Appealing to the Scheduling Gods

For two things that were decided well over a year ago, the headaches are only reaching Excedrin level now.

Those things are two of direct marketing's biggest shows happening at the same time in different cities: DM Days in New York and the catalog conference in Boston (see story, page 1). Unfortunately, the people most affected are those of us scrambling to be in two places at the same time. And not everyone can, especially smaller companies that don't have enough employees to spread around, and it'll show up – actually, that's not show up – on their bottom lines at the end of the year.

“We would have loved to be at both, but we only have so

many salespeople,” Creative Automation's Amy Gruszka told DM News.

Officials from DMDNY and the Direct Marketing Association, co-sponsor of the catalog show, are blaming one another for the snafu, saying that the other should have been more flexible in its scheduling.

Plain and simple, it's poor planning on both their parts – whatever good that does the rest of us now. Because of the increasing size of the shows, there's a limited number of potential sites and dates to go around, they say, and those dates are locked in years in advance. Granted, but still, a simple phone call a long time ago would have done wonders.

Maybe the two organizers will learn something when they look at their attendance figures and see a drop in this year's numbers. The only good news from all this: Both sides say they are committed to working together to avoid future conflicts. So far, the scheduling gods are favoring us – next year's catalog show is May 17-20 and DMDNY is May 24-26.

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