@d:tech Small, But Brisk

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NEW YORK -- Like so much that is Internet related, the @d:tech New York conference has clearly shrunk. However, action was reasonably brisk on the trade show floor during the exhibit hall's opening day yesterday.

Exhibiting for this show are about 70 companies in four short aisles tucked into a corner of the sprawling Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on the city's west side.

As on day-one of the conference -- where there were talks, presentations and panels, but no exhibit hall -- attendees were visibly older than at past shows. There was a noticeably larger percentage of suits, and heads with graying hair in the crowd.

"A lot of them are media and direct marketing professionals that the Internet industry has absorbed," said Rich Baumer, president/CEO of VentureDirect Worldwide, New York.

As a result, "the tone of the conversations is very healthy," he said.

Also, the people who had stopped by Venture's booth so far had demonstrated reasonable expectations and were beginning to apply the same standards and expectations to the Internet as they do with other media, he said.

"The quality of the conversations is where we need them to be, and that's the important thing," he said. "There seem to be a lot of senior people."

He said attendees seem to have a better grasp of their own business models than at previous @d:tech shows.

"People know who their customers are and they know what they want," Baumer said. "Now they're saying, 'How can we make money together?'


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