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MERGE is a group of DIGITAL ASSET EVENTS with a focus on current trends in a holistic manner, and different technologies, segments, and sectors.  MERGE attendees, speakers, and sponsors can audit different but adjacent technology disciplines and build meaningful ROLODEX DIVERSITY while exploring new regions of opportunity.

MERGE will take place within the entirety of the Grand Ballroom space at the Hilton Lake Buena Vista, located in Orlando, Florida.

Registered attendees will be treated to a variety of content that comes from the different shows and events and group meetings that are occurring during MERGE, as well as keynotes, panels and networking activities.

Interested in sponsoring? There are some last-minute options available.

Meanwhile, check out MERGE.SHOW for more information, and stay tuned!

[Please note, Schedule may be subject to small changes]

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Friday, September 14
 

2:00pm EDT

Early Expo Hall Setup (Sponsors Only)
Early Booth and Expo Setup (closed to public) 

Friday September 14, 2018 2:00pm - 10:00pm EDT
THE EXPO HALLS Foyers and Salon 4-5, Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)

5:30pm EDT

Connection Groups / Dinner Arrangements
Arrivals and early networking are a fantastic way to get a great start to your conference.  Sometimes leaving the arrival dinner open to serendipity works out well.  For those who would like some assistance in connecting with others to meet for dinner, use the form link "ENGAGE" to be connected with others who are arriving Friday for dining groups at venue or Disney Springs Restaurants.

We have the 'engage' tool for setting up plans in advance, but if you prefer to leave plans up to serendipity, you might find great Dinner company either at Jon T's Lounge (located in the corner of the lobby) or over at the foyer just outside Salon 4/5 as Sponsors are setting up their booths.

Friday September 14, 2018 5:30pm - 8:30pm EDT
Various - Disney Springs
 
Saturday, September 15
 

7:00am EDT

Expo Hall Setup (Sponsors Only)
EXPO Hall setup for booths, banners, and other sponsoring participants.  NOT OPEN TO PUBLIC

Saturday September 15, 2018 7:00am - 11:45am EDT
THE EXPO HALLS Foyers and Salon 4-5, Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)

9:00am EDT

Registration Desk Open
Saturday September 15, 2018 9:00am - 5:00pm EDT
THE REGISTRATION DESK Salon Foyer, Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs
  Conference, Registration Desk

12:00pm EDT

Welcome Ceremony
Join us as we welcome the attendees to the second annual MERGE and CMS Summit, fifth THE Domain Conference, and launch the TLDFest and SubMerge/Subbox conferences with the MERGE Blockchain and MERGE Security brands.

Speakers
avatar for Jothan Frakes

Jothan Frakes

Executive Director, TheDNA
Jothan Frakes, Executive Director of the Domain Name Association, works tirelessly to engage, educate and evangelize the use and value of domain names as critical Internet infrastructure.He is also the co-founder of the MERGE.SHOW and CEO of ICANN-Accredited Registrar $$$ Private... Read More →
avatar for Ray Neu

Ray Neu

Co-Founder, MERGE! Show
avatar for Jason Nickerson

Jason Nickerson

Founder, CMS Summit
Open Source Evangelist


Saturday September 15, 2018 12:00pm - 12:15pm EDT
0: Escrow.com Keynote Hall Salon 6-8, Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)
  MERGE, Networking

12:45pm EDT

EXPOSITIONS AND EXHIBITS
Saturday September 15, 2018 12:45pm - 5:00pm EDT
THE EXPO HALLS Foyers and Salon 4-5, Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)

12:45pm EDT

1:00pm EDT

Lunch Break - (here are some locations to try)
Break for lunch - Attendees have a variety of options to select from to buy their lunches at.  Try Rum Largo out by the pool for appetizers, salads and sandwiches.  Alternatively, Covington Mills has an Ala Carte menu from 7am-3pm

Click here for a list of Hotel Restaurants

Saturday September 15, 2018 1:00pm - 2:00pm EDT
│Conference │ Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)

5:00pm EDT

Rock the Cash Bar : Cocktails in the Expo Hall
Schmooze and network with other conference attendees, sponsors, speakers and guests amidst the lovely glow of our amazing and vibrant sponsor booths.

Please note this is a no-host activity.


