Response Expo 2012 Draws Record Crowds to San Diego23 May, 2012 By: Jackie Jones
SAN DIEGO – More than 3,000 direct response industry leaders flocked to San Diego last week for another successful Response Expo at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.
Attendees enjoyed top-notch Educational Sessions, a Keynote Address by former Blue Angels lead solo pilot John Foley, and a variety of networking parties that allowed old friends to reconnect and new business partnerships to be forged.
“It’s a great show,” said Dan Klenkar of SP Express, a fulfillment company based in Phoenix. “We’ve been members for several years and have come to the Expo the last several years. We’ve been able to meet current clients and make some potential new partners. I think this year is an even bigger crowd and, of course, San Diego is a great venue. If you can’t have fun in San Diego, there is something wrong with you.”
Response Expo kicked off with Foley’s inspirational, energetic address, “The How of High Performance,” on Tuesday night, which drew more than 700 Expo attendees. While few direct response marketers may have ever flown their own jets, Foley still successfully related much of his life as a pilot to life as a DR marketer. Foley shared four steps for success with the standing-room only crowd at the Keynote Address: vision, planning, execution and feedback.
“As direct marketers, you intuitively know all of this. It’s nothing too new, but I want to open this up here,” he said. “Instead of just vision, let’s talk about belief. What happens when you surround yourselves with others that have a high belief in you, your product, your business plans?”
“If you can elevate your own belief level, success will follow,” Foley concluded.
Guests also enjoyed the week’s Educational Sessions, which drew more than 700 attendees across 10 sessions on Wednesday and Thursday. The seminars covered everything from Ivy League insight into customer engagement from Wharton Professor Cassie Mogilner to tips of the trade from traditional big-name brands, and the Direct Response Marketing Alliance’s 2011 Marketer of the Year Finalists themselves.
“We’re a distributor with direct access to Japan, and I’m seeing what opportunities there are for growing internationally and helping current U.S. suppliers launch in international markets,” said Ana Hidalgo of Global Infomercial Services. “My colleagues have been coming to Response Expo for three years and they told me I should come as well. I’m glad I did. It’s a great place to be.”
And it wouldn’t be Response Expo without the unparalleled networking events. This year’s events included even more opportunities to find new business and connect with DR friends while enjoying a cocktail or two, from Monday night’s Kick-Off Party all the way through to the Closing Night Party aboard the U.S.S. Midway.
“We’re getting really good leads from Response Expo,” said Alison Schmidt of Power Pay, a payment processor in Portland, Ore. “There are a lot of people here.”
“There’s a lot of diversity here and definitely the right kind of people for us compared to other shows we’ve attended,” added Danny Sandoval, head of business development for Imagine Fulfillment Services. “We’ve been coming since the show started because it helps us get our brand out there.”