quickly.



Sunday August 4, 2019...By now we have spent a lot of time together and discussed many things. Some folks will be staying a few more days or might come to Asheville early. Or maybe you just have some extra time. Here are the 5 things you might enjoy that the area is famous for.



  1. White Water Rafting. Some of the best anywhere.
  2. The Biltmore House.
  3. Exceptionally beautiful golf courses
  4. If you need to gamble, Harrah's is in nearby Cherokee.
  5. Exceptional and unique restaurants


I signed yesterday for $23,467 to put on this event. Win lose or draw.



Right now I have 25 folks indicating their intention to come. As you know, this is a SELF-FUNDED event. It is a NOT FOR PROFIT event. It is for the benefit of DOMAIN NAME INVESTORS! Those that come will share the expenses. All I am doing is fascillitating and financing.



As of right now, I am basing on just 50 coming and the shared cost is about $250 per person. However, that cost will be going DOWN, not up. We have a domainer friendly sponsor that will be helping out.



And speaking of sponsors, I think being selective is important. Any sponsor coming has to shut off the marketing pitch. This show is not going to be hijacked with your agenda. Look at it via our eyes and what you are going to do and help us with. We already know what you got. Now help us do some heavy lifting in a casual environment. This will not be a spam fest.



It takes the hotel about 2 weeks to set up our page to reserve the block of rooms at the discounted rate I negotiated. Shortly after that, I will set up a registration page, and away we go.



Rick Schwartz


Historic Grove Park Inn Selected Host Hotel for 1st Annual Asheville Professional Domain Investors Meetup & Family Outing!!


Morning Folks!!



I just love when a plan comes together. I have envisioned a domain get together in Asheville for many years. Long before Asheville was a destination. Few ever heard of the place 15-20 years ago. Not an easy place to get to and back then very difficult. Today much easier and a few airlines fly non-stop right into the city.



The Grove Park Inn is the epitome of Asheville. This 106-year-old property is the only place I ever considered holding such an event. I have dreamed about it for years. I guarantee you will fall in love with this place and Asheville at the same moment. But what makes Asheville so very special is how creative the town and the people are. When you see what they have created, and it's all "Home-grown" I think it will help us develop our own creations. This is my "Field of Dreams" and I hope to make it yours as well.



The things that I am still taken aback with when I come to Asheville are George Washington Vanderbilt of the famous Vanderbilt family who built the largest privately owned home in the USA (you can tour the 175,000 sq. ft. home and the entire 8000-acre property) and the fact that Asheville has an incredibly large and cutting edge medical community. It's all homegrown and unique. Just like domaining.



The Historic Grove Park Inn. Host Hotel for Rick's 1st Annual Asheville Professional Domain Investors Meet-up & Family Outing August 1st-3rd 2019.


So, I am in the process of scheduling our Meet-up Starting the afternoon of Thursday, August 1st. Then followed by a "Working Luncheon" on Friday the 2nd. Friday night we will party in Asheville and Saturday we will end with a brunch and a fun-filled day of activities. That's the plan. It's not in stone. It's a framework until I know how many and how long folks want to stay.



As for the hotel, if you book a room direct today or at Hotels.com, it is $479. I will secure a group rate of at least $100 less per night. There are other hotels to stay in town and around starting at $150-$200. I have to personally guarantee 60 room nights to start, but the rate will only be available for 14 days once the hotel link is active. I will announce on the blog when the time comes.



August is their #1 month of the year. So if you are TRULY serious about attending, then booking early is critical. I have to limit attendance. I have no choice. I am not going to be on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars as I have in the past. This is a dutch-treat event. There is no financial motive. We all pay our own way. But I still have to give personal guarantees and deposits. The rooms alone are $25,000 plus taxes, and the food is another $10 grand. That's just at this venue.



So you can help me take an initial head count of who would stay at the hotel and how many nights you would stay there. I am not out to make money on a get-together nor do I even want to touch the money. I want all payments made directly to the hotel. A truly self-funded event.