Saturday September 15, 2018 5:00pm - 8:00pm EDT
THE EXPO HALLS Foyers and Salon 4-5, Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)
 
Sunday, September 16
 

9:00am EDT

Registration Desk Open
Sunday September 16, 2018 9:00am - 5:30pm EDT
THE REGISTRATION DESK Salon Foyer, Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs
  Conference, Registration Desk

10:00am EDT

EXPOSITIONS AND EXHIBITS
Sunday September 16, 2018 10:00am - 12:45pm EDT
THE EXPO HALLS Foyers and Salon 4-5, Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)

10:00am EDT

Speaker Green Room and Conference Organizer Space
Need some quiet space for a meeting, catching up on email, or important discussions?  This is the place


Sunday September 16, 2018 10:00am - 12:45pm EDT
3: DNA Lounge / VIP Meeting Room Salon 3, Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)

11:15am EDT

Using Wordpress Effectively with Multiple Domains
Speakers
avatar for Kellie Peterson

Kellie Peterson

Automattic


Sunday September 16, 2018 11:15am - 12:00pm EDT
0: Escrow.com Keynote Hall Salon 6-8, Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)
  MERGE, Keynote

12:15pm EDT

Embracing SaaS - PANEL
Software as a service is a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted. SaaS has become a common delivery model for many business applications, including office software, messaging software, payroll processing software, DBMS software, management software, CAD software, development software, gamification, virtualization, accounting, collaboration, customer relationship management (CRM), Management Information Systems (MIS), enterprise resource planning (ERP), invoicing, human resource management (HRM), talent acquisition, learning management systems, content management (CM), and service desk management.SaaS has been incorporated into the strategy of nearly all leading enterprise software companies.

Moderators
avatar for Duke Speer

Duke Speer

Chief Coffee Distributor, The Elevating Project

Speakers
avatar for Gev Balyan

Gev Balyan

Founder, Ucraft
Gev Balyan is the founder of Ucraft. He has extensive experience in CMSs and in the democratization of web development. Gev also has special interest in user experience and search engine optimization. He has limitless energy that passes to all the members of his awesome team.
avatar for Justin Davis

Justin Davis

Founder, CrowdSync
Justin Davis is a user experience designer and founder of Madera Labs and CrowdSync. A veteran technologist with nearly 20 years experience in designing and building digital products, Justin has worked with companies like Google, Coke Zero and Bic to help design compelling product... Read More →
avatar for Robert Jacobi

Robert Jacobi

Executive Vice President, Perfect Dashboard
Robert Jacobi is Executive Vice President, Sales for Perfect Dashboard, the leading WordPress security and update solution. Robert has been in the content management and hosting support space for over 20 years professionally, as well as contributor and President of the open source... Read More →
avatar for Nikolay Nedev

Nikolay Nedev

Business Development, Ranking Coach
Nikolay Nedev has a played key role in Business Development at rankingCoach for the past 2 years. Having over 12 years of experience in IaaS and PaaS, Nikolay previously managed a hosting partner program that covers almost 90 Countries worldwide.Being an expert in Business Development... Read More →


Sunday September 16, 2018 12:15pm - 1:00pm EDT
0: Escrow.com Keynote Hall Salon 6-8, Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)

12:15pm EDT

Who Moved My Editor? Addressing Gutenberg Facts and Fears.
Change is hard. For a developer, change to our workflow is harder. In his book, “Who moved my cheese?” Dr. Spencer Johnson uses an allegory to teach healthy coping mechanisms for change.

When it comes to choosing a CMS, developers rely upon the tool we’re most familiar with. Traditionally, WordPress doesn’t make breaking changes. But with the upcoming release of the Gutenberg editor in WordPress 5.0, how can we realistically adjust both our attitudes and our workflows?

What if WordPress forks? What if it forks several times? How do page builders fit into a Gutenberg world? How will my favorite plugins adapt? Will my clients’ sites break? It’s okay to ask questions. Learning to anticipate, monitor, and adapt to change leads us to a healthy place of positive acceptance. In this talk, we will spend some time discussing the actual risk-benefit assessment of WordPress 5.0. You will leave with a better outlook -- guaranteed.

Speakers
avatar for Mike Demopoulos

Mike Demopoulos

Evangelist, BoldGrid
Mike “Demo” Demopoulos is the Treasurer for Open Source Matters and the co-oraganizer for JoomlaDay Minnesota. He is also a member of the Joomla Finance and World Conference teams. Currently Mike travels the world as an evangelist for Joomla, inMotion Hosting and BoldGrid.Twitter... Read More →


Sunday September 16, 2018 12:15pm - 1:00pm EDT
2: EMOJI Breakout Room Salon 2, Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)
  CMS Summit, Panel or Presentation

12:45pm EDT

Lunch Break - (here are some locations to try)
Break for lunch - Attendees have a variety of options to select from to buy their lunches at.  Try Rum Largo out by the pool for appetizers, salads and sandwiches.  Alternatively, Covington Mills has an Ala Carte menu from 7am-3pm

