November 27, 2001 Volume 1 Issue 27
The DMA in the Windy City
The 84th running of the USA Direct Marketing Association Annual Conference & Exhibition took place in Chicago.
Just before Halloween 2001. Which is probably not significant ... yet, maybe.
This years gathering was 'different'. September 11 saw to that. Yet, those who did attend, including yours truly, found the event as stimulating as ever. Even with attendance reduced - there were scores of great sessions. And of course, meeting good friends from about the States - from the America's - from the world.
Here's what happened ... according to me.
Since the late 1960's I've been attending this event. And seen it grow and expand and reach out in dozens of ways. The last couple of years I've saved, counted and evaluated the promotions received from exhibitors and others. Not counting those the DMA sends, I usually receive between 80 and a 100 pieces of direct mail. Last year E-mail came into the mix. And telemarketing, too. Yet, this year it is impossible to do a special report. Why? There were so few communications.
Why again? September 11. Which created much uncertainty. Aided by the anthrax scare (see my E-zine report of October 23... Is Direct Mail D E A D, or just sick? on that topic).
Sure, there was some direct mail. Less than a dozen pieces. About half that number of E-mail messages. Only a handful of telephone contacts. Altogether the total was under 20. Hardly worth a special report and evaluation. Sad.
The next thing different was the number of exhibit booths. Last year something in the neighborhood of 800. This year just over 500. Each time you walked the floor and saw empty spaces you were reminded "why". Frankly, it was a tad scary.
Another "missing" element were the scores of parties. Oh sure, there were a few. Yet, much softer than in the past. Those that tossed a gathering scaled down. And many did nothing at all. My guess is the Chicagoland restaurants did a good business each evening - socials turned into dinners.
Still, I felt 2001 was a good event. Twice I presented. The first time at the Creative week-end, where I had about double the number expected. Certainly many more than others at the same time. Not sure why - it was the first event on Sunday morning.
Another most interesting fact about attendance at my sessions was where people came from. At least 40% were from outside the U.S.A. Direct marketers from Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Norway, Israel, Hungry, Slovenia, Japan, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Korea, Turkey, Greece, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Venezuela, Yugoslavia and South Africa I know were there.
Many of you reading this were in on that first 60 minute blitz session on creative fundamentals for the 21st Century. (If you missed it and / or would like the handout, visit my Baker's Dozen collection and 13 Platinum Fundamental Direct Marketing Creative Ideas).
The Tuesday early morning Internet / Direct Marketing round-robin discussion I set up was to include me with 4 others. Each a leader of their company. A total of 5. We lost one to September 11 and travel. And another to a client decision that changed everything. Still, the 3 left were ready ... and although our exchanges were not as spirited as they would have been with all of us, they certainly were on target.
Those of you who heard me speak know I enjoy lots of inter-action with the audience. Comments, suggestions, ideas, questions. An advantage of smaller groups is more exchange. Many are more comfortable making a statement or asking for clarification when the room isn't standing room only. So, that was good - as there was plenty of back and forth.
Another good thing about a smaller group was a feeling you could meet, talk, visit ... without being rushed. The lines were shorter everywhere. Few places were truly crowded. The reps in the trade show stands had time to talk. Food service was prompt. Things were busy ... not too busy.
Fewer also meant you could find those you were looking for easier. The only person I had an appointment with I missed I did so because they had the flu and didn't show at all.
The DMA Annual is always a time for touching base with those you see rarely - yet, do enjoy. That happened in spades for me this year. Every "ole timer" I know I actually talked with. What a pleasure.
Session content, as always, varied by those presenting and the needs of their audience. It is fun to talk with people on the bus, heading back to their hotel at the end of the day. When you ask "what sessions where you in?", and "was it good?", the answers are mixed. Which is to be expected.
All speakers are not created equal. And - just as important, probably more so - each audience member has a different set of needs. Different reasons why they chose that session to learn from.
Three times I talked to leaders of teams. One from Europe, one from South America, one from North America. Each had several of their people with them at the conference. And each was very pleased they had done so. They'd split their people up. Each going to different sessions. Each taking notes and learning for themselves, for each other.
You are a part of the marketing, direct marketing and sales world, or you wouldn't be getting my E-zine. So you undoubtedly receive others - and have read other overviews of the Conference. Still, if you were not there, you missed a good one.
My schedule pre-September 11 had me going to Asia on the Tuesday of this years event. That's just how it was. When Asia was postponed, I decided to return to my Arizona office. Mistake. Should have spent the next 24-30 hours in Chicago. Should have included another day at the 2001 version of the DMA Annual. It was that good.
If you missed it this year, calendar San Francisco for 2002. October 19-23 are the dates. They are already noted in my diary.
For those of us who get paid for talking ... we really get paid for listening, and then responding in some intelligent way.
This issue of The Works of Marketing with Ray includes a quote that hits me right between the eyes ... maybe it applies somewhere in your life, too;
"If speaking is silver then listening is gold."
"Quotes with Direction" has been a part of my web site collection from day one. If you like quotes visit the archives ... www.rayjutkins.com/quotes/. There's a new batch up every 4 weeks.
Marketing Products to Buy
Time is a great teacher.
Along with mentors. The boss, fellow-workers. Friends. Just being around students at school, the members of a temple, mosque, synagogue or church, an association or club. A friends company. The competition. The neighbors. Kids. By osmoses much sticks.
My time in sales since age 12, in marketing and direct marketing since graduation, have allowed me to have a few thoughts to share. They're available in a collection of products. And you can own any or all!
There's a book - Power Direct Marketing - into it's 4th printing, the last with a revise tossed in at no extra charge. And an audio tape package that goes well with the book. Plus, a set of video tapes that are true workshop style learning devices. And even a couple of CD's.
Programs on the strategy and tactics of planning. On direct mail. The whole creative process. Database marketing. Customer relations. And more. All available at special 21st century pricing.
BONUS: when you invite me to speak at your special event, conference, corporate meeting or association gathering, you get your choice of 100 FREE copies of either my book, or the audio/booklet direct mail package titled Magic Marketing Minutes!
For details and to place your product order visit Marketing Products at www.magicmarketingminutes.com/. Or fax +1+928+244-6148. For questions on quantity orders phone Ray at 1+928+785-9400.
The Postal Worker World
This is an idea from the States that can work in every country around the world.
A nationwide USA campaign is underway to honor postal workers who are on the front lines daily. In support of carriers, clerks, mailhandlers, drivers and all those in-between, everyone is being asked to tie navy blue ribbons around their mailbox poles.
This is a wonderful opportunity to honor postal employees. Another group we have taken for granted. Yet, many are quiet heroes, and share our commitment to keep your nation "United" ... by keeping the mail moving. Please tie a blue ribbon around your mailbox pole and spread the word!
No matter where you live.
by ROCKINGHAM*JUTKINS*marketing, all rights reserved.