*Late Mailing Registers Smaller Conference Audience

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CHICAGO -- Traditionally viewed as a relatively small gathering, the fall Direct Marketing to Business show that took place here may have had an even smaller attendance level this year.

The reason: registration mailings that went out "slightly later" than they were scheduled to be mailed.

"I believe that it did have a slightly negative impact on the turnout for the show," said a spokesperson for Intertec Exhibitions, Stamford, CT, the company responsible for marketing and overseeing the operation of the show. The official attendance total was unavailable.

The conference featured 55 exhibitors, who described traffic as being "very slow" throughout most of the day. But Intertec and the Direct Marketing Association said that may have been due to the focus of the majority of the attendees at business-to-business shows, who are very specific on what they are there for, which, according to both, is the sessions.

"I don't see a lot of the people that I usually see at the BTB shows," said Marc Klein, director of sales at SC Fulfillment Services, Monroe, WI.

For DigitalConvergence.com, Dallas, this was one of the company's first shows of any kind and it reported a positive experience.

"The important thing for us is to get people to see the technology that we are offering," said David Abbott, vice president of catalog marketing at DigitalConvergence. "The quantity and quality of leads that we have gotten so far has been very good. The people coming by have run the gamut from hi-tech corporations to ad agencies."

Some attendees had a mixed response.

"The exhibit floor has been open all day, but the sessions have also been running, so maybe that's where people are right now," said Hans Dalmolen, strategic account marketing representative at Modern Marketing Concepts, Endicott, NY. "I think the traffic will pick up once the sessions stop. It's been a good group of people that have stopped by so far, but there just hasn't been that many."

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