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Domainer Meeting 2008 Ready to Welcome Domainers From Around the World to Paris, France June 19-20
By Ron Jackson 

The center of the domain universe moves to Paris, France in June with the first Domainer Meeting conference and ICANN's 32nd International Public Meeting scheduled to run almost back to back in the City of Light. 

The Domainer Meeting June 19-20 at the Hotel Le Meridien Montparnasse (the

same hotel that will host the ICANN meeting June 22-26) was organized by EuroDNS.com and Oversee.net. The get the scoop on the upcoming event we got together with EuroDNS VP Freddy Schiwek and veteran European domainer Markus Schnermann of KeywordDomains.com who will be speaking at the conference. Here is what they had to say:

DN Journal: Letís start with how the decision to stage the Domainer Meeting conference came about and what you want to accomplish with the upcoming event in Paris.

Schiwek: As soon we got the info that ICANN was going to Paris we thought someone needed to do a show! But at this stage no one was taking action. Suddenly Dan Warner from Fabulous.com came to Xavier Buck (EuroDNS General Manager) and I during an earlier T.R.A.F.F.I.C. show and said "why  donít you guys set up a show?" He was really forcing us at EuroDNS to do something, so we had no other chance to do it! I should also mention Jean Christophe Vignes, the General Counsel of EuroDNS, who is part of the Organization Team for ICANN Paris. He helped a lot by getting support from ICANN for the show which made things much easier. So over time  the pieces of the puzzle came to together and now we are just a few days away from the largest Domainer Meeting ever in Europe. Our plan is to bring international domainers together in one place and learn from each other.

Freddy Schiwek (EuroDNS)

Schnermann: When Freddy told me about the Paris Domainer Meeting conference, it was a no brainer for me to support it. Whilst there have been regional conferences in Germany, the UK and other European countries, they all had a focus on regional markets. I consider Domainer Meeting in Paris the first real European Show, with attendees, speakers and organizers who represent the top of the primary and secondary market in the Domain Industry. 

DN Journal: As one of the worldís most beautiful and exciting cities, Paris is a natural attraction. You have also given people practical reasons to go by aligning your dates with the ICANN meeting that follows Domainer Meeting. Both events will also be held at the same hotel. Tell us how having your conference and ICANN back to back will benefit registrants and also a little about what people can expect from the venue - the Meridien Montparnasse Hotel? 

Schiwek: Most of the attendees will have to take the train or plane to arrive in Paris as it is an

Markus Schnermann 
(KeywordDomains.com)

international conference, so it is an easy decision to stay for a few days more to visit ICANN as well. Decisions are made at ICANN that affect everyone's property, so all of us should have a say in their decisions and try to influence them in our favor. I think it is very important for every one of us to be at both events. The Meridien Montparnasse Hotel is one of the most beautiful hotels in the heart of Paris. We have arranged for luxury French food and wine and we thing everyone will be very impressed. No one should miss this opportunity!

Schnermann: Who doesnīt dream of visiting Paris? Besides being one of the most beautiful cities in the world it is taking place in one of the best hotels in Paris. Having the opportunity to attend the ICANN meeting as well is perfect. I have attended ICANN meetings myself and it is a different crowd but worthwhile to get to know. Both sides can learn from each other and understanding the different perspectives will help us getting over being "them and us". We are all affected by the decisions made there so i can only encourage everybody to participate.

DN Journal: Most of the large domain shows have be held in the United States but domaining is truly a global industry with many of the major players based in Europe, the UK, Australia and other regions. Looking at your sponsorship list it looks like this conference is getting the kind of broad based support that will allow you to present a show worthy of the many domain professionals who live in Europe as well as those that come in from other regions. Tell us about the support you are getting from key companies and individuals in the industry and how response from registrants is going thus far?

Schiwek: The support from the sponsors is very impressive, every one wanted immediately to help us and be a part of it. DomainSponsor.com is doing the party and auction and we have 
very impressive speakers like Phil Corwin from the Internet Commerce Association, Gregg McNair, Jay Westerdal from DomainTools.com, and many more like executives from the Chinese registry! As a person that goes to nearly all of the shows, I can say that I know nearly everyone. But honestly, I see people signing up which I did not know before. We have sign ups from all over the world, it will be an interesting show.

DN Journal: What do you think some of the highlights of the show agenda will be?

Schnermann: Next to the live auction I personally like the focus on ccTLDs in panels like Domain 

ICA Legal Counsel Phil Corwin will deliver the 
keynote speech at Domainer Meeting Paris 2008

Investing or ccTLDs & Domainers - State of the Union. Of course there are many networking opportunities again including the speed networking event and the exciting party organized by DomainSponsor at a very cool night club called Cabaret on Thursday evening.

Schiwek: Make sure you do not miss the keynote speech from Phil Corwin! Directly after the keynote we have a discussion about new TLDs. Always interesting is discussion on the evolution of parking and of course the Snowe bill. The very big highlight on the second day is the Moniker/SnapNames Live Auction, but before that you can learn a lot about Tax Optimization for Domainers.

DN Journal: The live auction should draw a lot of interest. Iím sure there will a number of solid globally oriented domains in that sale. Will there also be names in the auction geared to the European market, either in terms of keyword, or Euro ccTLDs like .de, .fr, .co.uk, etc.? 

Moniker.com will stage another live domain 
auction at Domainer Meeting Paris 2007

Schiwek: We really want to spread the focus worldwide, but of course a majority will be .coms and European ccTLDs like .fr, .de and many others. None of the bidders have to worry about local presence (Nexus requirements) because EuroDNS will provide the local presence without any additional costs for the buyer.

Schnermann: From what I've heard there will be a very decent list of premium generics auctioned off. Especially for the attending non-European domainers i see a lot of opportunities to diversify their portfolios by investing in some premium ccTLDs.

DN Journal: Both of you are 

veterans of domain conferences staged in the U.S.  From your experience with other shows, what are some of the best attributes from those that you will incorporate into Domainer Meeting and do you also have some new wrinkles planned? 

Schiwek: We definitely concentrate on being International as possible - no one has to be concerned about limited English skills, stats are the same worldwide. Everyone understands words like CTR, Keyword, Domain, Portfolio. The wrinkle really might be having International domainers coming together on a larger scale and having the chance to take part in ICANN's meeting right after DomainerMeeting.

Schnermann: It's a simple recipe; take the best ingredients from U.S. shows like sessions and panels on topics that all of us really care about, the networking opportunities and a premium auction. Then add the charm of a European City like Paris and mix it with participants from as many nationalities as possible. The new wrinkle might be that it might have more topics around the ccTLDs.

DN Journal: In closing, are there any other comments, or points you would like to make about Domainer Meeting and this unique opportunity for domain owners to gather in Paris? 

Schiwek: Come to Paris to stay a few days longer, itís a great place! Maybe I should also mention that hotel room registrations on the website are a bit complicated as the event gets closer. You book the the first day (June 19) on the Domainer Meeting website and the other ones on the ICANN site because they still have some rooms available for Friday (June 20). If you have problems, call the hotel directly at +33 1 44 36 45 54 (International and English speaking Phone).

Hotel Le Meridien Montparnasse
Site of Domainer Meeting Paris 2008

Schnermann: A message to potential participants from outside Europe and from inside Europe: Meet and mix with attendees from all over the world, exchange ideas, investment strategies and learn from each other! Paris is always worthwhile to travel to and you get to combine business at the Domainer Meeting and the ICANN Meeting with the savoir vivre of France!

*****


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