DMA08: Here We Go Again

Posted on by Beth Negus Viveiros

Another October, another DMA annual conference.

This is probably about the 11th or 12th one of these shindigs I’ve winged my way to. San Francisco. Chicago, Dallas. New Orleans. Toronto. Vegas. After a while, they all blur together. Still, at least we’re not in Orlando. (I’m not a state-of-mouse hater. But let’s face it, that last Orlando show wasn’t magical, to use the Disney vernacular.)

I packed my bags very late Saturday night, crawling into bed about 5 hours before I had to drag myself off the mattress, shower and get to the airport.

At Logan, I looked around the waiting area for other folks who seemed like they were on their way to some annual goodness. In years past, I almost always ran into Deb Goldstein, who stepped down as the head of IDG List Services last year. She was probably sleeping in Sunday morning. I was jealous.

This morning, there were no DMA attendees in sight that I could tell. And the flight to Long Beach, where I’ll change planes to get to Sin City, seems more full of families and tourists than marketers. (Not that I’m complaining. I’ll take the chatter of cute kids over uptight guys in suits furiously pecking at their Blackberries any day. No offense, uptight Blackberry suit guys.)

Did the seeming lack of business people mean anything, I wondered. Will the exhibit hall floor be like a ghost town? Is the economy forcing people to stay home? I thought positive. Maybe they were just leaving later in the day, waiting to hear what the folks on the Sunday morning news shows had to say about their 401Ks before they leave, so they can gauge how much change to drop into the slots.

On the way to Las Vegas, I felt that even in transit early on what in days yore was a day of rest, I couldn’t get away from direct marketing.

I flipped through the channels on the television screen in the seat in front of me, and went past infomercials. (If I didn’t buy one of those pancake puff makers from the comfort of my couch, I’m not gonna buy one here.) I looked out the window and see JetBlue’s URL plastered on the plane’s wing.

Upon arrival in Las Vegas, one is immediately hit with a barrage of promotion for every musical and cabaret act imaginable. Barry Manilow? Maybe. Carrot Top? Um


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