NamesCon 2015 is due to kick of in Las Vegas this coming weekend with about 50% more attendees that its inaugural outing last year.
Organizers tell me that so far roughly 750 people (not including press and staff) have registered to attend the conference, which is taking place for the second year at the Tropicana hotel. That’s up from the roughly 525 registered a week before the 2014 event.
Some are expecting the final turnout to top 800.
Registrations were boosted as 2014 came to a close by the announcement that NamesCon had acquired the rights to use the longstanding DomainFest brand and domain to promote its own show.
The show is due to run from Sunday, January 11 to Wednesday, January 14, a day longer than the year-ago event.
NamesCon is a bit of a strange beast, catering heavily to domainers but with also a strong series of sessions aimed at digital brand managers and the intellectual property side of the industry.
Where else could you see sessions called “Workshop: I’m Getting Sued – What Do I Do Now?” and “Making the Most of Your .BRAND and the Evolving Internet” running side by side?
For domainers, a highlight of the week may be the live domain auction, which is being run by Right Of The Dot and SnapNames from January 13 from 1630 until 1930 local time.
There are 350 names going to auction, in an eclectic mix of legacy and new gTLDs.
Currently, slightly more than half of the 23 names with bids are new gTLD domains, though their asking prices are a lot lower than the .coms on the list — most seeing bids in the $250 range compared to a top .com bid fo $51,000 for agree.com.
Domains that do not sell during the live event will carry over to an extended auction that ends February 5.
TLD Registry, which runs a couple of Chinese-script new gTLDs, has a strong presence at NamesCon too, sponsoring a day-long session on the Chinese domain market on the Sunday.
Keynote speakers during the conference proper include Akram Atallah, president of ICANN’s Global Domains Division, as well as executives from Go Daddy, Donuts, Uniregistry and others.
DI will be in attendance. I’ve agreed to do a presentation on DI PRO and industry metrics on Sunday, probably sharing the stage with another tools vendor, on Sunday, but the exact time and location have yet to be confirmed.
Conference passes are still available for $799 from the NamesCon web site. Registration on the door goes up to $849. For context, that’s still less than half the price you’d paid to go to TRAFFIC.