July 2008 - Annual Convention Preview

The 2008 ERA Annual
Convention Is Going to Rock!

By Peter Koeppel

There are some great speakers, exciting events, enlightening educational sessions, terrific networking and sponsorship opportunities, receptions, an Awards Gala and entertainment planned for ERA’s 18th Annual Convention at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino from September 21-23, 2008.

To kicks things off, the first keynote presentation on Monday, September 22, will feature Joe Abruzzese, president of advertising sales, U.S. networks for Discovery Communications, who will be interviewed by Bill Maher, political comedian and host of HBO’s “Real Time.” Members of ERA’s Meeting and Convention Committee, which I head this year, are especially excited about securing Maher. We feel he is a powerful choice for a speaker, since ERA’s Annual Convention will take place right before the presidential election and Maher-who is very politically active-should have some interesting insights. The second keynote presentation will feature Raul Vazquez, president and CEO of Walmart.com. Vazquez will be interviewed by Nathan Fagre, SVP and general counsel of ValueVision Media and chief legal and compliance officer at ShopNBC. This will be a great opportunity to learn more about the world’s largest retailer and its rapidly growing online business.

has secured the ultra exclusive House of Blues Foundation Room atop the Mandalay Bay Hotel for the PAC/Leadership event on Sunday, September 21. The PAC contribution for the event has been reduced to $250 to increase donor participation. A dinner buffet and light jazz will help to make this a high-powered networking opportunity, while also supporting ERA’s legislative efforts.

There will be a wide range of highly informative educational sessions, including one on New Media Case Studies (mobile, social networking, etc.) and another on Direct Online Advertising: Understanding Analytics, Search and Cost-Per-Acquisition for DR Practitioners. A new addition to the exhibit floor this year is the Asia Pavilion, which will showcase companies that do business in Asia. A spectacular poolside opening reception and a special new member and retailer prospect reception are also planned. The ERA Gala Awards Dinner and Ceremony is always a highlight of the Annual Convention and a great way to close out the show. This year, it will feature a Retailers Rock theme and will be produced by ERA’s interim president and CEO, Rick Petry. High-profile sponsorship opportunities are available for all these events.

There are some great registration deals available for retailers and marketers this year, so be sure to check those out on the ERA website, www.retailing.org. We are very excited about this year’s Annual Convention and know that every marketer, retailer and supplier will greatly benefit from attending. We look forward to seeing you in Vegas!

Peter Koeppel is president of Koeppel Direct, and is the 2008 chairman of the ERA Meetings and Convention Committee. He can be reached at
(972) 732-6110, or via e-mail at
[email protected].



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