Katrina Clarification

Thanks for the excellent articles regarding the problems in New Orleans vis-à-vis the meetings and trade show industry. (“After Katrina,” AM October.) I echo your “Editor's Note” comments about never imagining events unfolding in New Orleans the way they did following Katrina.

I need to clarify, however, something in the “Blown Away” article on page 17. DeckExpo is not an event “put on by the North American Deck and Railing Association,” as stated in this article. DeckExpo is privately owned and operated. It is the official trade show of the NADRA and serves as the venue for NADRA's annual meeting, but DeckExpo is produced by our company out of Snellville, Ga.

Again, thanks for a good magazine all the time, not just this issue! We appreciate the quality you help bring to the industry.
Terry Dempsey, CEM, CAE
General Manager, DeckExpo,
Snellville, Ga.

Online Community Will Drive Attendance

I find Association Meetings very informative. I read a quote from Brad Weaber of Conferon on page 10 of the October issue (“Marketing Is King for Convention Groups”). Brad states:

“Generation Xers, unlike their parents, do not so readily see the value of face-to-face events…. They've grown up with electronic media as a primary communication tool, so face-to-face is less attractive. That presents membership-building problems for associations, as well as meeting attendance issues.”

With Gen-X issues, as well as terrorism, bird-flu (or the virus of the day), the cost of gas and travel, and other external factors that can cause a decline of conference attendance, a vibrant online community that also helps to generate revenue is now more than ever a must-have for associations. Getting more members involved online over the course of the year helps to build attendance at the physical conferences.
Paul Schneider
Senior Vice President,
Business Development, Socious Inc.,
Mesa, Ariz.