@d:Tech Execs: 233 Paid Delegates

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LOS ANGELES -- Add @d:Tech Los Angeles to the list of trade shows suffering dwindling attendance as a result of dot-com meltdown.

"It's pretty flat," Rebecca Anderson, principal of marketing communications firm RBA Communications, Valencia, CA, said of the show's second day here yesterday. "Some of the folks we've talked to have been disappointed with foot traffic and the quality of the attendees."

Updated information supplied yesterday by @d:Tech indicates that only 233 delegates have paid full board: either $1,295 or $1,695, depending on when they registered. Among free attendees, the press contingent was 73 and speakers 104.

Exhibitors, on the other hand, had 647 registrants, who entered free by virtue of paying for a 100- or 200-square-foot booth, and, in some cases, bigger. This time, 102 companies exhibited at the show.

But the biggest lot of attendees, according to @d:Tech organizer Imark Communications, Natick, MA, was consumers who paid $50 to simply walk the exhibition floor and had no access to sessions: 2,527. Whether demographic information was collected on the walk-ins was not available at press time.

"After the show, we'll be able to verify everybody who showed up on site," said Imark general manager Joel Davis.

The show's second day definitely had more foot traffic than day one. A keynote session on online banners by Richy Glassberg, chairman/CEO of Phase2Media, New York, drew about 200 people.

Smaller sessions, meant to seat between 40 and 70 people, were at 60 percent to 80 percent capacity.

Some show attendees were OK with the agenda and attendance; others were not.

"If you compare it with [@d:Techs of] last year, it's much more a sales pitch," said Michael Mrazek, CEO of interactive agency Net Communication Management gmbh, who flew in from Salzburg, Austria. "Last year's presentation were much more about the content and not about selling a product."

Jason McNamara, chief technology officer at rich media marketing company Dynamics Direct Inc., West Hills, CA, didn't blame @d:Tech but said it's just a sign of the times.

"Not just the whole market's down, but also online advertising," he said. "It's not fair to put the blame on @d:Tech. However, we need to rejuvenate the enthusiasm in the online advertising space."

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