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10 Jun, 2010 By: Thomas Haire Response

Response Expo 2010 Recap

Expo Events Redefine Networking

By Thomas Haire (

SAN DIEGO — Response Expo’s series of five networking events — the third annual golf tournament presented by West Direct on the morning of May 11, three cocktail parties on the evenings of May 11-13, and the new Taste of California wine reception on the afternoon of May 12 — again drew huge crowds and were the talk of attendees both during and after the Expo.

The golf tournament was actually expanded by popular demand to 160 players, with golfers enjoying a series of promotional holes thanks to generous sponsors. The event’s Opening Night Party built off the buzz elicited by Geldof’s talk directly preceding it. And the annual Bayfront Celebration’s “California Boardwalk” theme was eagerly enjoyed by fun-loving partygoers. And the closing night event at Sea World, featuring a special performance of the Shamu Rocks! show and fireworks extravaganza, put an exclamation point on the Expo.

“Response Expo was killer,” says Brian Fays, executive vice president of advertising sales for MTV Networks in New York. “You have given folks a destination to talk business and be seen, which is quite an accomplishment.”

Sylvia Morales, vice president of Santa Monica, Calif.-based, Williams Worldwide TV, adds, “From the tradeshow floor to the networking events, there were new opportunities everywhere.”

The Third Annual Response Expo Golf Tournament featured a number of themed and sponsored holes, allowing players to have fun while competing for a best-ball championship.

The Opening Night Party in the Hilton San Diego Bayfront’s Sapphire Foyer and Patio was set abuzz by Geldof’s keynote presentation. More than 500 partygoers swarmed the party location, shaking hands, enjoying cocktails and chatting about new deals.

On May 12, Venable sponsored the Taste of California wine reception, a new event that took place on the Aqua Patio at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. Attendees were able to sample a selection of fine California wines in the late afternoon sunshine, providing a respite from the bustling expo hall floor.

On night two, Imagine Fulfillment Services (IFS) and FedEx teamed once again to throw the fourth annual Bayfront Celebration, an outdoor event right on San Diego Harbor. Sun-splashed attendees were able to enjoy a number of “boardwalk”-themed opportunities, including the special surfboard photo area with Mrs. California, and a carnival-style photo booth.

The final event of Response Expo took place at world-famous Sea World, thanks to the generous contributions of Convergys, Discovery Communications, 4D Global and Omni Response. Attendees of the event were treated to a celebratory drink or two while exploring the area around the Shamu killer whale tank. At the same time, special visits from a penguin and a bearded dragon lizard wowed the attendees before they were escorted into Shamu Stadium for an exclusive 25-minute performance, topped off by a rousing 10-minute fireworks show.

“I did not realize that making the decision to attend Response Expo would provide me the opportunity to meet and interact with such a talented group of people,” says marketer Wade Abawi of Ambiance Health and Fitness. “However, it didn’t take me long to realize that it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”

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