DMA Extends Airfare Deal as Attendees Respond to Offer

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The Direct Marketing Association yesterday extended until Oct. 12 its offer of free airfare to its fall show in Chicago.

The extension was made to give people who called last week with questions about the offer, but who hadn't registered yet, extra time to respond, DMA spokeswoman Christina Duffney said.

"We've been getting a lot of calls asking questions about the offer," she said. "They were trying to find the loopholes and were frankly surprised to find out that there aren't any.

"People had to go back to their bosses with the answers, get their permission and then get back to us," she added. "This is an effort to give them some time."

The sole condition on the offer is that the registrant stay in Chicago over Saturday night, she said.

The DMA originally offered free airfare or train tickets to the conference from within the continental United States and Canada to anyone who registered from Sept. 11 to Oct. 5 to try to entice people afraid to travel as a result of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The DMA also offered to refund the full price of the conference to those who don't improve their bottom line by 10 times the registration fee. Registration to the conference, scheduled to run from Oct. 28 to Oct. 31, is $1,245-$1,500 for members and up to $2,180 for nonmembers.

For whatever reason, direct marketers seemingly are getting over a fear of flying that apparently had many reassessing plans to attend the 84th annual conference. Registrations last week were up 32 percent compared with registrations taken the same week last year, Duffney said.

"I can't attribute it to one thing or another, because of the various different offers," she said.


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