December 16, 2007

Best Conferences In Our Industry?

If you had to send somebody from your team to one industry conference in 2007, which conference would it be, and why would you send somebody from your team to the conference?

On another note, what is missing from the current array of conferences and topics dominating the direct marketing world?


  1. Anonymous8:10 AM

    I would choose NEMOA, spring or fall. They are much more learning focused compared to the bloated DMA, ACCM shows. Never been to Shop.Org but I've heard good things about that too...

    Missing? My thought is that conferences are too reactive looking at what is big now and not looking for the next big thing.

  2. It depends on the person's role. If it was in sales to the marketing industry, I would still send them to DMA--solely for the networking.

    In regards to other dm conferences to attend for learning, I wish someone WOULD point out a worthwhile conference. Anyone go to NCDM? How was it?

  3. Anonymous9:45 AM

    eTail. High caliber speakers from high profile companies. Lots of info to choose from.

    Last show felt like it was a session then a 4 hour break, than another session. In my personal experience eTail has been much better.

    There needs to be some new blood at the DMA and ACCM shows. New speakers, new topics. I can only take so many sessions on "matchback". Where are the next wave of experts and speakers? A lot of smart under 40s around that someone needs to give a shot to speak.

    Heard a lot of positive feedback about GEL. Take it with a bit of salt though, because it sure seems like the "user experience" movement has a lot of groupies.

  4. Who would you folks recommend for new speakers, and what would the topics be? What should replace the "same-old-same-old" that happens today?

  5. Anonymous11:30 AM

    In no particular order...

    -writing for the web
    -SEO/SEM "need-to do's"
    -branded term search protection
    -eye tracking/behavioral studies
    -how customers read your mail/email
    -satisfaction surveys/net promoter score
    -tracking offline advertising effectively across channels
    -fostering innovative thinking in your company
    -customer segmentation for web
    -contact frequency testing across media
    -personalizing printed media

    Regarding "who", my earlier comment was more geared towards the fact that I'm not really seeing much of a new guard either volunteering or (more likely) being called upon to speak. To steal a quote from an industry friend, it's "old white guy syndrome". Instead of the "old white guys" what about the people on the frontlines that are actually making things happen for them.

  6. There are two factors that conferences struggle with.

    First, the conference actually wants new blood, folks with innovative ideas, folks working on the front lines, to present at conferences. Unfortunately, brands won't let these people speak at conferences ... brands don't want other companies poaching their ideas, or stealing the bright individual. Regardless whether that is right or wrong, that's a reason why you don't see a lot of new blood.

    Second, conferences need to make a profit. It costs a lot of money to rent space in hotels. Therefore, the conference has to attract speakers who are known to bring in an audience. These people are typically CEOs/EVPs from big brands, or are the same old thought leaders we've all heard before (what you call old white men). Even if the conference could attract the manager of SEO from Coldwater Creek, folks are not likely to dump $1,995 to hear this person speak.

    In my case, I've been turned down many times by conferences --- they've told me that my ideas and thoughts aren't of interest to their audience, or I am shut out by a vendor community that perceives my ideas as threatening.

    So conferences are caught in a trap. And the general public ends up losing out.


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