been ups and downs along the way (including a huge
global recession) but the high value of quality domains
has now been firmly established. So has a global
family of domain investors, developers and service
providers, many of whom got the chance to meet face to
face for the first time thanks to T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Those
encounters have helped countless individuals and
companies achieve tremendous growth and build
relationships that in many cases will last a
Co-Founders Rick Schwartz (left) and Howard Neu share
a laugh while welcoming attendees to the 2014
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East conference on the first day of
business at the Fontainebleau Hotel on Miami
Beach Thursday morning, October 31.
"semi-retirement" it remains to be seen
what T.R.A.F.F.I.C. will look like going forward. Howard Neu
would like to carry the flag forward and if he
does he has already said some changes
would be made. While he would want to maintain the high quality environment
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. has been known for he also wants to
make it more affordable for more people to
Given the size of the job
any number of scenarios could play out. Taking on
a partner to help handle
the workload Schwartz had shouldered (Rick was responsible for programming
the T.R.A.F.F.I.C.) is a possibility though Howard believes that with the
help of wife Barbara and son Ray,
(who have been an integral part of T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
from the start), the Neus could do it alone,
maintaining the family vibe that has been a
hallmark of the event. Or he could go in the
opposite direction, call it a great decade and
join Rick in selling to new owners. Neu expects some final
decisions on the future shape of T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
will be made within the next couple of
to R) Howard Neu, Barbara Neu, Kaitlyn
O'Connor and Ray Neu at
T.R.A.F.F.I.C.'s Masquerade Ball on
Halloween night (October 31, 2014) at the
While we wait for that
news, let us give you a full visual picture of
what happened at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East 2014, a show that
will be especially memorable to all who were there for
many reasons in addition to it being a landmark
anniversary event as well as the one where
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. closed the books on one era and prepared
to open them on another.
As always we posted daily
photos and highlights from the conference while it was
underway in our Lowdown section. You can review
those posts here:
& Highlights from the First Day of Pre-Show
Networking at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East on Miami Beach
and Highlights from Opening Night at the 2014
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East Conference at the Fontainebleau
Hotel in Miami Beach
and Highlights from Day 2 of T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East 2014
Friday in Miami Beach, Florida
& Highlights from Saturday's Final Business Day and
Sunday's Farewell Breakfast at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East in
Since we covered the nuts
and bolts in those posts, we will let the photos
do the talking in this final overview and to keep things
fresh none of these photos has been
published in DNJournal before now. This format is perfect for a show that, due to
its stunningly scenic location and colorful social
events, provided an endless procession of great
"photo opportunities" ((including announcement
of a wedding engagement!). All of the shots in
this article were shot by either DNJournal or Barbara
Neu, whose camera skills and presence at every key event
allows us to bring you twice as much coverage as we
otherwise could have.
To set the scene, let's
start with a shot Barbara took when pre-show cabana
networking got underway on a postcard perfect day at the Fontainebleau
Hotel on Wednesday morning, October 29.
Barbara caught my wife, Diana, and I taking a dip
in the circular pool at the center of T.R.A.F.F.I.C.'s
private cabana area for show attendees. Individual
cabanas ringed the outside of the circle with a larger
cabana for food and drink service sitting on an island
in the middle of the pool.
Negar Hajikhani (Sedo.com), at left, with the
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. "goodie" bag she had just
picked up at the registration desk and Judi Berkens. To
the right you see the food service
cabana situated on an island in the middle of the pool
that dispensed an
endless supply of mojitos and snacks during pre-show
at the central cabana, Mr. Nguyen Trong Khoa (right),
who came all the way from Vietnam with a surprise
for T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Co-Founder Rick Schwartz - a
framed map of Vietnam made completely from rice!
the cabana networking wound down Thursday afternoon
(October 30), first time T.R.A.F.F.I.C. attendees
were welcomed at the traditional orientation ceremony
- but this one had a very interesting special feature.
The audience was treated to a 20-minute History
of T.R.A.F.F.I.C video, expertly produced by
Danny Pryor (whose photo is inset at top left
over a scene from the production.
