Oversee has had some ups and downs over the last year but they continue to remain strong and are one of the giants in the Direct Navigation business. Their Domainfest Conference starts next Tuesday. I recently asked Jeff Kupietzky to do a guest post which he was kind enough to do. Here is the post directly from Jeff.

What we saw in 2009:

2009 was a year of retrenching, not just for our industry but for businesses everywhere, thanks to economic and financial problems around the world. It’s a testament to the value of what comprises our industry that we didn’t go the way of the automakers. Online real estate is just tremendously valuable, as are the services that help people and businesses develop them.

What’s ahead for 2010:

Consolidation should play a fairly big role. Stronger players who invest well will get stronger and I believe we’ll see exits by the weaker ones. People and companies will need to be well-equipped to grow further into this space.

PPC as a stand-alone model will have to transform, and build-out is a very compelling alternative. There is a great deal of opportunity in this area. Also, we’ll begin to see development of mobile and social networking traffic—this is where everyone is spending their time and we expect to play in that area. So there will be opportunities to monetize beyond the domain name space, which is what got us to this point.

If the ICANN process can get out of its own way, we’ll see new top-level domains develop further this year. ICANN is very keen to make this happen.

Finally, I believe there will be a rise in European and Asian traffic, and they’ll be considered valid markets for advertisers and publishers to pursue. That’s already happening, but it should become more pronounced in 2010.

The future of Oversee:

We’re excited about three areas of focus and growth for us. As the leader in monetization for direct navigation (parking) we’re bullish on future optimization enhancements to improve monetization as well as the opportunity to grow outside of our traditional US base. More than half of our traffic comes from outside the US but we still get most of our revenue domestically. There’s a big opportunity to use our technological know-how to close that gap.

The second key area is leveraging our strong assets in the aftermarket and registrar area to provide continued great service for our domain clients. This includes running the best expiry-drop service, the best live and online domain auctions, customized brokerage services and the premier relationship registrar offering.

Finally, we are believers in the buildout opportunities and have begun to invest in developing tools and solutions to help build out domains. This would include using our expertise in traffic management, landing page optimization and the other capabilities needed to evolve parked pages to deeper, more involved web properties.

DOMAINfest Global
If you’ve already registered for DOMAINfest Global 2010, we’re looking forward to seeing you there. If not, there’s still time! Just register at www.domainfest.com.

The agenda, as usual, is very full and offers a great deal of value. Our keynote speaker is Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, who will share fresh thinking and insights into online customer behaviors and intelligent risk- taking.

We’re also featuring PITCHfest, a new agenda item – in this rapid-fire session, up to five hand-picked finalists publicly unveil new, alpha- or beta-stage product and service ideas for increasing website traffic and revenue. The audience will be among the first to discover new ways to build out a domain name or increase revenue at an existing site. Real-time, text-message vote decides who gets the DOMAINfest Global 2010 Service Innovator award.

And, of course, there are top-notch social events. This year we’re having a networking dinner party at The Getty Museum. DOMAINfest has exclusive access to the museum for the evening, and this event will feature great networking, fun competitions and a chance to see some of the world’s best-known art.

The event will close with DomainSponsor’s annual party. For the second year, we’re hosting the party at the Playboy Mansion. The venue and format were so popular last year, we took attendees’ advice and returned to the mansion. The event will feature fundraising for Generation Rescue, Jenny McCarthy’s foundation to find a cure for autism.

I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at DOMAINfest, and to working with others in our industry toward a productive 2010.