IDG Names Connect Direct for Conference Leads Business

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IDG Executive Forums named Connect Direct, Redwood City, CA, to develop print and online direct marketing campaigns to support its conference business.


The assignment, previously handled by freelancers, was won by Connect Direct through an IDG event manager for whom the agency had worked when she was with another firm. Account size was not disclosed.


"Connect Direct was hired to raise the overall effectiveness of marketing materials and expand the base of pre-qualified attendees," said Howard J. Sewell, president of the 11-year-old agency.


The 14-person Connect Direct specializes in direct marketing for Internet and software companies. Accounts include Embarcadero Technologies Inc. and software makers Inxight and Qiva.


The agency specifically is assigned to generate paid attendees for IDG's Vortex, Agenda and Demomobile conferences. It will combine direct mail, e-mail, e-mail newsletter sponsorships and branding.


IDG, San Mateo, CA, organizes technology forums and targets attendees who are pre-qualified before invitation. It is part of International Data Group, a $3.1 billion information technology research, publishing and exposition giant.


Demomobile opens in September in La Jolla, CA, and Agenda takes place in October in Scottsdale, AZ. Announcements for both events are due later this month.


Though it has established its brand in the conference business, IDG faces slackening attendance because of market conditions.


"The technology industry is in turmoil," Sewell said. "Connect Direct's challenge will be to leverage the reputation of IDG events, while at the same time promoting them as fresh and relevant.


"Prior attendees will need to be convinced that even in times of economic downturn, these kinds of events still matter," he said.


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