Hi, my name is Rab Govil. I serve as the CEO of Caslon and President of PODi. We are here at the App Forum 2012 in the Tropicana Hotel; the new and improved Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas. I’m very excited this year; it is the first year the conference already has added one more conference. Generally, we have the App Forum, which is a traditional conference aimed Marketing Services Provider. This year we have added App Forum Direct, which is a conference aimed at Marketers to help them understand how they can leverage all this new digital media to drive more response in their marketing. So, excited about having a bunch of great speakers speaking at the conference.
We have Ken Schmidt, who drove some of the branding exercises at Harley-Davidson. He will talk about the value of brand and how it stimulates demand and what are the right things that need to be doing to really use it holistically in the direct response area. I, myself, am going to be keynoting and talking about the future of direct marketing. And again, the future of direct marketing shows how direct mail can be used to be a really important aspect of the whole media mix, but orchestrating with all the different media is what creates magic.
We also have Valerie Vargas, the Vice President of Marketing at AT&T speaking. AT&T literally is the largest direct mailer at this time in the country. They do about one billion pieces and have close to $100 million customers. We’ve been working with Tom Kelvy, who has been responsible for the transitioning all that volume to a brand new model of how they’re going to be distributing and printing their direct mail, how they’re gonna become much, much more relevant with their direct mail. It’s one of the major transitions happening in this country, in this area. And Valerie will help as we talk about this transition and show that even with budgets as much as a billion dollars, which they have, is why direct mail is still as close to a $300 million budget for them on an ongoing basis and it becomes important.
And these are just the keynotes. We have a huge variety of sessions on subjects leading from mail optimization to what are the new types of applications that are appearing because the App Forum, literally, is about how do you use technology to deliver new value and new applications to your customers.