Keynote Is No-Show at DMD New York

NEW YORK — Attendees who woke up early yesterday to hear the keynote address at the DMD New York Marketing Conference wasted their time.

Raymond O'Neal Jr., former executive vice president of Vibe/Spin Ventures and the founder of Threshold Media Ventures Inc., was a no-show on the final day of the event. O'Neal was billed as an expert in “connecting with the fastest growing demographic since the baby boomers — the new urban marketplace.”

About 25 people had gathered in an area set up in the back of Jacob K. Javits Convention Center's exhibit hall for the speech that was scheduled from 9:15 to 10 a.m.

Jacqueline Miller, a vice president at Citibank, New York, said a backup should have been in place.

“It's a waste of time waiting here an hour, waiting for things to open,” she said.

Denise C. Picon, product manager at Scholastic, Danbury, CT, said the no-show “makes things look disorganized.”

“From the beginning, I thought they should've opened the [exhibit] hall at 9 [a.m.],” she said. “They should've opened the hall so that exhibitors in the area could have the option of getting started early.”

“When putting on a show of this magnitude, Murphy's Law has the possibility of intruding,” said Connie LaMotta, media consultant for DMD New York. “Unfortunately, the speaker showed up after 10 a.m. with an apology that he had difficulties with the New York subway system.”

LaMotta did not know where O'Neal was traveling from.

“It's the first time that I can recall a keynote speaker not making it on time for his commitment,” she said. “In my 15-plus-year career with the DM industry, I have never experienced a keynote speaker not showing.”

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