Appearing before an audience of reporters and dignitaries, London panelists (from left to right) Kevin Murphy, Lesley Cowley, Lorna Gradden, and Rod Beckstrom weigh in on the risks and opportunities of the coming new generic top-level domains.
ICANN hosted a series of public information sessions in three European capitals during the week of 19 September, part of its commitment to engage with the Internet community on the coming expansion of new generic Top Level Domains.
Events in London, Paris, and Berlin provided an opportunity for interested parties to ask questions and openly discuss all aspects of the program. A series of high-level media interviews complemented the events in all three cities.
The events kicked off with a breakfast panel discussion on Tuesday, 20 September, at the offices of Edelman PR in London. Panelists included Rod Beckstrom (CEO, ICANN), Lesley Cowley OBE (CEO, Nominet), Lorna Gradden (Director, Com Laude) and journalist and blogger, Kevin Murphy (DomainIncite.com).
The audience, which included members of the press, listened and participated in a discussion on a number of new gTLD issues with particular interest in the newest version of the Applicant Guidebook, which had been released the previous day.
Wednesday in Paris began with a breakfast by influential French "think tank," Renaissance Numérique, with communication, advertising, and branding professionals attending.
A luncheon followed at Paris' Scribe Hotel. Ten journalists from France's key business publications and newswires, along with members of the Internet community and representatives from the business community, participated in a broad discussion on new gTLDs. ICANN's Rod Beckstrom moderated the conversation, assisted by Edelman's Christophe Ginisty and Liz Williams from gTLD consultancy, Sedari.
On Thursday, ICANN's "road show" moved to Berlin for a mid-morning panel discussion, which included Jamie Hedlund, ICANN's Vice President of Government Affairs – Americas, and Oliver Süme, Board member of .eco, the Association of the German Internet Industry.
Issues discussed included the application guidelines for the new gTLD program, fees, implications and opportunities for companies and brands.
Participants from the audience included brand owners as well as potential applicants for city gTLDs and other bids. Several journalists attended as well.
ICANN's effort is well underway to make the world more aware of the opportunities and challenges that new gTLDs could bring. Watch ICANN.ORG for further updates about events around the world.