BEACH BLANKET BIZ
Byline: Alison Maxwell
WASHINGTON — This year’s CTFA annual meeting promises to be the perfect mix of business and pleasure, according to E. Edward Kavanaugh, president of the industry organization.
“This meeting is the only real opportunity outside of New York for the industry as a whole to come together and spend a few days away from the business day,” Kavanaugh said of the three day excursion to Boca Raton Resort & Club in Boca Raton, Fla. “A lot of business goes on between suppliers and magazines and manufacturers. Everyone’s schedules are amazing, whether it’s a meeting at the hotel or the cabana.”
For the business sessions, Kavanaugh said the focus would be on e-commerce.
“That’s really big for our industry right now,” he said. “Some are ahead of others and some are behind when it comes to e-commerce.”
The headline speaker at the event will be Kenneth Starr, former White House independent counsel.
“We wanted a name, so we thought Ken Starr would be a controversial figure,” Kavanaugh explained. “We’ve had people like Richard Nixon. Next year, I’m hopeful we’ll invite Bill Clinton if we can afford him.”
Starr will reflect on the impeachment process and answer audience questions.
Mitch Album, author of “Tuesdays with Morrie,” will also address the annual meeting.
“We always try to get one speaker who appeals to the spouses,” Kavanaugh said. “‘Tuesdays with Morrie” is a great read and really hits home.”
Other speakers include former U.S. trade representative and Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor. Kantor will speak about trade issues and China’s entry into the World Trade Organization at a breakfast session.
Robert Isabell, New York’s party impresario who has arranged several White House dinners, will be coordinating CTFA’s annual “Look Good+Feel Better” dinner. The Saturday night extravaganza will have a Latin theme, Kavanaugh said.
Isabell is also arranging the Wednesday night reception and dinner for the CTFA board and spouses, which will be sponsored by Conde Nast.
“We’re going to be Isabell’ed out by the end of this thing,” Kavanaugh joked.