List Vision '99 — It's Make It Or Break It For List Day

Consider this scenario: It's List Day 1999 — a crowded auditorium is filled with excited professionals, industry experts and new initiates who are gathered to hear a recognized leader impart his unique philosophies and wisdom. Afterwards, they'll have the opportunity to learn from additional speakers who will provide tools and information they can put to use immediately to win more clients, make more money and get ahead in their careers.

They'll have the chance to network with their peers, competitors, clients and their competitors' clients. They'll hear the CEOs of the top companies in their industry offer predictions of the future. They'll interact with vendors displaying state-of-the-art products and services. And they'll meet in an intimate setting with their clients and prospects.

Now consider this possibility: List Day is eliminated from the DMA roster of events because of lack of interest and support.

Hopefully, like me, you're intrigued by the first scenario, and somewhat alarmed by the second. But it really is possible that our day — List Day — could cease to exist. Attendance at List Day dropped considerably during the past few years, so much so, that disbanding it was actually discussed. At the same time, the list industry is experiencing an unparalleled period of change, challenge, technological advances and economic realignment. It's the perfect environment for an event dedicated to the list industry.

It's not your grandfather's list day. This year's event takes into account the fast pace of change in the list business, focusing on the key topics that affect us all every day. The result is a cutting-edge event unlike any List Day to date.

Even the name has changed. List Vision delivers exactly what the name promises — a look at the industry as it will evolve in the near future based on the dynamics that are taking place today. The DMA and the List Vision Program Committee surveyed the industry and incorporated the feedback into every aspect of the day, from pricing to the exhibits. The changes make for a unique and meaningful event.

Meeting the challenge of change. Staying abreast of all the exciting developments in the list industry is a daunting task. List Vision '99 zeroes in on the most critical of these and provides insight from commentators both inside and outside the industry.

This year, the opening general session features Forbes magazine publisher Richard Karlgaard, who will present his unique philosophies on surviving in the evolving business world. The luncheon features a talk by Millard Fuller, who stepped aside from his role as a direct marketing professional to establish Habitat for Humanity. The concurrent sessions, delivered by leaders from core list companies, new marketing and media groups, and more mailers than ever before, cover the most talked-about subjects, including:

* E-mail lists — How to use e-mail lists and build one as a revenue stream.

* Technology — Realizing the paperless list business.

* Mergers and acquisitions — Who's eating who, and what does it mean to the industry.

* Beyond the privacy promise — After compliance, what comes next for the list industry.

Send the right message. List Vision '99 is the only event all year that focuses solely on the list industry. It's critical that the significance of its role in direct marketing is acknowledged. The DMA must recognize the list industry as a key item on their overall agenda. It's crucial that employees, clients and marketing partners are sent a positive message about the vitality of the business. And one sure way to do this is to support List Vision '99 by attending and encouraging others to do the same.

What if nobody came to List Day? It's your career, your industry — your future. I look forward to seeing you there on August 11th.

Fran Green is executive vice president of the American List Counsel, Princeton, NJ, and chair of List Vision '99. Her e-mail address is [email protected]

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