Greco Will Make His Debut at Annual

Direct Marketing Association president/CEO John A. Greco Jr. will deliver his first state of the industry address to kick off the DMA's 87th Annual Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans next week.

Greco, who succeeded H. Robert Wientzen on Aug. 16, will address conference attendees during the opening general session Oct. 18 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The conference runs Oct. 17-20.

“This is a good chance for him to meet with more DMA members, which is one of his biggest priorities,” said Laura Colona, director of media relations at the DMA. “He prefers that dialogue and values it a lot, so he is going to be walking around and talking to people.”

Ad industry veteran Charlotte Beers will follow Greco as keynote speaker. Beers is the only ad executive to have served as chair of two top 10 agencies, J. Walter Thompson Worldwide and Ogilvy & Mather. Other speakers include Don Logan, chairman of the media and communications group at Time Warner Inc.; Rosabeth Moss Kanter, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School; and Geoffrey Colvin, editorial director of Fortune magazine.

The featured pavilion at the conference will be the Creative Carnivale & Agency Arena, highlighted by the Echo Museum of Direct Marketing. It will include creative campaigns from the past 75 years. The area also will have free consultation stations where direct marketers can bring their campaigns and get advice on copy, graphics and production.

The DMA added the A. Eicoff Broadcast Innovation Award to this year's Echos for the top DRTV campaign. Also, a new Echo trophy and logo will debut. The awards ceremony brunch is set for 11:15 a.m.-1:15 p.m. Oct. 17.

A preconference weekend program will feature six tracks of sessions covering catalog, database marketing, e-mail/e-commerce/Internet, international/global marketing, multichannel marketing and the Direct Marketing University. Andrew Cohen, CEO/founder of Exposed Brick, will give the weekend's keynote address at 1 p.m. Oct. 16.

Also, the DMA teamed with the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International to have a Direct Marketing Conference for Travel Marketers during the weekend program. Speakers will include executives from firms such as Travelocity, Harrahs, Hilton Grand Vacations and Expedia.

During the regular conference program, a service solutions executive issues track has been added to session topics. Another addition is the senior officers summit, which is a roundtable exclusively for top executives, who will share ideas regarding DM topics. Attendees must be at the vice president level or higher, and registration is required.

The DMA is expected to release its Quarterly Business Review at the show. Peter Johnson, director of the DMA strategic information unit, will present highlights from the report as well as data from other reports at 2:45 p.m. Oct. 18.

The conference had 550 exhibitors signed up as of Oct. 1, down from 570 last year. The exhibit hall opens at 4 p.m. Oct. 17 and closes at 6 p.m. Oct. 19. The closing event will be at Mardi Gras World on Oct. 19. Conference sessions end at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 20.

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