I am out for us to make history with domains. And this time it will stay focused on domains investors and furthering OUR SELF-INTERESTS not the agenda of others. It's my vision, and I hope you share this experience with me and others. But whatever your decision is, it must be made soon, and if you decide later on, I am going to have to say no, and I really don't want to do that. It's strictly first come, first served.



I am trying to keep this event private, small and compact. I am not looking for a job so I have a number in mind that is good for the hotel and works for me. If we exceed that number it becomes an ordeal and that is not what "This Years" meet-up is about. Bigger isn't always better. Qualified is! Also, attendees of the first meet-up have first refusal rights on the next one. As charter members, you should be recognized for acting early. Isn't that what REAL BUSINESS is about? What domaining is about? Recognizing the opportunity and seizing opportunity EARLY. Action is the main difference between those that have found success investing in domains compared to those still looking for it.



So, if you are sick of the noise, sick of the slick, sick of swallowing crap for the benefit of others, then it's time to go back to the future when it all began. Let's start anew armed with over 20 years of new information and progress. Let's each walk away with one or more new projects. We are in the mountains, maybe my famous 18-wheeler story will make more sense there because it was in those mountains of Asheville where it takes place!



This is a show by Domain Investors for Domain Investors. It's not a show where all these companies get stage time to push their wares or new gTLD's and domains, and domainers are pushed aside. If we have any sponsors at all (and it looks like we will), it will be to help us not sell us. And also lower the financial burden on attendees. I want to get it as close to free as possible! On the other hand, you will have expenses for lodging and travel. But if all goes well, the food and entertainment will be an incredible bargain as will the deals, relationships and progress made.



I often talk about our "friends" in the domain business and how we should be suspect. However, relationships are different. They don't start with an agenda or a motive. They don't start with one trying to sell the other whatever the hell they have. It's not an opportunity to do face spam. lol, those are NOT friends. They may be colleagues, they may be partners, they may be a lot of things, but friendship is not always one of them. Relationships start with like-minded professionals breaking bread and talking about need, want, desire and common points, or goals and see if anything dovetails. You compare findings.



If you look at my history and look at the history of Domain Investors, you will see that since before 2000 and my original chat board, I have brought folks together. Most friends and relationships in domaining started on my chat boards or at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Whatever some think of me, I have a history of changing lives for the better, and I'm not quite done.



So now that you know more details, you can email me directly. My email addy is on the left side of the page. As you can see with my original announcement and comments that follow, qualified folks are coming! I have a simple goal inspired by George Washington Vanderbilt, Let's make history!



Rick Schwartz


Announcing: The First Annual, “Asheville Professional Domain Investor Meetup and Family Outing,” August 2019


Morning Folks!!



Before TRAFFIC was born or slightly after, I had a special dinner in Asheville. There were about 10 domainers in attendance. Was a very memorable event and very special. Mike Berkens, Roy Messer, Howard Neu, their wives, and a couple others. I had wanted to do it again, but I started TRAFFIC and the "Richmond Hill Inn," open since 1886, home of the fanciest restaurant in Asheville, burnt to the ground. (Jewish Lightning, aka Arson) But what a memory!!!



That was years before anyone really heard of Asheville as a destination. Today it is one of the coolest, hippest places in the USA and beyond. Some of the best most creative restaurants anywhere and named among America's top destinations in almost every survey done. The latest one was by Tripadvisor.com and got the #1 spot. If I tried to list all the top awards it gets as a city I would bore you. Top 100 places to live in America and dozens and dozens of others. A very special place.



I discovered Asheville by accident. I was in my early 20's and was driving from the High Point Furniture market to Knoxville, TN. Well, I hit an ice and snowstorm and got stranded in this tiny mountain town called Asheville for 2 days. Those were "Days Inn" days. I liked the place and made a note about it. (Asheville, not Days Inn)



A few years later my mom called me. They were in Atlanta with their house trailer in the summer of 1985. It was 100 degrees hot. They wanted to know if there was somewhere they could go and maybe even cool off. So I told them about Asheville. This tiny "Vermont" looking town in the southern mountains with great summer weather. They went and never left. They left their trailer there and every summer for 10 years that is where they went.



