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NamesCon — a recap for 2023

4 min read
James Iles

NamesCon, one of the leading in-person events for the domain name industry, returned to the Omni Hotel in Austin, Texas, on May 31, 2023. The bumper crowd of more than 1,250 people had plenty of networking and learning opportunities over the course of four days of expertly crafted sessions and social functions.

While DN Journal’s Ron Jackson has expertly crafted a deep dive into NamesCon’s agenda, I’m sharing my highlights from my first time attending NamesCon as part of the GoDaddy team. Use the links on the left to jump between sections.

Meet the GoDaddy team

Group of GoDaddy domain team members posing for a group picture

GoDaddy was well represented at NamesCon 2023, with a dedicated team available to engage with the domain name community. Above, you will see a photo of some of our team members at the GoDaddy booth. A highlight was the bustling hour from 2-3 pm on Thursday, June 1, when we hosted a popular pre-auction booth party!

Speaker highlights

NamesCon’s speaker calendar provided three days filled with sessions designed to provide insight and information for both new and experienced domain name investors alike.

Mastering inbound inquiries

Alan Shiflett, Senior Director of Domains at GoDaddy was among the notable speakers at the event.  During his presentation, Alan shared valuable insights gained from analyzing millions of domain name leads, focusing on techniques to improve your inbound sell-through rate.

Due to the popularity of the “Mastering Inbound Inquiries” session within the community, we will share Alan’s insights via a series of blog posts.

The future of domaining and navigating innovation

Additionally, Bob Mountain, GoDaddy’s VP of Business Development, gave an insightful presentation on the future challenges faced by the domain name industry. Despite potential challenges arising in the form of world events and technological advances, Bob’s presentation forged an optimistic outlook, pointing out the domain industry’s resilience and growth since the 1990s.

Fireside chat with Jimmy Wales

While most of my time was spent at the GoDaddy booth connecting with domain investors and industry participants, I did catch Domain Name Wire’s Andrew Allemann’s fireside chat with Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales.

The wide-ranging hour-long discussion touched on many subjects, from domain names to Wikipedia’s tests of implementing AI into its platform. 

Women of the Web

One of the true successes of NamesCon 2023 was the Women of the Web luncheon, a widely attended event providing a networking opportunity while celebrating and promoting the diverse contributions that each attendee has made to the industry.

Carissa Haydon (left), director of business development at GoDaddy, presenting during Women of the Web at NamesCon 2023.

GoDaddy’s director of business development, Carissa Haydon, presented a $250 Airbnb voucher to one lucky winner during the event’s raffle.

Official photos

Attendees of NamesCon may have seen the official photographer busily snapping away throughout the event. It’s something that the organizers have provided for the past few years, providing a recorded memory of the event for those that attended and those that wish they did.

The final set of photographs is now available for everyone to view via NamesCon’s Flickr account, covering three days of sessions and networking events, as well as the fun day at Bangers, a BBQ venue just a stone's throw from the Omni, which provided the perfect setting for one final get together.

We gave away an iPad Pro

Visiting GoDaddy’s booth this year offered the chance to walk away with more than just a pair of lucky GoDaddy socks. Over the course of the first three days of NamesCon, event attendees could enter our contest to win an iPad Pro.

The giveaway happened through a prize draw during Friday’s happy hour event, with over 100 people standing by eager to hear whether they had won.

James Iles presenting an iPad Pro to the contest winner, William Liani.

Ultimately, the iPad Pro, along with a pair of lucky GoDaddy socks, was won by William Liani, pictured above.

Thank you to everyone who took part in our giveaway. For those that didn’t win, we hope you helped yourself to some of the free GoDaddy swag.

NamesCon 2024

During NamesCon 2023, it was announced that the event would return to Austin between June 5 and June 8, 2024. While no other details have been released as of publishing, GoDaddy looks forward to attending NamesCon 2024 to connect with new and existing customers alike.

Of course, we’ll be bringing a new range of lucky socks with us once more.