DMA confab set for Big Easy

The Direct Marketing Association's 83rd Annual Conference & Exhibition is set to get underway at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, from Oct. 15-18....

The Direct Marketing Association’s 83rd Annual Conference & Exhibition is set to get underway at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, from Oct. 15-18.

Attendance for this year’s event is expected to surpass that of last year’s conference, which drew 14,500 delegates, exhibitors, speakers and media to Toronto. Citing logistical problems, including a dearth of available hotel space and poor access to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the DMA has indicated that it will no longer hold its annual event in Toronto, one of five cities on the DMA’s conference circuit. The other cities are Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas and New Orleans.

This year’s conference features more than 140 concurrent sessions in six tracks, including database tools and technology, creative and production, and business-to-business direct marketing.

Keynote speakers include DMA president and CEO Robert Wientzen; Christopher Locke, co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto, a recently published book that challenges many assumptions about the nature of marketing in a digital world; and Dr. Peter Sealey of the Haas School of Business, and the Center for Marketing and Technology, University of California-Berkeley, whose topic is entitled ‘The Power of the Brand’.

This year’s Hall of Fame Awards luncheon and presentation features former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich discussing how the issues of globalization, technology development and the outcome of the 2000 U.S. presidential election will directly affect marketers.

Also featured will be talk show host Larry King, moderating a panel that includes U.S. PostMaster General William J. Hendersen and Bob Wehling, global marketing officer of Procter & Gamble, who will be debating the role of direct mail in the digitally charged future, as well as consumer privacy and the impact it could have on the Internet’s success as a marketing tool, and how to be an ethical marketer in a global economy.

As has become tradition, the DMA’s ECHO Awards, which recognize outstanding direct marketing campaigns from around the world, will be presented on the first official day of the conference, Sunday, Oct. 15. The host and Master of Ceremonies for this year’s event is stand-up comedian Wayne Brady.

Again, as per tradition, the DMA’s annual conference features a series of four pre-conference weekend events that include a full roster of keynote speakers, concurrent sessions and networking receptions. The areas of focus for the weekend sessions are business-to-business, catalogue and global direct marketing, as well as all aspects of direct marketing creative design and execution.

For full conference details, including individual session descriptions and registration information, please visit www.the-dma.org/dmaannual. DB