***Changed Exhibit Floor Hours Get Mixed Reviews at Fall Show

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NEW ORLEANS -- Though many exhibitors here at the DMA fall show were pleased with the floor traffic at yesterday's early opening of the exhibit hall, some were not as happy.

"Traffic has been really good," said Matt Musikar, accounts manager at AZ Marketing Services, Cos Cob, CT. "A lot better than the catalog show."

In response to past complaints from exhibitors about slow floor traffic on Wednesday, the DMA decided to open the hall Sunday afternoon and close it Tuesday.

Opening the hall early was especially good for attracting people who will spend the majority of the conference attending sessions, said Roger Hiyama, vice president of direct e-commerce at Shop2U.com, Fairfax, VA.

Despite the increased traffic, some exhibitors questioned the lead potential among those walking the floor.

John Kieny, director of strategic business development at Merkafon, Omaha, NE, said that although he got three or four solid leads, probably only 20 percent to 25 percent of those walking the floor wore attendee badges. Most were delegates and exhibitors, he added.

Carol Meyers, vice president of marketing at Unica Corp., Lincoln, MA, agreed and said that most of the traffic she noticed consisted of other exhibitors.

Jerry Bernhart of Bernhart Associates, a direct marketing recruitment firm, said he spoke to several clients and "they did not think the floor traffic justified a full booth presence on Sunday."

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