Featured in Newsweek USA Today New York Times MSNBC Boston Herald Arizona Republic  

August 27, 2012

Domain Sales

Latest News


Dear Domey



YTD Sales Charts

The Lowdown

Legal Matters

Letters to Editor

Classified Ads

About Us





SedoPro Partners Forum Treats Domain Owners to Three Days in Paradise
By Ron Jackson 

As soon as organizers of the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Conference announced they were taking the show to New York City my wife and I decided we would go to New York a couple of days early to see some museums and show before the conference began on Tuesday, June 19. However, our plans quickly changed when a postcard from Sedo arrived in our mailbox showing a stunning picture of the Mohonk Mountain Resort in the Hudson Valley, a couple of hours north of Manhattan

Sedo had decided to hold their 2nd annual SedoPro Partners Forum at Mohonk June 17-19 as a prelude to the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference and once we saw that picture we decided we had to be there! I think the photo below will show you why we were so eager to go. It is a picture I snapped of the Victorian era hotel and the half-mile lake it was built on after a hike to the top of a mountain directly across from the resort complex. This kind of scenery made me decide to take a different tack with this article and let the pictures do most of the talking - Mohonk is living proof that a picture is worth a thousand words. 

The Mohonk Mountain Resort near New Paltz, New York - site of the 2007 
SedoPro Partners Forum
. Mohonk is a Native American word meaning "lake in 
the sky" and as you can see above, the name fits the location like a glove. 

I have been to just about every one of the major domain conferences, but smaller company-specific gatherings like this are a fairly new wrinkle in the domain business. The first one I attended was an enjoyable event that Enom put together for their resellers just before the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. West conference in Las Vegas in March. I regrettably had to miss the first one Sedo staged for their customers last year at Castle Erenstein in Germany, so was happy to hear this year's edition would dovetail with the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference in New York. Sedo officials and T.R.A.F.F.I.C. organizers worked together to make sure that each event flowed smoothly into the other.  

Our journey began Sunday morning, June 17 with a flight from our home base in Tampa, Florida to JFK in New York. We took a taxi to the Grand Hyatt (where T.R.A.F.F.I.C. would be held later in the week) and about an hour after we arrived, a row of Sedo party buses pulled up at the Hyatt to take over 100 SedoPro customers to the gorgeous resort 90 miles north of Manhattan.

By 5:30pm we arrived and had a couple of hours to settle into our rooms before heading out to the sole event Sunday evening, a New England lobster bake at the resort's Picnic Lodge. With Sedo's U.S. branch office located in Boston, lobster was an appropriate (and tasty) main course that everyone thoroughly enjoyed. 

At the opening lobster bake Sunday evening, attendees could eat outside (above) or on the sweeping porch veranda along the right side of the Picnic Lodge (below left). 

Sedo's Kathryn Donahue (seen in 
photo at right) made many of the 
arrangements for the Mohonk meeting.

The thing that set this Sedo gathering apart from any domain meeting I have attended before was seeing Sedo push overt promotion of their business to the back burner so they could focus on making sure their customers enjoyed all of the lush surroundings and activities that Mohonk had to offer. It struck me as a gesture of great respect for their partners and one that I think earned Sedo a tremendous amount of good will. Their approach perfectly matched the surroundings, exuding pure class - I thought what a great way this was to brand your company and set yourself apart from the crowd. 

Nearly all of the next day, Monday, was also devoted to leisure pursuits. After a hearty breakfast attendees could choose between golf, tennis, a morning in the spa or hiking through the scenic countryside (at any of three skill levels ranging from a leisurely 3-mile walk to scrambling over the rocks and up the face of an adjacent mountain). The hiking options drew a huge crowd because the area was just too attractive not to explore more closely. I was part of a group that opted for the leisurely walk that took us on a roundabout path that led to an observation tower at the crest of the mountain where the photo at the top of this article was taken. 

Above: Part of our group (led by our guide on the left) begins the ascent up the mountain 

A different side of Mohonk comes into view early in our hike

Diana Jackson shooting video  from the observation tower on the mountain top

After descending from  the peak, domainers on the last leg of the 3-mile walk

After the morning activities, lunch was served in the Mountaintop Pavilion, an open air building that becomes a skating rink in the winter (photo below taken just before the crowd arrives).

....and the shot below shows what happens when domainers smell food!

Sedo General Counsel Jeremiah Johnston

ICA Legal Counsel Phil Corwin

After lunch, Sedo's  General Counsel Jeremiah Johnston welcomed the company's guests and introduced the conference's keynote speaker, Internet Commerce Association Legal Counsel Phil Corwin. Sedo was one of the six founding members of the ICA, a new non-profit trade association formed to protect the rights and assets of domain owners. Johnston serves as Sedo's representative on the ICA board. 

The founding members donated a total of $300,000 to get the group off the ground and hire Corwin and Executive Director Michael Collins so that our industry would have a presence in Washington, D.C. and a voice in matters involving ICANN, the body that regulates the domain name system. Your membership support is now needed to give the organization the broad based strength it needs to head off bad laws and policy that, if unchecked, could quickly devalue the assets domain investors at all levels have worked so hard to build.

Corwin made a strong case for backing the ICA by detailing the many challenges domain owners now face. You have all seen the industry repeatedly mischaracterized and denigrated by forces who did not have the foresight to invest in domains themselves, but now - having seen that investment pay off for you, want to find a way to siphon off the value generated by the capital you put at risk. 

ICANN, registries like Verisign, browser manufacturers interested in siphoning off domain traffic and over-reaching trademark attorneys all have a great deal of influence in Washington and domain owners have to be ready to play at their level to retain what they have have earned. Corwin noted that the rules that will govern this business for decades to come are being written now and domain owners have to make sure that those laws and policies give them a fair shake. 

After lunch attendees again had a choice of activities with a speed networking session scheduled for the Cliff View room while a domain owner's version of the game show Jeopardy, complete with a mock up of the TV show's set, ran in the Sunset Lounge. 

Attendees get acquainted in the speed networking session Monday afternoon (above) while in
the photo below players test their knowledge of domain trivia in a rousing game of Jeopardy!

Next it was back to the Mountaintop Pavilion for a cocktail hour and gourmet dinner as the sun set behind the Shawangunk Mountains (photo below).

After dinner, Sedo converted the main room in the Mohonk Meeting House into a high tech virtual reality/arcade game getaway, complete with space girls (upper left photo below). Not sure where they found these ladies up in the mountains but when the word gets out that they're around it's sure to boost reservation requests in the Hudson Valley. 

Coming up on Page 2

  • Matt Bentley Looks at the Domain Market in 2012

  • Attendees get down to business 

  • Michael Collins Debuts as New Executive Director of the ICA 


Page 2 of this article

Return to DN Journal Home Page 

 Home  Domain Sales  YTD Sales Charts   Latest News  The Lowdown  Articles  
Legal Matters
  Dear Domey  Letters to Editor  Resources  Classified Ads  Archive  About Us

Hit Counter

Copyright 2007 DNJournal.com - an Internet Edge, Inc. company. 
No material may be copied from this site without expressed written consent.