Commentary: NEMOA Lovefest Gets Down to Business
By and large, attendees at industry conferences throughout at least the first half of this year had something of a bewildered look. Kind of a “What the hell am I supposed to do now?” sort of thing going on. Then again, so too did just about anyone in this country amid the brutal recession. But perhaps the Fall NEMOA Conference, held last week at the gaudy Foxwoods Casino complex in Mashantucket, Conn., showed signs of a new, more encouraged, more aggressive attitude among attendees and speakers.
Attendance was down for the third straight NEMOA conference, which is held every March and September. No surprise at that, of course. Still, at the event itself, there was a lot of positive energy.
One could reason that this is because there were a few more younger, more energetic attendees to this 62-year-old cataloger lovefest. (In fact, not to imply that they bring negative energy, but a good number of the old faithful from NEMOAs past weren’t in attendance.) Or perhaps the tighter attendance allowed for closer interaction between speakers and attendees.
There was a confluence of present and forward thinking going on at the event. On the one hand, NEMOA openly continued to plug its support for the American Catalog Mailers Association (ACMA) in its efforts to work more aggressively with the USPS and the Postal Regulatory Commission to keep catalog postage rates in check. (See my commentary from last week for more on the ACMA.)
On the other hand, many speakers and the topics they discussed were quite forward-thinking on matters such as social media and search, among others. One of the more noteworthy presentations came from Stan Krangel, president of the MKC Catalog/Internet group at Blyth Inc., which goes to market with the Miles Kimball, Exposures, Boca Java, The Home Marketplace, Walter Drake and As We Change catalogs.