In 2004 I bought a condo there. From Realtor.com. Never even saw the place before I purchased. The realtor thought I was crazy. Maybe I was. But I used that place as a starting point to get familiar with the area and look for something more exciting. In 2005 I bought an 11-acre parcel with a large home on it. The house was owned and built by a New York to Palm Beach Socialite and her Doctor husband. They both died shortly after building this really well thought out custom home. It's a mix of North Carolina and Park Avenue. Not a good fit for a family in Asheville but a Perfect fit for me! It took 15 minutes to decide to buy it. And I have spent time there ever since.



To my amazement, a town with a handful of mediocre places to eat at best started to attract many young chefs coming out of these culinary schools like Johnson and Wales and others, and it has now become THE foodie and Farm to Table capital. It's also the microbrewery beer capital of the east as well ranked just behind Boulder, Colorado which I love too!!. But back to Asheville, it's just a fantastic place. It's also home to the largest private house in America. The Biltmore Estate. 125,000 square feet on over 8000 acres.



Asheville, a cool city with a cool summer breeze nestled in between the Smokey mountains of Western North Carolina. Famous Blue Ridge Highway goes right thru it and some of the best white water rafting is close by!


Asheville is homegrown. It's akin to Greenwich Village or Hate Ashbury but so much larger and more extensive with lots of southern hospitality. I love Asheville! Everyone falls in love with this place, and you will fall in love too! It's also a huge music town known for its history. According to Fodor's, "Their music scene is like nothing you have experienced."



Here is a NY Times article about what to do with 36 hours in Asheville. It will challenge you! There is so much to do I hope we have time for domains!!



The early evening line outside just to get into the best chocolate shop EVER!


The guy at the door allowing folks in 1 by 1.


Believe me, by Asheville standards, he is completely normal. (It's still light out)


For years I have been thinking about an Asheville, NC Domainer Meet-up. But early on nobody ever heard of the place and it's not that easy to get to. I am not looking to work or start some business, just a "Dutch Treat" event in which like-minded professional domainers can meet, brainstorm together and pay directly to the venue wherever it is held. I can set the agenda and the venue but the rest is a group effort.



Successful domain investors only who want to be more successful and talk at a higher level. This is a self-financed, non-profit event open to full-time domainers but not unlimited seating. A place with no outside NOISE!



Tentatively, it would take place during the first-week f August. The evening of August 1st ending August 3rd. .I am sure some might stay even longer and make a real vacation out of it. Break bread, party a little, talk a lot, hang out and see where it goes. I am trying to decide what number to cap it off at. Too big won't serve the purpose, and I am not looking for a job. We are talking 3-4 dozen or so (including the spouse or significant other) not hundreds. It must be an intimate event for it to be of great value to those that participate.



I know the exact location in Asheville I want to meet, but beyond domaining, there will be lots of time to explore and enjoy the company of each other as well as all Ashevilleand surrounding area has to offer! 😊



With this post, I intend to gauge the amount of interest (if any) and go from there. A couple of successful domainers are already on board (Mike Berkens, Roy Messer) Those are the only two I have asked their opinion until this post, and they are in! That was just yesterday. And if it is just the 6 of us, that's fine too! It will be great, and it will be memorable. I can't wait! Join us!



Until then, here are some more pictures of Asheville. Let's take over there city and have some great fun!!



Rick Schwartz


Reflections of the Past, Applied to the Future. Asheville, the New Delray!


Morning Folks!!



So when I found the 2004 picture of me in front of the Grove Park Inn yesterday I started to reflect on the similarities and differences between TRAFFIC 2004 and the Asheville Meetup. Let me share some thoughts with you.



For one thing, I had never produced a trade show before nor had I ever been on stage in front of people of which I was terrified. I never fed 135 people 3 or 4 meals each or put a menu together. I never did a host of things that now I have done 28 times. But I always rise to the occasion no matter what it is in life. I even surprise and impress myself sometimes.