Click here for a list of Hotel Restaurants

Sunday September 16, 2018 12:45pm - 2:00pm EDT
│Conference │ Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)

1:45pm EDT

EXPOSITIONS AND EXHIBITS
Sunday September 16, 2018 1:45pm - 6:00pm EDT
THE EXPO HALLS Foyers and Salon 4-5, Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)

1:45pm EDT

3:15pm EDT

Crucial E-commerce Trends That Impact Your Business
E-commerce is changing the business landscape. Learn about global trends that are impacting businesses globally, including the Amazon effect. Take away actionable insights to leverage e-commerce in your company.

Speakers

Sunday September 16, 2018 3:15pm - 4:15pm EDT
1: ICA Breakout Room Salon 1, Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)

3:15pm EDT

TOSI VS. GDPR VS. WHOIS PRIVACY - HOW IS THE DOMAIN INVESTOR AFFECTED?
WHOIS, WHAT WAS, and WHAT THE.  Have you noticed that the recent GDPR deadline of May 25th made it harder to figure out who owns a domain name?

Balancing the national laws that impact the discussions, Registries and Registrars are subject to contracts with ICANN, and the whole thing is a sweet, hot mess, where issues that were not possible to solve in decades are being forced to resolution in a very short term.

Have you heard of the "Transparent, Open and Secure Internet Act of 2018"?  The US Congress is being led by whois mining companies to enact law that makes it illegal to comply with the GDPR, in order to reset WHOIS information to WHAT WAS before May 25, 2018.



Moderators
avatar for Jothan Frakes

Jothan Frakes

Executive Director, TheDNA
Jothan Frakes, Executive Director of the Domain Name Association, works tirelessly to engage, educate and evangelize the use and value of domain names as critical Internet infrastructure.He is also the co-founder of the MERGE.SHOW and CEO of ICANN-Accredited Registrar $$$ Private... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Ari  Goldberger

Ari Goldberger

Counsel, ESQwire.com PC
Ari Goldberger is an entrepreneur and lawyer who created the Internet law firmESQwire.com and is the founder and CEO of the best name in healthcare, MD.com. After graduating with honors from Rutgers Law School, in 1992 Ari began practicing as a litigator with Pepper Hamilton, LLC... Read More →
avatar for Gerald Levine

Gerald Levine

Partner, Levine Samuel, LLP
avatar for Steve Lieberman

Steve Lieberman

Attorney, Greenberg & Lieberman
Intellectual Property, Bicycling, Gadgets, Tech
avatar for Zak Muscovitch

Zak Muscovitch

Lawyer, DNattorney.com
Zak Muscovitch is the principal of The Muscovitch Law Firm which operates DNattorney.com. Zak has practiced international domain name law since 1999.Zak represents parties in domain name leasing transactions and has completed leasing arrangements for domain names valued in the millions... Read More →


Sunday September 16, 2018 3:15pm - 4:15pm EDT
0: Escrow.com Keynote Hall Salon 6-8, Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)

4:30pm EDT

Jeff Sass: Branding Lessons - From Monster Movies to Domain Names
Jeff SassAn established and successful chief marketing officer and entrepreneur, once upon a time Jeff Sass spent seven years making low-budget action/horror films for legendary independent movie studio Troma, home of THE TOXIC AVENGER. It turns out there are a lot of similarities between film making and starting companies, and the lessons Jeff learned making B-movies have served him well in the C-Suite.
"Everything I Know about Business and Marketing, I Learned from The Toxic Avenger (One Man’s Journey to Hell’s Kitchen and Back)" is full of practical business and marketing insight and inspiration drawn from the often comical trials and tribulations of creating cult-classic independent films. Sass shares lessons learned from his experiences ranging from RABID GRANNIES to READING RAINBOW (yes, at one time Troma actually represented licensing rights to the Emmy Award–Winning PBS TV series!), and he cleverly turns his tales of movie making mayhem into useful nuggets of business and marketing wisdom applicable to any industry, including yours.

Speakers
avatar for Jeff Sass

Jeff Sass

DotClub



Sunday September 16, 2018 4:30pm - 5:30pm EDT
0: Escrow.com Keynote Hall Salon 6-8, Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)
  MERGE, Keynote

5:30pm EDT

Larry Fischer's "Registered or Not Registered"
Larry Fisher invented a game show - where the audience competes for prizes while guessing which of the domain names listed are 'Registered or Not Registered'.  Sounds crazy, but it is CRAZY FUN!

