Today’s blog post reflects on the 2019 .au registrar summit, held just last week in South Australia. Our first summit as registry provider for .au took place last year so it was exciting to be involved in the event from an .au registry perspective again, and welcome the 43 attendees who joined us.
The event kicked off with an official pre-event function on October 9 at the hotel where we mingled over dinner, finishing up early, ready for .au bootcamp at 06:00.
Day 1: A day of collaboration
There was a great turnout at bootcamp, and we split into three groups to embark on either a casual stroll, a walk/jog stopping at workout stations along the way, or a 10km run.
After breakfast, the event began with an official opening from auDA Chair, Suzanne Ewart, who did a great job underscoring the importance of feedback in the .au ecosystem and setting the stage for an interactive discussion over the next two days. This was followed by a presentation from Patrick Donaldson, Country Manager at Afilias Australia, who presented an overview of current registry statistics and trends relating to growth and performance within the .au namespace.
The rest of the day focused on registrar feedback on updates to policies to better protect the .au namespace. Leah and Sunil from strategic consultancy group, ThinkPlace were invited to facilitate the summit and had the room set up with posters and activity packs on each table, ready for an interactive, documented discussion.
There were 6 sessions throughout day 1, broken down into key areas of interest to registrars including:
- Co-marketing program (how we work together to expand awareness and usage of .au)
- Registry systems (planned security and functionality upgrades)
- auDA-Registrar Agreement (to reflect updated policies and new security requirements)
- Afilias-Registrar Agreement (governs access to Afilias’ systems)
- Registrar Rules (requirements to validate registrant information)
- Licensing Rules (governing registrant agreements).
Day 2: Bringing it all together
Feedback from day 1 was consolidated and on day 2, Leah and Sunil presented the comments to the group to see if there was anything that had been missed, and provided a chance for attendees to elaborate on their feedback.
This was followed by a presentation on ‘Making legal a competitive advantage’, by Ben Lehman from Lehman Law, which looked at legal in a different light than registrars usually see it in. He presented a list of ideas for registrars to implement including the need to remain organised, efficient and flexible and he highlighted the importance of investing in the right people.
Chris Wright from Security Shift provided a rundown of common cybersecurity trends within Australia, and gave registrars advice on protecting their organisations and customers. Chris presented some alarming statistics, including a 55% increase in cyber attacks from 2017-18 and the total cost to Australian businesses being a whopping $1.9 billion per year.
Steph Viljoen, Compliance Manager at auDA provided an overview of “best practices” as well as an update on compliance metrics and complaints cases within .au from June-September 2019. This gave us an understanding of auDA’s processes for handling the kind of cases her team deals with on a day-to-day basis. The 2018-19 Annual report is yet to be released, but for an understanding of compliance activities please refer to last year’s report.
To finish, we took a look at some of the creative ideas behind the proposed .au branding campaign with a presentation from Belinda and Alex from the creative agency, BWM. This was well received and gave registrars an understanding of how the .au campaign will play out, along with an opportunity to provide feedback.
The 2019 .au summit was a very productive and enjoyable event, with valuable ideas and insights from .au registrars captured with the help of Leah and Sunil. Afilias Australia would like to formally thank everyone who attended, with a special thanks to auDA for supporting the event. We are very pleased to report that feedback on the 2019 summit has been overwhelmingly positive and we are eager to get started implementing the ideas gathered.
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