Managing Partner Josh Bourne welcomes brand professionals to the Beyond the Dot Fall Workshop, which focused on domain name management and new gTLDs.

Managing Partner Josh Bourne welcomes brand professionals to the Beyond the Dot Fall Workshop, which focused on domain name management and new gTLDs.

Effective gTLD and domain name management can be challenging.

Multiple internal teams are involved; there are relationships with registrars to manage; there are key performance metrics to measure and evaluate against company objectives; and, if a .BRAND or .GENERIC is involved, there is compliance with ICANN to monitor. Legal, IT, and marketing departments each play a role in ensuring that the right domain names are registered and renewed (and outdated ones are dropped)—all while staying within budget.

Given these challenges, brand professionals involved in domain name management need a community forum, a way to stay on top of best practices and discuss experiences with industry experts and corporate peers.

That’s exactly why FairWinds hosts events like last week’s Beyond the Dot Fall Workshop in Chicago. The workshop was the latest in an ongoing series of exclusive, information-packed events designed to help companies get more out of their investment in online real estate.

Sessions covered a variety of helpful topics, from SEO to domain name management best practices.

Companies in multiple industries including pharmaceuticals, 
consulting, insurance, technology, hospitality, finance and self-storage were are all in attendance. A common thread among the group was that the majority of companies own and are in the process of launching .BRANDs and, for some, .GENERIC gTLDs as well. 18 representatives from 14 national and international corporations participated in sessions that covered new gTLD and domain name management topics such as:

  1. What really impacts SEO and what you can expect when it comes to new gTLDs.

    There’s a lot of confusion and misinformation about how websites rank for search terms, especially when it comes to the role that domain names and gTLDs play. Legal and marketing teams also need to understand how they can help ensure that IT has everything it needs to support SEO efforts. This session was so popular that it ran overtime due to audience questions. FairWinds is working on a master guide to provide this valuable content to its clients. If you’re interested in receiving this valuable material, please email us

  1. How to run a new gTLD when you’re not in the business of running new gTLDs.

    How can these new TLDs be absorbed into your existing domain name strategies? How have companies successfully managed internal stakeholders? Internal communications? Decision-making? We broke it all down during a discussion with Abbott’s Dirk Hoerter, who detailed the company’s successful implementation of its new gTLD.

  2. Domain name management trends, updates, and best practices.

    From how gTLDs are doing to the steps brands should take to keep their domain name portfolios in shape going into the new year, we provided expert observations and analysis for attendees to consider and factor into 2017 planning.

Why Domain Name Management Events Are So Valuable to Brands

Feedback from this workshop and previous, larger Beyond the Dot conferences suggests that the most valuable sessions involved practical, expert advice that could be implemented AND plenty of time to interact with peers in a no-pressure, supportive environment.

“Corporations invest heavily in domain names, not only by paying annually for thousands of domain names, but also by devoting significant amounts of internal resources across legal, IT, and marketing functions to ensure that the right domain names are in the company’s portfolio,” explains FairWinds Managing Partner, Joshua Bourne.

“Now, companies that have their own .BRAND or .GENERIC are beginning to include the registrations in their gTLDs into their larger domain name management, policy, and tracking work streams. This isn’t a function that people go to school for, and the domain name industry is more focused on individual investors and technical issues than on brands.”

Bourne, who has been helping Fortune 500 companies dramatically improve their domain name portfolios for more than 16 years, strongly recommends staying connected with peers in other corporations to share best practices and also getting an external review from an independent, unbiased source. “Make sure that your interests are aligned with the person or company that is making recommendations to you,” he notes. “Domain name management is too important to turn over to a registrar, but often, too overwhelming to handle entirely in-house.”

Beyond the Dot 2017: Next Opportunity to Learn and Connect

At the request of the Beyond the Dot community of companies, FairWinds will host additional workshops and other regional events in 2017, beginning with a webinar in January.

A significant amount of valuable information related to gTLD and domain name management, including website migration tips, was shared during the sessions. That, combined with even more SEO information and tools, will be given to FairWinds clients in the form of an SEO Guide later this year.

If you would like more information on becoming a FairWinds client and gaining access to our SEO Guide, please contact us.

Jennifer Schoelwer

Jennifer Schoelwer

Associate, Consulting at FairWinds Partners
Jennifer Schoelwer works to provide clients with strategic advice backed by industry- and policy-related research.
Jennifer Schoelwer
Domain Name Management and gTLD Workshop Informs, Connects Brand Professionals

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