Show Spotlight: Email Evolution Conference

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Owner/producer: Direct Marketing Association What: DMA's inaugural conference for e-mail marketing professionals in conjunction with the Email Experience Council, its e-mail marketing arm. Where: Sheraton Hotel & Marina, San Diego, Calif. Date: Feb. 12-13, new event Floor space: 6,750 sq. ft. No. of attendees: 525 No. of exhibitors: 30 Producer comment: “It exceeded the DMA's expectations and goals for the launch event. We had more attendees than expected, and sponsorship and exhibits also exceeded our goals,” said Jodi Vaccarelli, conference manager for the DMA. “We also launched a turnkey concept in the exhibit hall, which we liken to a “bed in a bag,” in which the DMA provided booths. The exhibit booth was assembled and dismantled for them. All exhibitors needed to bring was a human body, a computer and marketing materials. DMA supplied the rest. We got good feedback from exhibito. As far as sessions, they were all filled to maximum capacity throughout the entire conference.” Exhibitor comment: “The show exceeded my expectations,” said Erin Ickes, director of marketing at Message Systems. “A few weeks out, numbers were low. But what they had were quality attendees. If someone asked me now whether I'd go next year, I'd say yes because of the engaging attendees. They asked good questions, they wanted to learn and, from my understanding, the sessions were full. These people wanted to learn. They weren't there on a boondoggle.” Breakdown: DMA launched this conference devoted to e-mail this year, including 34 educational sessions and a keynote speech by Eileen Harrington, deputy director of the Federal Trade Commission. The show is a resurrection of sorts for the DMA in the e-mail arena. Historically, it ran the Conference & Exhibition [is that official name?], which had a strong e-mail focus, during the dot-com boom; but that show went bust after the bubble burst, with its last confab in 2004. — Carol Krol
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