Marketers Migrate to Florida for Start of Catalog Conference

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ORLANDO, FL -- The annual catalog conference got off to a fast start as marketers descended on the Gaylord Palms Resort yesterday.

Wiland Direct, which introduced its co-op database four weeks ago, said it has already signed contracts and/or received verbal commitments for 30 million 12-month names. Founder Phil Wiland said the company also has made two adjustments in response to brokers' requests.

All of the catalogers that sign with Wiland by June 30 will have a permanent net-name arrangement. This means that catalogers only pay for names that survive a merge-purge process but no less than 60 percent of the names shipped.

For early joiners, Wiland also is offering sophisticated customer modeling at $4.50 per thousand names.

Laurie Kraus, catalog marketing strategist for the American Management Association, New York, said she was happy with the conference so far.

"I sat in on quite a few good seminars about acquisition, revitalization and retention -- things very important to me. We market seminars and education to businesspeople," she said.

This was Kraus' first catalog show in a couple of years.

"You can't compare one year with the next because the direct marketing world is so different," she said, adding that technology is driving the change. "All the main players are here but there are so many others, too."

Najla Furgason, president of Creative Expressions of Tampa Bay Inc., was only here for one day but said she learned a lot in that time.

"We're coming from a totally different angle because we're BTB, so there's not a lot for us here. The first session on BTB was very informative," she said. "The session on affiliate marketing was incredible. They provided a lot of ideas on how to promote using your affiliates."

The conference has 261 companies exhibiting with 419 booths. It ends tomorrow afternoon.

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