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DOMAINfest Asia in Macau: What You Missed

DOMAINfest is an event series focused entirely on domain names and the many different people who do business with them. Founded in 2005, the events have been held all over the world to showcase the latest industry news and insight from expert speakers and panelists.

In September, DOMAINfest Asia took place at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Macau with the goal of "bridging the east and west." Here are a few of the highlights of the 4-day event.

Bridging East & West
A two-part session led by Kun Qian of Afilias discussed the opportunities between the eastern and western markets, as well as the unique challenges. The talk offered insight on government compliance, regulation, communication barriers, and ways for both markets to learn from each other to overcome the most common hurdles.

The New TLD Potential
Andee Hill of the registry Donuts and Ray King of the registry Top Level Design discussed the new opportunities in the new TLD programs. The speakers addressed the creative and marketing potential of the new domain extensions, and how they can be used to create more innovative digital branding.

Boot Camps for Registrars & Registries
Separate boot camps for both domain registries and registrars helped attendees understand the complexities of China's retail domain name market. Speakers addressed Chinese government policies, such as ICP licenses, MIIT approvals and content filtering, as well as marketing strategies for approaching Chinese registrars and targeting registrants.

Monetizing Domains
In a session named "Digital Monetization Models that Work," panelists discussed the latest methods and technologies for monetizing domain traffic and earning more from parked domain advertising.

Investor Boot Camp
For domainers at DOMAINfest, one of the key highlights of the event was "China Boot Camp: For Domain Name Investors." This session covered the current state of domaining in the East and West, as well as the impact of the declining Chinese stocks on the domain market.

Marketing Between East & West
A key session on the final day of the event provided helpful insight on effective strategies for marketing and communications in China and in the West. The talk addressed how non-Chinese businesses can approach the complex Chinese marketplace, as well as how Chinese companies should adapt their marketing for western audiences.

A domain auction also took place during DOMAINfest in partnership with 4.cn. The auction drew over $6 million in bids for 545 domains. One domain – 73.com – attracted a bid of $2.36 million, but did not sell as it didn't reach its reserve. In our next blog post, we'll look at some of the other domains that were up for grabs and the prices they fetched.

The next DOMAINfest will be held in Las Vegas as part of NamesCon in January 2016.

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