DMA postpones B2B Lead Generation Conf.

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The Direct Marketing Association won't be holding its B2B Lead Generation Conference in 2009, which had been scheduled for April 6-9 in New Orleans and was to be co-presented by BtoB Magazine.

The news is “a real loss for business-to-business marketers because demand generation is at the core of much of what they do,” said Gary Slack, vice chairman of the Business Marketing Association and chief experience officer at agency Slack Barshinger.

However, a growing number of organizations have started offering BTB conferences with a lead generation theme in recent years – including MarketSherpa and MarketingProfs – while the audience for these events has remained level, according to Slack. “Generally speaking, they are all very good events, including the DMA's conference. It is a shame that one of them had to go by the wayside,” he said.

The BMA offers its own annual conference, which will include a fair share of demand generation content in 2009.

“When people find out what we're doing with BMA's annual conference this year, I wouldn't be surprised if we don't draw a good number of people who were planning to attend the DMA show,” said Slack.

According to a statement from DMA, it will be enhancing its business-to-business offerings at other larger conferences such as DMA Annual, DMDays and the Annual Conference of Catalogs and Multichannel Merchants.

“With travel budgets down and resources stretched across most companies, DMA's intent is to postpone the B2B Lead Generation Conference until 2010,” according to the statement.

The news follows cutbacks at the organization that took place in October and included several senior level staff.

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