Attendance, exhibitors on the rise

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DM News asked Julie Hogan, acting vice president of conferences and events for the Direct Marketing Association, what she expected from the show.

Julie Hogan: A tremendous amount of research and effort went into planning this event. Growing it is important, but to do so successfully requires focusing on our core offerings, which includes providing stellar educational content and an expansive exhibit hall showcasing the latest marketing technologies and services for our attendee base, which on average has over 10 years of experience. We have more paid conference attendees today compared to this time last year, and our exhibit hall has grown by over 40 exhibiting companies.

DM News: Do you have any expected attendee numbers?

Ms. Hogan: We're expecting more than 11,000 marketers from 70 countries. Our attendance overall is up compared to last year, specifically in the total number of paid conference delegates (those attending three or six days of educational content). We're seeing an increase in new marketing practitioners who are looking for solid educational content. There are 545 exhibiting companies at DMA•06. In 2005 there were 524.

DM News: What segment of the market are they from, generally?

Ms. Hogan: The biggest growth area is in interactive, e-commerce and Web-based search capabilities. We have 85 companies in the Interactive Marketing Hall, which signifies this growth as we see direct marketers rely more on Web-based marketing. ... Traditional direct marketers are also expanding the products they offer to include digital and Web-based printing capabilities. Japs-Olson, Kodak Graphic Communications, Xerox and Hewlett-Packard are market leaders. Direct response is also strong this year.

DM News: What are you most looking forward to at the show?

Ms. Hogan: Besides being among the world's leading marketers at a world-class event, I'm extremely excited that marketing icon Sir Richard Branson will be keynoting. His brilliant marketing strategies have resulted in one of today's most legendary success stories. The Echo Awards will also be a don't-miss - this year's campaigns are reaching a broader market in more innovative ways than ever before. n

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