East 2014 officially got underway Thursday evening,
October 30, 2014 with the Opening Night Welcome Party
held on an outdoor deck at the Fontainebleau that
overlooked the beautiful hotel grounds on one side and
the Atlantic Ocean on the other. T.R.A.F.F.I.C. laid out
a spectacular dinner buffet but some people - like ParkingCrew.com's
Jim Grace - couldn't resist sampling the desserts
Enjoying the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Opening Night Party, where
they were flanked by two of the lovely T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
models, are Luis Petzhold (Petzhold.com) and
Michael Riedl (NameDrive.com).
Also standing out in the crowd were (L to R) were Adrienne
Phillips (ProtectedParking.com), Jason Smith
(Nixxie Ltd.), Tracy Fogarty (DomainHoldings.com),
Justin Mountford (Nixxie Ltd.) and Andy Chang
(Cash Ventures Corp.).
When the sun went down, the dancers got up!
Lighting up the night (left to right) were Natalie
Lambert (Uniregistry.com), Tessa Holcomb (Igloo.com),
Barbara Neu (T.R.A.F.F.I.C.) and Kirsten
a great opening night party, the first day of
business at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East 2014 began
Friday morning, October 31, with attendees enjoying
a bountiful breakfast buffet while being welcomed to the
show by conference Co-Founders Rick Schwartz and Howard
Neu (on stage).
The first business session was a panel discussion
covering the latest trends in The Domain
Aftermarket. The panel featured (L to R): Scott
Pruitt (NameJet.com), Ron Jackson (DNJournal.com),
moderator Braden Pollock (LegalBrandMarketing.com),
Tessa Holcomb (Igloo.com) and Larry Fischer (DirectNavigation.com).
In the second morning session Friday (Oct. 31) Adam
Dicker (TheArtOfTheName.com) conducted a seminar or
how to Turn a Domain Name Into a Business
in less than 90 minutes.
The Friday lunch break feature the first ever Rick
Schwartz Roast to send the T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
Co-Founder into retirement with a smile on his face!
On the dais to grill Rick Schwartz during his
going away roast were (L to R): Braden Pollock, Victor
Pitts, Pinky Brand, Michael Berkens, Howard
Neu, the guest of honor (standing), Gregg McNair,
Ari Goldberger, John Berryhill, The
Unknown Roaster and Ilze Kaulins Plaskacz.
Gregg McNair delivers a zinger that left honoree Rick
Schwartz in stitches.
Above: It was
back to business after the Roast. After Chris Derose
(Derose Techologies) conducted a session on Crypto
Currency and Commerce, Michael Berkens
(above) from TheDomains.com, joined Adam Dicker and
Rick Schwartz to talk about Domain Industry
Abuses, Schemes and Scams to look out for.
the first day of business (Friday, Oct. 31) was a panel
discussion answering Questions About New gTLDs
that featured Daniel Schindler (in the photo
below) from Donuts.co, Jeff Sass (.CLUB) and Simon
Cousins (TLD Registry).
evening, October 31 was Halloween Night, the perfect
occasion for the first T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Masquerade Ball
and Dinner. With show organizers offering a $1,000
cash prize for the best costume (chosen by fellow
guests) attendees came up with some fabulous
Larry and Diane Samson in technicolor!
(L to R) Marty Kaulins, Sandra Gordon
(Escrow.com) Brandon Abbey (Escrow.com) and Ilze
Kaulins-Plaskacz formed an intimidating quartet!
Carmella Savanello (Barbara Neu's mom) cuts a rug with
(L to R); Kirsten Szymczyk, Daniel Schindler, Andee
Hill, Tracy Fogarty, Gregg McNair, Tessa Holcomb and
show their wild sides.
The winning costume prize went to Diana Jackson
who, starting from scratch, hand made the Isis
and Pharoah costumes the she and husband Ron wore
at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Masquerade Ball.
morning (Saturday, November 1) began with a breakfast
session that featured Two-Minute Elevator Pitches
where anyone could take the stage to talk about their
business, followed by an update on 2014 sales in the
domain aftermarket delivered by Ron Jackson (DNJournal.com).
Then it was
time for one of the show's highlights, presentation of
the annual T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Awards. This year four
different individual or companies took home two
Adam Dicker (far right) won the highest
individual award - Domainer of the Year, as well
as the Developer of the Year honor. Adam also
accepted two awards on behalf of his friend Michael
Cyger (DomainSherpa.com), who was unable to
attended. Michael won the Blogger of the Year
award and was also one of two new members inducted into
the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Hall of Fame, along with
attorney John Berryhill.
