Who’s going to turn down a business trip to Vegas in January, when the temperatures in your city (D.C.) are hitting record lows?

Certainly not Peter Gage, Liz Sweezey, or Cameron Gordon. They headed to Vegas at the beginning of this week for NamesCon – a three-day conference for domain name aficionados – to hear from and catch-up with leaders in the domain name industry at the famous Tropicana Casino.

Gordon, Manager of Strategy and Transaction at FairWinds’ sister company, DigitalDNA, described the atmosphere at the conference as collaborative. “Top players in the industry – who often have competing views and interests – take the position that new gTLDs (generic top-level domains) are a benevolent evolution of the Internet,” he explained. “Everyone seems pretty confident that these new spaces will develop alongside .COM and provide more people around the world with access to a variety of personal, brandable, and relevant URLs and social networks.”

Peter Gage, the VP of Operations at FairWinds, was focused on industry partnerships and takeaways for the company’s corporate and non-profit clients. He reported that, according to Ruth Burr, the Head of Search at Moz, and Jason Hennessy of Everspark Interactive, new gTLDs represent a fantastic opportunity to develop a customized user experience for a niche market  – even if it’s unlikely they will truly overtake .COM. For example, Gage noted, both speakers predict that .PIZZA may initially have a hard time competing with pizzahut.com, but that .PIZZA could serve as a unique platform for the pizza-loving community.Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at 5.20.50 PM

Liz Sweezey, a consultant to FairWinds, also noted that brand applicants – corporations and large non-profits – have not had an equivalent industry event.  She pointed out that FairWinds’ February 19 conference Beyond the Dot 2014 would give brands their first opportunity to discuss the implications of new gTLDs for their businesses and their customers.

 “This conference is going to help define the future of the domain industry,” she said. “.BRANDS are going to drive widespread acceptance of the new extensions because they are known and trusted stewards. FairWinds’ clients and other innovative applicants will have the chance to hear from each other, industry leaders, and policy experts about how new gTLDs will change everything.”

Josh Bourne
Viva .VEGAS! NamesCon & New gTLDs

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