ERA Members Get Discount to ATA Show

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The American Teleservices Association is offering members of the Electronic Retailing Association the same registration rate as ATA members for its annual fall convention Oct. 6-9 in New Orleans.

In an e-mail to the ERA's membership list of 500 companies Aug. 29, the ATA promised savings of up to $500 off the normal non-member registration rate for ERA members attending the ATA fall show at the New Orleans Marriott. The e-mail highlighted the intimate nature of the ATA annual, where the exhibit hall usually has only a few rows of vendors and can be perused in a few hours.

"The exhibition portion of the event is an opportunity not to be missed," the e-mail stated. "The industry's leading suppliers will be in attendance to demonstrate intelligent solutions to your teleservices business needs. And best of all, ATA's show is not a MEGA-EXPO -- you will meet leading vendors in an intimate atmosphere perfect for doing real business."

ATA and ERA membership overlaps in many cases, and the two organizations work closely on many issues, ATA spokesman Kevin Brosnahan said. Because of the links, the offer to ERA members seemed a good fit.

The offer does not indicate that the ATA is worried about attendance this year, Brosnahan said. Registration is matching rates seen in 2000, when the association reported growth to a show that had been rocked the previous year by allegations of mismanagement by ATA leadership.

That growth was halted at the 2001 show in Las Vegas, held scant weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks curtailed business travel. The ATA hopes 2002 will be another growth year and played up this year's attractive location with a Mardi Gras-themed mailer to its own membership of 2,000 individuals in August.

In addition to its usual mail, e-mail, trade publication and online banner advertising, the ATA is using prerecorded messages to its members provided by SoundBite Communications, Burlington, MA. The ATA tested the technology last year and this year expanded its use of prerecorded messages to two broadcasts, one July 24 and another Aug. 28.

"It's a matter of keeping in touch with them and letting them know the deadlines," Brosnahan said.


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