Off duty at DMA•06

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SAN FRANCISCO - A big outdoor tent, a famous singer-songwriter, a scavenger hunt and a lion dance were highlights from the party scene here at the DMA•06 conference and exhibition.

Experian, Costa Mesa, CA, hosted the party of the show. It occurred Oct. 16 and took over the famous Union Square for the night. A huge tent was filled with the beautiful people listening and dancing to the Pride & Joy band (Experian hired them for the third time), snacking on appetizers - including mountains of sushi - and simply greeting or eyeballing each other. The flowing white and dark chocolate towers were particularly impressive.

The party had great turnout as well. Experian's event manager estimated that 2,000 invitees showed up.

Matt Besler, a senior communications executive at Experian Marketing Services, said clients, prospects and competitors were in attendance. This was in keeping with Experian's big-tent philosophy.

"We're just celebrating the industry," Mr. Besler said.

Another party that received lots of buzz - before and after it took place - was the Urban Challenge party hosted by Habeas Inc. (www.habeas.com) at Thirsty Bear Restaurant and Brewery. Mountain View, CA-based Habeas focuses on identifying, classifying, tagging and monitoring legitimate e-mail.

More than 50 teams of four people began with a trivia challenge and then raced around San Francisco to 12 checkpoints. The first team to find all 12 checkpoints and return to the brewery won. Prizes include four 37-inch flat-panel TVs.

Another notable event took place Oct. 15 at Atlanta-based Equifax's party at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Bruce Hornsby, singer, songwriter and pianist, rocked the house there.

Doors opened at 7:30 p.m., and guests - reportedly 375 were invited - were greeted with glasses of chilled white wine and sparkling water. They also could select food from several serving stations with the "Streets of San Francisco" theme, including Italian food, Chinese food and a carving station. There was also a wine tasting station, featuring wines from California.

Mr. Hornsby came onstage around 9 p.m. He played many of his hits, including "The Way It Is," "Every Little Kiss" and "Valley Road." He also played "End of the Innocence," which he wrote with Don Henley.

Another great party Oct. 15 was the DMA•06 Kickoff party at The Asian Art Museum. Richardson, TX-based KnowledgeBase Marketing Inc. hosted. Hundreds came to sample sushi, a spectacular Chinese lion dance performance and a rollicking band.

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