Thursday, June 26, 2008

DMA in Las Vegas

Most direct marketers are aware of the big conference for our industry--that is the Direct Marketing Association's annual event, always in October, always filled with networking and lots of partying.

What this event (sadly) is NOT known for is the quality of the education and seminars. The reputation in the past has been that big firms that support the DMA (by sending hordes of employees to the show, and by renting those mega-size multiple-booth exhibit spaces) seem to land all of the choice speaking gigs. And, you know what that results in--boring Powerpoint speeches that typically are no more than a long plug for the direct marketing vendor.

You tend to see the same speakers from the same companies, year after year, after year.

Well, dare I say it? It appears that the next conference just might be a welcome change! Yesterday's DMA press release about the event touts (gasp!) a line-up of client-side speakers. Microsoft, Wyndham Worldwide Hotels, Aetna, The Hartford, Liberty Mutual Auto Insurance, AT&T. Some big marketers, there--and from a fairly wide variety of industries, B2B and B2C.

Hmmm. I may just spring for the full boat admission this year!

Direct Marketing is changing so much. We are adding so many new disciplines--mobile marketing, social media--to name just two examples of what I'm talking about. And, all of us are grappling over how to incorporate these new channels (or even integrate the traditional channels). If the DMA can step it up, turn their conference into an exciting event where real learning (and not just lots of parties) happens, they can really grab lots of new members from the emerging disciplines.

I'm already looking forward to October. Viva Las Vegas!

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