Last week I attended my first Direct Marketing Association (DMA) conference in San Diego. For years I heard about this organization and how amazing the experience is. I had these images of high-profile speakers standing on brightly lit stages, after-hour networking parties with suited-up marketers, breakfast meetings on the harbor, and after dinner strolls on the marina watching the waves beat against sailboats.
DMA is a different experience for each attendee. My participation was so much more interesting than I imagined, and I’ve been eager to hear what others experienced last week in San Diego.
The DMA 2014 Experience
After one hundred years of events it makes one wonder what has changed or stayed constant throughout the years. What were people dicussing, learning, and doing at DMA thirty, forty, and even eighty years ago? I think about how the DMA experience must have evolved. If only walls could talk, right?
So what did people experience at this year’s DMA conference? I’m asking attendees and speakers, and this is what they say:
“You don’t have to forgive the pun, it’s quite intentional, but this DMA was, simply put, Magic! Yep… there’s the magic of Magic Johnson and then there’s the tag line of the event: marketing together points to the heart of the partnership between content, technology and big data. It seemed like there was a general understanding that there are a lot of moving parts to the marketing apparatus and going it alone is really antithetical to getting the job done. You need partnerships, internally and externally.”
– Len Shneyder, Director of Industry Relations, Message Systems
“I love that at DMA you can get together and talk to so many thought leaders in the industry in one place. The educational sessions are great and this year seeing offline and online being brought together was exciting.”
– Erin Levzow, DMA speaker, Director of Digital Marketing & Social Media, Wingstop
“This year’s Direct Marketing Association (DMA) annual #DMA14 conference in San Diego was a complete ‘rethink’ for how marketing looks for many brands and companies today.
‘In years past, it always felt that the annual event had an invisible wall between offline and online marketing techniques and channels. This year, the DMA focused on the mantra, Don’t Market Alone (DMA). It acknowledged that many of us are marketing through many channels, including offline and online.
‘The choice of having DMA 2014 in San Diego was brilliant. The city offered lots to do which, in essence, drove the hallway conversations and meet-ups that are expected to occur at the event. The event is much more than just content, but networking with others to hear how our choices in marketing can be successful or detrimental to our brands.
‘The vendor floor also was a “who’s who” convention of products and services. I’ve always enjoyed walking the floor to see what new and interesting offerings are out there today. I even learned some new things from companies I’ve never heard of or even thought that a product could exist.
-Dennis Dayman, DMA speaker, Chief Privacy Officer, Return Path
What is DMA?
DMA has inspired marketers for nearly a century. This organization for data-driven marketers aims to bring advocacy, networking, education, insight, and business services to its members. It has grown into one of the world’s leading marketing organizations – with members representing more than 40 countries and every segment of the marketing industry.