TRAFFIC 2004-2007 were sensational events by all accounts. The success of TRAFFIC had a very specific recipe and to be honest, it was lost when the interests of domain investors took a back seat to the needs of sponsors and others. My original recipe was no more.



In 2014 it was time to get out of the way of the GTLD trainwreck. Sometimes it just makes sense to sit it out. Get out of harm's way and allow the dust to settle. Once the dust settles, and folks are clear-eyed once again, the original need want and desire remain and come back with a fury. Meanwhile, there is nobody in the industry on the record like I am when it comes to gTLDs.. Literally, HUNDREDS of posts articulating and exposing the pitfalls. They poisoned a thriving industry and NOW it's time to recover!



TRAFFIC 2004 was unique because it brought so many people together for the first time face to face. Before that, we had interacted on "Ricks Board" for 4 years since 2000. Relationships that were forged 15-20 years ago have endured the test of time. The trail never changed, I just had to sit and wait 5 years for a failure that should have been recognized in 5 minutes!



I have created intersections that have been life-changing. Bringing people together that have something in common and would have never met without bending destiny just a tiny little bit. That's the way I give back. It's the way I change people's life. Many that I have never met nor will I ever meet. But I have some street cred after 20 some years of consistency.



What's different now is the fact that besides knowing each other over a long period of time we are now armed with so much more knowledge and understanding. The universe itself has changed so much. They have gotten so much more sophisticated as well.



My recipe always included slowing things down. Take folks out of their everyday frenzy of activities, calls, and appointments and allow very smart and very creative people do what they do best. Be smart and creative with each other and at the same time receiving an energy transfusion that lasts a very long time. It reinforces our belief in ourselves and our assets.



When you come back and taste the original recipe and the show done for the original reason you will know in the first moments that it's like coming home to have your favorite dish and how mouth-watering delicious it is.



This time we are a self-funded, not for profit get together that is going to provide something special, fun and unique and still do 3 days of business and have a group of high power players without the noise. As a soloist, I don't need to make a profit or make a living from a show. My personal motives are different. I need to accelerate the future. Especially after a horrible 5 year detour.



This idea I had 15-20 years ago was shared for the first time on February 8th. I ran it by Berkens on the 7th. Told him about my dream and my idea. Host hotel contacted and had signed the contract on February 21st. The first business day was just last Monday the 25th. On Tuesday the 26th we exhausted the first block of rooms I contracted for and added more. Thanks for the confidence. It means alot.



So at this point, we have more actual domain investors paid and registered than came to either of the last 2 TRAFFIC shows. Mostly high-level investors. A number of them with great portfolios but have never been to any show. It's their TRAFFIC 2004 for sure. And that is in just 4 days for an event 5 months away. WOW!



As I posted early on if it were just Berkens, Messer and Schwartz it would have been a great time. But to be joined now with dozens of other truly professional domain investors and many more to come is going to be so much better.



When I tossed out a number to Berkens early on he asked how many domainers coming would be good and what you hope to expect. I said 18-36. But when I posted the idea and folks were excited about it, I signed the contract based on 60 attendees.



We will likely blow past 60 and am now planning for 130. Once we sell 130 tickets, I will close registration, and I will crunch some numbers. There are 60 tickets at $295, and there are 70 tickets at $395. I want everyone there for $295. But I am planning and financing this a long way in advance, and you still need to have a reason and sense of urgency to sign up.



https://www.eventbrite.com/e/1st-annual-asheville-professional-domain-investors-meetup-family-outing-registration-57272887749?aff=affiliate1



That brings me to the next thing. Once you register, getting your hotel room is very important. This is the first week of August and easily their single busiest week of the year. This little town and great digs are going to redefine "Vibrant" for you. But please make your reservations now! The hotel does not mind waiting and getting another $200/night more per room. They know from experience that they will be sold out.



