Editorial: Trade Shows for Dummies

One would think that with 365 days in a year and only a handful of industry conferences, scheduling conflicts wouldn’t come up. It happened back in 1998, when the Catalog Conference in Boston overlapped with DM Days New York. Attendance dropped at both, though a few people managed to travel between the two cities. After that, organizers said they would talk to one another and make sure it didn’t happen again. … Well, it is.

Next year’s catalog show will be June 1-3 in San Francisco, while DM Days New York will be June 2-4. Again, the Direct Marketing Association and DM Days are both saying it’s not their fault. The DMA said it selected the catalog dates four years ago. DM Days didn’t nail down its time slot until four months ago, however, because it’s low man on the totem pole with the Javits Center, its new home. Next June was it, and officials didn’t consider going back to the Hilton New York & Towers. It doesn’t matter whose fault this is, but the DM industry isn’t big enough to have two of its main conferences going head to head like that. So, show goers will again be left with a decision to make next year. Unlike 1998, there will be no hopping between New York and San Francisco. Many at last week’s catalog show said they expect DM Days to fare better.

Meanwhile, DM Days New York opens at Javits today. Though some have expressed concern about the new location, far removed from New York’s Midtown area, it’s nothing compared to Chicago’s still-in-the-middle-of-nowhere McCormick Place. The benefits of having the exhibit floor and sessions all on one level are obvious. The benefits of having two conferences at the same time next year are not.

North Dakota Says Yes to Privacy

Voters in North Dakota overwhelmingly approved a measure to strengthen financial privacy rules last week. Whether other states will put the question to a ballot test remains to be seen, but it sounds like at least one lawmaker in North Dakota isn’t done yet. “We don’t know what the State of North Dakota is doing with citizens’ information, but we’re going to find out and take action,” State Rep. Jim Kasper told The New York Times.

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