Promax expects to draw a crowd

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Promax/BDA is citing strong attendance levels for its conference June 20-23, even as past event regulars such as King World and Paramount are scaling back their presence.

Both have typically held impressive marketing workshops during the conference, an annual gathering of broadcast promotion and design professionals, happening this year at the Miami Beach Convention Center. But that week, King World is hosting a more casual hospitality suite and Paramount is hosting a reception for the Promax Awards ceremony. And past Promax/BDA-goers, Tribune, Sinclair, Fox, ABC and NBC station groups, are among those not expected to not to show up in big numbers.

However, Promax CEO Glynn Brailsford claimed Wednesday at a press breakfast that the organization's recent hike in international attendance, up from 2000's 15% to today's 20%, has "made up for any shortfalls in other areas."
Currently the conference is tracking to bring 4,000 attendees, the same levels that were reached last year. Also, Promax/BDA's five different conferences worldwide have attracted 10,000 total attendees, up 35% in the last five years. Brailsford points to next fall's launch of a Promax/BDA event in Japan as proof the organization is in good economical shape. International interest in the event is growing, he says, because of the recent ramped up drive to go after foreign TV formats such Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and Survivor.

Brailsford also said syndication/station presence at Promax/BDA has always just accounted for 10-15% of its attendance and exhibition partners. "They are an important part," admits Brailsford, "but they are only part of our community." Similarly, any dot com struggles have had a limited impact on Promax/BDA, with new companies stepping up to fill any voids - for example, last year's conference sponsor, domain name provider dot.TV will not be featured, but high-tech firm Quantel has stepped up its presence. Today's tough economic climate is apparently a big factor in any attendance drop-offs.
- Susanne Ault

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