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New conference venue gets favorable reviews.

Those attending the recent dot.com in Miami conference gave the location and the conference a "thumbs up" despite protests and misgivings of some NEPA members about moving the annual winter meeting from its traditional New York City site.

Patti Wysocki, NEPA executive director, reported that the evaluation forms turned in by the attendees after the conference indicated widespread approval for the Loews Miami Beach Hotel and its facilities and the for the agenda topic and speakers.

NEPA holds smaller conferences and workshops in various resort areas in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Caribbean. But this was the first time in its 24-year history that the NEPA board has decided to hold a major event in a location other than New York City or Washington.

Some 275 people attended the Miami Beach conference. This was slightly less than the 335 who attended the N.Y.C. conference last December at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. However, it was just about the same number that attended the December meeting in New York City in 1998 and it exceeded the 250 attendees at the N.Y.C. meeting in December 1997.

The NEPA December meeting had focused on traditional "promotion and marketing" topics until the board decided it was time to examine the potential benefits and pitfalls of the electronic revolution on the newsletter and specialized information industry.

This led the board to bill the 1999 December meeting as "Prospering from the Electronic Revolution: Plug into New Opportunities for Profits" and to bring in speakers involved in the internet and the electronic media industry.

This was followed up with the decision by the NEPA board to add "electronic" to its name. Early this year the official name became Newsletter & Electronic Publishers Association (NEPA), replacing Newsletter Publishers Association.

For nearly ten years NEPA had held its December meeting at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in New York City a few weeks before the Christmas holiday. Many attendees and their spouses took the opportunity to spend time shopping and attending cultural events in the Big Apple.

But in recent years the December get-together had taxed the capacity at the Crowne Plaza, and those attending were jammed into smaller and smaller general session space. The problem was compounded by a dearth of breakout rooms.

This was certainly not the case at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, with its state-of-the-art conference and meeting facilities and plenty of breakout rooms.

The site for next year's December conference is Philadelphia. This location is also likely to upset that segment of the NEPA membership wanting a warm weather location or a return to New York City.

Yet, the turnout at the Miami conference certainly exceeded the expectation of those who anticipated a sharp fall-off in attendence because of the venue.
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Publication:The Newsletter on Newsletters
Date:Dec 15, 2000
Words:462
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