Major convention due on Beach in June seen drawing delegates from 60 nations
By Victor Cruz
A conference for senior-level entertainment marketing executives is expected to bring 6,000 participants from more than 60 countries to Miami Beach as officials anticipate spending nearly $5.7 million during their stay from June 20-23.
The PROMAX and BDA annual meetings for promotion, marketing and design professionals in radio and television is one of the larger conferences coming to the area this summer.
It is the first time the group has used the Miami-Dade area for its annual awards conference.
The America's SAP User's Group conference, a gathering of 9,000 professionals who use an advanced computer software package for invoice tracking and procurement management, has planned its meeting for the Beach. Participants are expected to fill 6,000 rooms May 20-23 and the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau projects delegates could spend more then $9 million.
The PROMAX conference is essentially educational, say organizers. Top writers, designers and producers in television, cable, and radio - on the promotions and marketing side of the business - recharge their creative energies and learn about new strategies, said Steve Grieder, senior vice president and general manager of Nickelodeon in Latin America.
"Every major programmer who serves Latin American radio and television stations will be present. That means Televisa, Globo, and others," said Mr. Grieder, who also anticipates representatives for vendors that serve the industry, such as computer companies, to attend.
Mr. Grieder, who is based in Miami, said he is a longtime attendee of the annual conference and a member of the PROMAX board.
PROMAX and BDA, which stand for "promotions and marketing," and "broadcast design association," respectively, have held the annual convention for more than 40 years and have scheduled a smaller regional conference in November in Miami-Dade especially for Latin American promotions and marketing people.
Last year, the conference, which will feature two advertising awards presentations, was held in New Orleans.
"About 5,000 attended, filling 3,500 rooms on their peak night," said Beverly Gianna, vice-president of public affairs for the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau.
"On the average, that's $1,043 spent per convention-goer during the visit," she said.
This year the conference will attempt to tackle the problem and opportunity of the proliferation of the video screen.
"There are lots of different types of screens today. Everything from your TV to your cell phone has a screen and that screen has become a focus for marketing. We'll look at the best ideas for dealing with that," Mr. Grieder said
The area's ability to accommodate a convention of this size was one reason PROMAX chose Miami Beach. The area's glitzy reputation was another.
"There is the 'coolness' factor. After all, we are attempting to gather creative people and we have to have a city they look forward to seeing," Mr. Grieder said.
Among the keynote speakers will be William Roedy, president of MTV Networks International, and among headliners is Dick Wolf, creator and executive producer of USA NBC's Emmy Award-winning Law and Order.
The event will feature 100 sessions, 250 speakers and more than 100 exhibitors at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Most participants will be staying at the Fontainebleau Hilton & Towers and Loews Miami Beach hotels.