This fun, lively activity is very popular at conferences and a perfect bookend to the day's activities before enjoying cocktails and evening networking, and Larry's careful curation and fun presentation style makes these a truly special part of the whole MERGE experience.

Speakers

Sunday September 16, 2018 5:30pm - 6:15pm EDT
0: Escrow.com Keynote Hall Salon 6-8, Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)
 
Monday, September 17
 

9:00am EDT

EXPOSITIONS AND EXHIBITS
Monday September 17, 2018 9:00am - 1:00pm EDT
THE EXPO HALLS Foyers and Salon 4-5, Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)

9:00am EDT

10:00am EDT

Keynote: Rob Fazio
Speakers
avatar for Dr. Rob Fazio

Dr. Rob Fazio

OnPoint Advising
Keynote Speech: Motivational Currency®: The Psychology of Success Everyone is coin operated, it’s just a matter of knowing what coins motivate you and the peoplethat you want to influence. In the Merge Show’s featured Keynote Address, Dr. Fazio, fromOnPoint Advising, will engage... Read More →


Monday September 17, 2018 10:00am - 10:45am EDT
0: Escrow.com Keynote Hall Salon 6-8, Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)

11:00am EDT

Plenary Panel - Cryptocurrency/Blockchain - Practical Benefits and Where To Use It, Where Not To
Crypto and Blockchain offer a number of benefits and advantages.  

Blockchain has many benefits.  Also, it has many costs and implications.  It is certainly more than a buzzword when the time comes to actually do the work, and there are areas where the advantages of Blockchain may or may not be an ideal fit.

Learn from these experts about the interesting ways these are working and how to decide what aspects of projects and systems are a good fit for leveraging some of the benefits of Blockchain - and those which are not ready for the power consumption, processing costs and other considerations.

Moderators
avatar for Ken Hansen

Ken Hansen

Farsight Security, Inc.

Speakers
avatar for Bianca Diosdado

Bianca Diosdado

CEO, Quire
Bianca Diosdado currently serves as the CEO of both Octagon Talent Solutions and Quire Blockchain Consulting Services. Within 6 years, she tore up the Agency ladder starting as a Technical Recruiter at Octagon Technology Staffing, moving to Director of IT Recruitment and eventually acquiring the company, becoming the CEO. Her passion for technology and education has... Read More →
avatar for James Drake

James Drake

CEO, Embermine
avatar for Michael Palage

Michael Palage

President, Pharos Global
Michael Palage is on the board of directors of the Blockchain Special Interest Group at the Internet Society (ISOC.ORG).Mr. Palage is an intellectual property attorney and an information technology consultant. He holds a BSc in Electrical Engineering and JD in Law and is a founder... Read More →
avatar for Christa Taylor

Christa Taylor

CEO, dotTBA Inc.
Christa Taylor is passionate about new gTLDs and their impact on the internet, she has launched new gTLDs, supported over 50 new gTLDs applicants, ranging from small companies to some of the largest brands in the world, developed business strategies, marketing and promotional strategies... Read More →


Monday September 17, 2018 11:00am - 12:00pm EDT
0: Escrow.com Keynote Hall Salon 6-8, Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)

12:00pm EDT

Lunch Break - (here are some locations to try)
Break for lunch - Attendees have a variety of options to select from to buy their lunches at.  Try Rum Largo out by the pool for appetizers, salads and sandwiches.  Alternatively, Covington Mills has an Ala Carte menu from 7am-3pm

Click here for a list of Hotel Restaurants

Monday September 17, 2018 12:00pm - 1:00pm EDT
│Conference │ Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)

1:00pm EDT

Digital Marketing in 2018 - what works and why
What are the trends in digital marketing in the last 12 months and how will they look for the next 12-48 months? Why is the past important, the present unclear and the future exciting!

Speakers
avatar for Nikolay Nedev

Nikolay Nedev

Business Development, Ranking Coach
Nikolay Nedev has a played key role in Business Development at rankingCoach for the past 2 years. Having over 12 years of experience in IaaS and PaaS, Nikolay previously managed a hosting partner program that covers almost 90 Countries worldwide.Being an expert in Business Development... Read More →


Monday September 17, 2018 1:00pm - 2:00pm EDT
2: EMOJI Breakout Room Salon 2, Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)

3:00pm EDT

EXPOSITIONS AND EXHIBITS
Monday September 17, 2018 3:00pm - 6:00pm EDT
THE EXPO HALLS Foyers and Salon 4-5, Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)

3:00pm EDT

3:15pm EDT

Keynote: Chad Bennett - "Blockchain Based Cybersecurity. How cryptocurrency can enable the future of cyber protection."
"Blockchain Based Cybersecurity. How cryptocurrency can enable the future of cyber protection."

