Reflections from ICA’s meeting

The Internet Commerce Association membership just met in Las Vegas. Here are my thoughts.

Alain Nu performing with Gregg McNair and Christian Voss
Mentalist Alain Nu entertains the crowd at ICA at the expense of Gregg McNair and Christian Voss.

I spent the last few days in Las Vegas for the Internet Commerce Association (ICA) meeting. If you’re not familiar with the ICA, it’s the only association that advocates on behalf of domain investors.

This is the second time ICA has held a meeting in Las Vegas for its membership. It organized a 15th-anniversary event two years ago that I couldn’t attend. This year’s event attracted about 100 people, nearly triple the last one.

I won’t do a full recap because Ron Jackson does a great job with these. But I want to provide some takeaways.

Here are my thoughts on the event and ICA.

Good size event

I enjoy large domain conferences, but they have a drawback. Most of your interactions are driveby (good to see you) for a few seconds. They’re great for companies trying to set up meetings with partners and customers but not as good for networking.

This event was different. There were sponsors but no booths. And with just 100 people, you got to catch up with people one-on-one.

During the opening session, each and every person got to introduce themselves. It was great to put names to faces of people I’ve only met online. It was also great to have “real” conversations with people.

It helped that everyone who attended was a member of the Internet Commerce Association. It’s easy and affordable to join, but it shows that you take domain investing seriously.

More companies should join

It’s great when individual investors join the ICA, yet it’s also important for companies that serve domain investors to join. Most domain businesses can’t afford to have their own advocacy and policy team, but they can get that by joining the ICA.

Domain investors should take a moment to look at the companies that are members. Take a moment to thank them for standing up for domain owners. And if you do business with a company that’s not a member, send them a note to ask them why.

The Darpan Effect

It’s a well-known fact that wearing GoDaddy socks increases your chance of selling a domain on Afternic. It seems there’s also an impact on Squadhelp sales when you’re in the same room with Squadhelp founder Darpan Munjal. I saw him at the event and then sold a Premium listing through Squadhelp on Monday night. Coincidence? I think not! The only problem for Squadhelp is that Darpan doesn’t scale as much as socks.

I had many conversations with people at the event about what they’re doing with landers in light of GoDaddy’s new commissions. Some people will save money under the new commission structure, but others are moving their domains to Squadhelp, Sedo, and others. It will be interesting to see the impact a year from now.

Appreciation for running this site

Running a blog is hard work. You have to come up with good stuff to write every day, only to face an onslaught of anonymous trolls. So it was nice that people came up to me and thanked me for what I do. I never tire of that. And thank you for reading or listening.

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