Rooms are still $349 but I expect the next round of rooms to be raised to $399 which is still much less than the lowest rate of $479 I can find right now. As we get closer to the summer, I would expect rates to be between $599-$699 until they sell out. If you get an error message, it means the second block of rooms have been sold out. Please drop me a line if that happens.



https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/asheville-grove-park/meetings/1st-annual-domain-investors-08012019



Also, airlines. The 2 major hubs other than some direct flights to Asheville are Atlanta and Charlotte. It is best to fly in early in the day if possible. Summer can get backed up in the afternoon plus pm thunderstorms and I don't want anyone to miss the incredible opening cocktail party that is going to mark the start of a new era in domain investing. Come in a day early but don't miss it!



As I announced on Twitter, the Ghost tour has been booked, and our guide is no slouch. We are going to have the one and only Christian MacLeod! He is a pro-paranormal investigator who has been in the NYTimes, on Coast to Coast AM national radio, ABC news affiliate, etc; and, he is the current Master of the Masonic Lodge.





Fabulous.com/Directnic.com have stepped up to sponsor the Friday lunch. Thanks, guys! Could not have picked a better Inaguaral sponsor! Going back to the future!



I do have a few openings for other things like tours or busses, a possible breakfast, but I think it is essential to be selective given what I have learned. While attendance is open, sponsorships are going to be restricted. And to answer your burning question, the answer is "No." No, this event will have no gTLD sponsors. They are welcome to attend, but sponsorships would be like me selling out at this stage and at this time.



Looking into the future! Want to see what I see?


All I can say is this is a labor of love. I do what I do in the months before the event and then get out of the way once the show starts. It's your show. As I started before the show came to fruition, I don't even want to touch the money. I will finance and fund it, I will organize it, I will guarantee the contract, I will do all the grunt work. But I don't want to make a business of it. Using Eventbrite helps me do that. I elected not to get a check from them until after the event is over. That keeps the bookkeeping much simpler.



If anyone has any dietary restrictions, please let me know, and I will make arrangements. That said, come hungry because there is some delicious food coming your way.



When you take a detour and, you end up in the wrong place, in my world, you go back to the starting point and try a different path. In this case, a tried and true path that works. So we will take out the noise, take out the gTLD's, take out their sponsorships and get back to the BUSINESS of domain name investing!!!



Rick Schwartz


Paul Nicks, VP & GM of Godaddy Aftermarket​ Makes Amazing Find 15 YEARS Later!!


Morning Folks!!



A big congrats to Paul Nicks who found something interesting Friday evening that had not been discovered until then and it is pretty big news!!



Paul Nicks VP & GM for GoDaddy's Aftermarket


So, I was posting pictures on Twitter of folks as they registered for the first TRAFFIC 15 years ago in 2004 in which we also held the first domain auction. As you see below, it is on a whiteboard and done by hand.



But look closely behind Joe and, you can actually see the domain names that were in the auction. That is where eagle eye, Paul Nicks of Godaddy discovered Leesa.com on the board which is now a major mattress company online. It was up for auction. Nobody bid on it but somewhere along the history of domains that domain has ROOTS! I am hoping some domain sleuth can dig even deeper and find more!



What Domaining is all about. Seeing and digging a little deeper.


Paul and Joe are just 2 of the 36 attendees that have already bought their "Early Birdy" tickets. I am not sure at what point I will cut it off. There are 50 tickets at $295 and then the level goes to $395 but at that point, I will have to limit seating and make the last group of seats by invitation only. So just a heads up. It's not unlimited nor do I want it unlimited. Sorry, it can't get too big and still work as I envision and have the most value to those that attend. Someone even suggested having 2 separate meetups, one week apart. That may be a little much but who knows!



Bring yer spouse/GF or both 2 Asheville!



😉


If they attend Cocktail Party, Luncheon or anything w/ food and/or liquor they need to buy a ticket. They are invited to join you on the Ghost Tour or the Beer Brewery tour as those are ala carte tickets. But if they want to be part of the event, it is dutch-treat, they gotta pay too. Sorry. No exceptions.



This is the public list of those attending. Feel free to announce yourself. 5 more signups since the posting. Some very impressive names but not for me to make public without their permission. They are coming from coast to coast and 5 countries.



Registering is time sensitive. If you are SERIOUS about coming, DECIDE NOW!


If you want to join the live conversation, twitter.com/domainking



Rick Schwartz