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A reporter's-eye view of the Direct Marketing Association convention last week in Dallas.

Interactive is the word: Andrew Cohen, president-CEO of Direct Resources International, New York, put numbers to how hot interactivity is with direct marketers. He said interactive sales generate only 1% of commerce but accounted for 12% of sessions and 40% of speakers at the Dallas DMA meeting. Phillip Broadbent, chairman-CEO of Evergreen Cos., Chandler, Ariz., said the Internet is growing at a rate of 10% a month.

How to attract a crowd: Nearly 10,000 people from 25 countries attended the Direct Marketing Association's 78th annual conference at the Dallas Convention Center. Everyone tried to grab some attention at 830 booths in the exhibition hall. Aside from more typical enticements-small giveaways and food-at least two exhibitors employed magic acts to draw people, another had a bubble-blowing clown and one used a stagecoach as a set for a hand puppet. The longest line one day of the gathering was for the starlet signing autographs.

Travel tip: Watch the clock when taking a shuttle bus from Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. There's a rule that shuttles must leave the airport within 20 minutes of picking up the first passenger. After a scenic ride around DFW-it seemed to take 20 minutes-as the only passenger, the driver halted and transferred everything on the bus to another shuttle with several people already on board. "Yes," was the reply of the second driver when asked if he was leaving immediately. And it's entirely possible to take a cab half a dozen times and never get the same company. How many cab companies are there? "Twenty-two," said one cab driver, "but they're owned by three people."

Buy this book: Stan Rapp, chairman of Cross Rapp Associates, New York, and MaxiMarketing Partner Thomas Collins are releasing another book, "The New MaxiMarketing,"available Nov. 20 from McGraw-Hill. "MaxiMarketing is the selective interaction with identified prospects and customers," Mr. Rapp said. He told Advertising Age he and Mr. Collins plan to roll out a monthly newsletter early next year, to be called The MaxiMarketing Insights.For your continued reading pleasure: Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide is touting a book by Worldwide Differential Marketing Director Garth Hallberg, "All Consumers Are Not Created Equal: The Differential Marketing Strategy for Brand Loyalty & Profits." The tome-available Nov. 3 from John Wiley & Sons-concludes it's often less than 10% or 15% of households that produce the majority of brand volume and profits.

DMA board gets new blood: Five new members were elected to the DMA board: Robert Fry, exec VP-marketing, L.L. Bean; Gary Giesler, exec VP, Arizona Mail Order Co.; Kathleen Synnott, VP-strategic alliances and marketing, Pitney Bowes; John Thomas, senior VP, Mutual of Omaha Insurance Co.; and Jonathan Ward, exec VP, R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co.

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