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Why Not Start a Company To Market Domains At Industry Trade Shows?

February 23, 2012

While doing some research this morning I came across a post from Elliot’s Blog about marketing domains at trade shows.  This made me remember that I actually have tried this idea before, in July of 2010 at HostingCon in Austin TX.

I’d been planning to attend anyway, and the idea struck me that I might be able to pick up some good web hosting domains off the domain forums, in the hopes of flipping them to end-users at the conference.

About a week or so before the show, I posted a Domains Wanted thread at NamePros.  Of the domains for sale that I received from other NamePros members, I wasn’t feeling super confident about my ability to flip any of them for a profit.  So rather than take on the risk of purchasing the domains, I instead offered to try to broker them for the sellers while at the show.

Every one of the sellers that I pitched the idea to were on board for me to market their domains, so with that I made up the following postcard that you see below using MS Publisher.

marketing domains at hostingcon 2010

LOOK ... at these mediocre domains.

I believe I printed up 100 copies on my little home office printer using postcard stock which I bought from Office Depot, and used them as collateral to give to potential end-users.

Although I failed to sell any domains, it was not for lack of trying.

That isn’t to say that I think this can’t work.  In fact I’m pretty confident it could, under the right circumstances.  If you look at the domains there on the postcard, there just isn’t enough quality, perhaps with the exception of VPSHost.net. I’m sure more premium domains would have had a better shot.

I would love to see someone explore this as a new business model.  I’ve thought about it myself, but really don’t have the means right now.  That and I don’t particularly care to fly.

But for someone that loves to travel (and doesn’t mind flying), is good in sales, and has the connections to procure top tier domains to broker, I see a great opportunity here.  In terms of domain sales marketing, I’d say its virgin territory.

This would involve a bit of overhead, considering airfare and conference passes are not cheap, but where else are you going to be able to access such a targeted group of end-users face to face, all of whom are there to do one thing:  business.

Oh, make that two things: do business, and party! 🙂

I don’t know about you but aside from business, when I think of industry trade shows, I think of good food, open bars, and after parties.

For an energetic young guy or gal in this industry who can handle an aggressive travel schedule this could be a rewarding opportunity.

Not only that, in the domain industry we’re always talking about how essential it is for end-users to become educated on the value of domains.  What better way to do it than by bringing the education to their door.  Here’s a list of shows to get you started.

What do you think?.

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