Interview with Dietmar Stefitz, Godfather of Domaining Europe

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From Domaining Europe to NamesCon Europe

The founder of Domaining Europe, discusses the future of domain conferences on the Continent as NamesCon Europe 2019 approaches.

Dietmar Stefitz, the founder of Domaining Europe, handed the reins to NamesCon last year in Valencia, but he still stays involved. Thank heavens for that, because he brings over a decade of experience in event management to the table. We got hold of him for a quick chat about how domaining on the Continent has changed, and what the future holds.

“In 2007, it was a get-together of some friends who have been in the internet business in Spain,” Dietmar tells us. “As ISPs, website designers, producers of online shops, we all had some domains for projects or from clients. At that time it had not been defined as a domain conference at all! This came later during the years, when we grew international—especially our US friends from this time like Rick Latona, Ron Jackson, and the Castello Brothers made Domaining Europe a special domain conference, and we knew that Europe is different from the rest of the world.” This, he says, is especially because of the different languages spoken in such close proximity. He also points to the rise of ccTLD’s: a whole new thing for US-based domain investors.

Setting a Course for Success

As Domaining Europe became NamesCon Europe last year, Dietmar kept a hand on the tiller to make sure the ship didn’t veer off course. “This year’s conference has been entirely produced from the crew of NamesCon and Cloudfest,” he says, “and they’ve done a great job; first in choosing Portugal and then in placing the event into the hands of Helga Neumer, who chose Cascais as the venue.”

Though primarily an event producer as opposed to a domain investor, Dietmar picked up a few tips and tricks over the years. “I personally had a few years ago some 5,000 Domains from Spain’s .es ccTLD. That was my mistake: investing all in one ccTLD! If I had to start today, I would go for .com domains and for very good, sellable new gtld’s.” His top tip: “Before buying a domain, ask yourself what it can be used. Look at other investors’ portfolios and go for a small amount of domains, which you can sell!”

What to Expect in Cascais (and Beyond)

NamesCon Europe 2019 kicks off June 20. (Registration still open) “It will be very interesting to see the live domain auction on Thursday, driven by the same experts who run the auction at Namescon Global, and I am sure this will be a great success,” says Dietmar. Then, of course, there’s the networking: “At events like Namescon Europe, the networking part is always the most important for me. Talk to people: you never know when you will need them. It is so easy to continue a contact when you have already met in person.”

Looking ahead, though, Dietmar envisions some upcoming NamesCon Europe venues: “When handing over Domaining Europe to Soeren, we agreed that the event should be held in a different country every year. So, for next year I would choose France, Italy, or if you count Switzerland as part of Europe, that also would be a great place. I am sure that Helga, Soeren, Timo, and the whole Namescon crew will find the right place for 2020!”

As NamesCon Europe evolves, we all want to maintain the soul of this special event,. For now, though, we look forward to seeing everyone in Cascais, June 20-22.

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