Recently, I returned from NamesCon in Las Vegas. After dragging my butt around the house for several days as my body calibrated back into a normal functioning human state, and the second-hand smoke and first-hand advice I received at the craps tables expelled through my pores, I was left with an unexpected feeling of satisfaction. A far cry from the “why-did-I-stay-that-extra-night” feeling following previous years.
But I couldn’t pinpoint why I felt such a level of fulfillment, so I put my 25 year old psyche 101 course to work and explored my inner self to find out. My mental sleuthing wasn’t overly complex, but it did require a glass a rye and some Miles Davis to kick start it.
I quickly realized despite having attended this event two out of its three previous years, this one was much different. You could feel it in the air. It was palpable.
After several hours of the melodic, introspective and intimacy of Miles’ horn and the few fingers of rye, of course, I had it narrowed down. Was this overwhelming positive effect of the event due to any of the following?
- This year I was a sponsor, as opposed to just another hungover attendee.
- Last year I was with a registrar, this year a registry and the new and exciting .blog extension.
- The calibre of speakers like Matt Mullenweg of Automattic and Elliot Noss of Tucows.
- The fact that the industry is diversifying. I have been going to industry events for many, many years and for the most part I would see the same faces. This year many new faces and more women attendees, which is always good to see.
- This year I walked with $100 USD to the good. Previous years I left with lint, a headache, and many times poorer than when I arrived.
It might have been any of these reasons, I thought. Then it hit me like the first time I heard Davis and Coltrane play together. The reason this NamesCon felt so special was because it was so special.
This marked the end of an era. Most likely it was the last show for all current NamesCon founders and team members as we know it since NamesCon was sold to WHD in the fall.
And so they went all out, putting on the best show yet. I raise my not yet empty glass to Richard, Johan, James, Terri and the rest of the team for making this NamesCon a most memorable one. Thank you!
P.S. WHD you have BIG shoes to fill.