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Las Vegas NEPA conference finds newsletter publishers ready for an uncertain tomorrow.

The experts are now describing the current economic situation as an "anemic recovery from the recesssion," but the newsletter and specialized information publishers attending the recent conference hosted by the Newsletter & Electronic Publishers Association exhibited a state of health, if not robust, at least stronger than "anemic."

The name of the conference, held December 4-6 at Caesers Palace in Las Vegas, was prescient: "Returning to Growth." Long known to be more resilient than their magazine and newspaper cousins (see article on page 3), newsletter publishers we spoke to in the hallways and listened to in sessions seem to have had the time, creativity, and discipline to adjust to the recession and to be well positioned for any economic upswing.

There have been some lay-offs, to be sure, and some postponed launches and direct mail campaigns, but online initiatives--such as email promotions and special reports--are helping fill the revenue gaps. One particularly popular ancillary source of income among newsletter publishers is the audio conference. Inexpensive to promote and to stage (and inexpensive for those participating), audio conferences have become the precocious stepchild of 9/11 and the recession (see article on page 4).

Attendance was about 160, just slightly down from last year's December conference in Philadelphia, which drew 166. It was the vendors, though, or the lack of vendors that highlighted the effects of the weak economy. Many of the major and longtime exhibitors--printers, direct marketing companies, telemarketers--were simply not there. But those that did display their services said business was good, that they were happy they attended.
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Publication:The Newsletter on Newsletters
Date:Dec 15, 2002
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