Sevan Derderian picked up two awards for Uniregistry.com
who won both the Best Overall Domain Solution
award and the Sponsor of the Year award.
Also in the double win club at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
2014 Awards ceremony were Jeff Sass and Colin
Campbell from .CLUB who won the Most
Promising new gTLD award and the Best Marketing
of a New gTLD award.
awards also went to Sedo's Dave Evanson for
Broker of the Year, Richard Lau, who was
named Bandit Berkens Goodwill Ambassador award
winner and Ilze Kaulins-Plaskacz who won
T.R.A.F.F.I.C.'s first Women in Domaining
A special T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
Hall of Fame award was also presented in memory of
the late great Ren Warmuz of Trellian.com
who lost a long battle with cancer a year ago.
As part of the ceremony honoring Ren Warmuz a
great music video produced during Ren's days as a
talented singer/musician in the 1980s was screened (this
is a scene from that video).
Ren's Above.com friends and colleagues Nancy Bianchi and
Victor Pitts came to the stage to accept the Hall
of Fame award in Ren's honor. Nancy shared some
moving memories of the energetic young entrepreneur who
we lost much too soon.
After Saturday's awards ceremony, the day's first
business session - a Domain Name Broker Roundtable
- featured new Broker of the Year award winner Dave
Evanson (above) from Sedo along with Alan Hack,
George Hong (Guta.com), Tessa Holcomb (Igloo.com)
and James Wester (DomainGraffiti.com).
In between sessions attendees visited sponsor booths in
the exhibit area. .CLUB drew a steady stream of
traffic to their booth with a "wheel of
fortune" that anyone could spin to win various cash
and product prizes. Barbie Sixto was among those
collecting a prize from .CLUB's Jeff Sass.
Back in the conference hall George Hong (above)
from Guta.com joined Simon Cousins (TLD Registry)
and Jeremy Marx (Beyond the Dot) in a fascinating
session that helped Demystify the Chinese Domain
The final business session of T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East
2014 followed. The Meeting of the Chiefs
brought executives from several key companies to the
dais to answer audience questions on a variety of
topics. The panelists included John Ferber (left) from
DomainHoldings.com) and Michael Castello (right)
from Castello Cities Internet Network. John and Michael
were joined by Bill
McClure (Coffee.org), Dave Evanson
(Sedo.com), Victor Pitts (Above.com) and
Gregg McNair (Igloo.com and others).
With business out of the way, guests got back together
Saturday evening for a closing night Dessert Party
at the Fontainebleau. Joel Knott (at left) from
Hail.com homed in on the crispy churros and chocolate fountain.
Also staking a spot next to one of the dessert tables
were (L to R): Bennie Sparkman, Deepak Daftari and
Rick Schwartz with Bill McClure (right)
who made some big news at the Dessert Party when he
announced a $100,000 deal to acquire Coffee.club
from the .CLUB Registry. Less than a month later
Bill, who is a well established veteran of the coffee
business, had a new coffee subscription service running
on the domain.
Also among those enjoying the Dessert Party were (L to
R) Braden Pollock, Ilze Kaulins[Plaskacz, Larry
Fischer, Mary Fischer and George Hong.
There was one final event left on the T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
East 2014 schedule - Sunday morning's traditional
Farewell Breakfast November 2nd. Here Adam Dicker
is fueling up for the trip home.
A personal highlight of the conference was Duane
Bailey of VeriSign announcing his engagement
to Lola Lunstrom .
We snapped this photo of the happy couple at
breakfast Sunday morning. Congratulations Duane and
The 10th anniversary
edition of T.R.A.F.F.I.C. is now in the books and it
more than lived up to the standard of excellence
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. started with a decade ago and maintained
through more than 2 dozen shows.
Howard Neu had
concluded the Rick Schwartz Roast Friday (Oct.
31) by singing a customized version of "My Way"
to his long time partner. One more tune would
have been appropriate at the Farewell Breakfast Sunday -
"Thanks for the Memories" - this time
with the audience singing to the T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
co-founders, their families and staff, who have given their
guests over the past decade enough great memories to
last a lifetime.