Speakers
avatar for Chad Bennett

Chad Bennett

CEO, Chief Architect, Heroic.com
Chad is a technology visionary with 15+ years of professional cybersecurity experience. As CEO of multiple technology companies, Chad and his teams have been recognized three-times as Inc. 500 Fastest-Growing Private Company honorees.


Monday September 17, 2018 3:15pm - 4:00pm EDT
0: Escrow.com Keynote Hall Salon 6-8, Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)

7:30pm EDT

ICA / DNA / BRG Dinner @ Benihana LBV
The Internet Commerce Association, Brand Registry Group and the Domain Name Association are organizing a dinner during the MERGE conference for our members, prospective members, invited guests and interested parties.  

Meet, greet, and eat with some amazing people from throughout the industry of domain names, digital investment and website development.

!!!! IMPORTANT:  PLEASE USE THE "ENGAGE" BUTTON  TO RSVP !!!!
(This helps us determine headcount for the activity - not mandatory, you can also just show up)

We have attached the menus for your convenience.    
"LBV Benihana 2018- Group Menu Brochure - 11.2017.pdf" is the main one, the others offer details on each group menu.

Please note, this activity is a 'no host' event, guests will be responsible for their own bill.  Please see the menus for the package pricing, and costs or charges associated.

Speakers
avatar for Jothan Frakes

Jothan Frakes

Executive Director, TheDNA
Jothan Frakes, Executive Director of the Domain Name Association, works tirelessly to engage, educate and evangelize the use and value of domain names as critical Internet infrastructure.He is also the co-founder of the MERGE.SHOW and CEO of ICANN-Accredited Registrar $$$ Private... Read More →
avatar for Kamila Sekiewicz

Kamila Sekiewicz

Executive Director, The Internet Commerce Association
Kamila has 10 years of prior experience in the domain industry in account management and business development roles with Sedo and NameDrive. In these roles, Kamila gained extensive experience relating to premium domain brokerage and domain parking and routinely engaged with domain... Read More →



Monday September 17, 2018 7:30pm - 9:30pm EDT
│Conference │ Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)
 
Tuesday, September 18
 

9:15am EDT

Keynote: Stefan Pretty, CEO Subbly.co: "Bootstrappers Do It Better"
"Bootstrappers Do It Better"

Speakers
avatar for Stefan Pretty

Stefan Pretty

CEO, Subbly.co
Stefan Pretty is a Scottish entrepreneur, and current CEO & Founder of Subbly - the subscription ecommerce platform. Stefan is a bootstrapper and Subbly is his 6th rendition (we think!). Having worked so closely with big and small subscription box businesses whilst working on Subbly... Read More →


Tuesday September 18, 2018 9:15am - 10:00am EDT
0: Escrow.com Keynote Hall Salon 6-8, Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)

10:00am EDT

EXPOSITIONS AND EXHIBITS
Tuesday September 18, 2018 10:00am - 1:30pm EDT
THE EXPO HALLS Foyers and Salon 4-5, Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)

10:00am EDT

Speaker Green Room and Conference Organizer Space

Tuesday September 18, 2018 10:00am - 1:30pm EDT
3: DNA Lounge / VIP Meeting Room Salon 3, Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)

1:15pm EDT

Lunch Break - (here are some locations to try)
Break for lunch - Attendees have a variety of options to select from to buy their lunches at.  Try Rum Largo out by the pool for appetizers, salads and sandwiches.  Alternatively, Covington Mills has an Ala Carte menu from 7am-3pm

Click here for a list of Hotel Restaurants

Tuesday September 18, 2018 1:15pm - 2:15pm EDT
│Conference │ Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)

2:00pm EDT

Soap.Club and eCommerce / Shopify / Amazon Stores
Speakers
avatar for Norman Farrar

Norman Farrar

Norman Farrar a.k.a. The Amazon Growth Guy, paved his path to make the most of theAmazon marketplace, long before it became with world's favorite place to shop.Since the early 1990s, he has been involved with a multitude of businesses ranging fromcorporate identity, manufacturing... Read More →


Tuesday September 18, 2018 2:00pm - 3:00pm EDT
0: Escrow.com Keynote Hall Salon 6-8, Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)

6:00pm EDT

Exhibit Takedown / Packing
Tuesday September 18, 2018 6:00pm - 8:00pm EDT
THE EXPO HALLS Foyers and Salon 4-5, Hilton LBV @ Disney Springs (Orlando, FL)
 

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