Everything Falls Into Place

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The fall show: a week filled with opportunities. People on the streets of San Francisco knew they had a few visitors in their fair city, and not just the Blue Angels buzzing the skyline for Fleet Week. For once, I'll believe the DMA when it says there were 15,237 direct marketers jammed into the Moscone Center.

Nary a bad comment was overheard about the running of the show, as opposed to last year when people grumbled about the tremendously long taxi lines in Chicago. Oddly enough, though, the DMA didn't have much new to say this year. H. Robert Wientzen's opening speech was a rehash of old items: Yeah, DM sales are up; yeah, e-commerce is growing; yeah, we still have privacy issues to address.

On the party front, there were too many to choose from. Boy, was anyone not at Experian's "Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome"-like mob scene? Oh, the masses.

Best booth: The Lake Group, which took its name to heart with its rendition of a lakeside wharf, complete with a stuffed fish on the brick wall. After I made my selection, I found out it concurred with the DMA, which gave the list company its best display award for the second year in a row.

Best dance: Rhythm Slam's "Dance of the Bubblewrap" before Wientzen opened the conference. Just what did FedEx, UPS and the USPS have to pay to have their names on the boxes being tossed around by those dancers?

Most everywhere name: Centrobe, especially since it sponsored the opening session and had its name plastered on several city buses for the conference.

Loser of the week: Me. Did I get an autograph from Willie Mays, who was signing baseballs at the MasterCard booth very, very briefly Monday afternoon? No. By the time I finished talking to someone and was ready to get in line, Willie was gone.

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