ACCM Post-Mortem: A Last Hurrah?
2. The exhibit hall: With a booth count just south of 120, it sure seems a long ways from this event’s record-breaking year of 2000 in San Francisco when there were 685 booths set up at the Moscone Center. It was even a far cry from last year’s count of 195 booths at that biosphere known as the Gaylord Palms in Orlando, Fla.
As for booth traffic, exhibitors I spoke with not only kvetched about the lack of traffic, but also about the few who visited them, because most attendees were just window shopping. Several vendors told me, in fact, that they don’t expect to take part in the conference next year.
It was a similar scenario to March’s National Conference on Operations & Fulfillment in Las Vegas, where the booth count dropped from 138 last year to 113 this year. But while the vendors at NCOF were almost equally grouchy, they did note that those who visited them were there to do business.
3. The city and facility: A number of years ago, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) attempted to hold one of its annual conferences in San Antonio. This turned out to be a bit of a disaster, since unless you’re coming from New York or Chicago, direct flights are hard to come by. While a whole lot easier to get to than San Antonio, New Orleans isn’t as easy to book a low cost flight to as, say, Chicago, San Francisco or Orlando.
That’s to take nothing away from the mere fact that it was a tremendous gesture to bring the event to this still-ailing and still-magical city. But the designated conference hotels, which all cost in the mid-$200s per night and up, weren't quite in walking distance of the convention center, even though there were some less expensive (but clean) hotels just a couple of blocks from the event.