DRTV Expo Opens in Anaheim

ANAHEIM, CA — The DRTV Expo & Strategy Conference, organized by Advanstar Communications, opened today at the Disneyland Hotel here. While the number of pre-registrants rose 30 percent to 2,200 over last year's number, Advanstar did not expect the conference to beat last year's total attendance of 2,511 people. The lackluster showing is attributed to the major consolidation experienced in the infomercial industry in the last year, as several companies filed for bankruptcy protection.

The rising importance of Internet marketing is evident in today's keynote presentation by Richard J. Gordon, chairman and CEO of R.J. Gordon & Co., Los Angeles, who demonstrated the process of setting up a fully transactional Web site. His keynote followed a three-hour seminar yesterday, during the so-called pre-conference, about interactive marketing that did not offer many new insights into new marketing methods, as it echoed the oft-cited experience of online bookstore Amazon.com Inc., Seattle.

Aside from the keynote presentation, many of the sessions planned for today demonstrate the lack of innovation in the DRTV industry and the appearance of major newcomers to DRTV marketing. A session on using DRTV to build a brand did not include any speakers from a major consumer brand company.

The number of exhibitors was also said to have declined slightly to 80, but those companies do fill the Disneyland Hotel's conference area better than the Long Beach Convention Center, the site of last year's conference.

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