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'I' for international gets emphasis at ICA; good show, but where were all the people?

'I' For International Gets Emphasis At ICA Forget "virtual." ICA members under President Roy Bruce of Coca-Cola went for the real thing at their annual gathering in New Orleans full motion video, full color fax, and seminars full of real moves forward in domestic and--especially--international telecomm.

What wasn't full, or anywhere near it, was the New Orleans Convention Center, as the conference and show had a disappointing turnout for the last time it will see the city on the Mississippi this century.

Attendance fell to 10,500 from last year's 17,796. There were 281 exhibitors this year, 309 last year.

The show aisles, heavy on data products, competed for visitors' time with a solid lineup of educational sessions.

Still, few vendors felt it was a washout, because the people who did visit their booths were serious shoppers.

ICA staff attributed lighter attendance to fewer walk-ins. ICA usually draws attendees from a 300-mile radius, and much of that area was still coping with flood waters from May's heavy rains.

New Orleans--though hot and humid in late May--is a great town for partying and dining, so it isn't official that ICA won't ever return. But the city is not on the schedule in this decade. Next year's show is in Anaheim, then Atlanta in 1992, and Dallas in 1993.

ICA itself grew. 29 new member companies with 42 representatives were at the show, announced Phil Evans, incoming president.

With all the time ICA members spend working with communications networks, there's another one that's just as important, said Bruce. It's the "living network" of interconnectivity between association members.

"ICA's principal mission is an opportunity for members to exchange information and share ideas," Bruce said. "It's an opportunity to benefit from all this technical expertise under the same roof for a week."

Bruce now moves to the post of senior advisor, as Evans, of FMC Corp., becomes president. Michael J. Kilbane of Diamond Shamrock is senior vice president, and Jane W. Videtich of RJ Reynolds Tobacco is vice president, finance. Lawrence J. Gessini of Agway is vice president, administration.
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Title Annotation:International Communications Association
Publication:Communications News
Date:Jul 1, 1990
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