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We’ve just completed a preliminary agenda for our upcoming Directional Media Strategies ’09 conference, Sept. 22-24 in Orlando, Florida. DMS is our annual event focused on the global directories industry and, more broadly, connecting small-business advertisers with customers. It is the best single event of the year for understanding what will drive the directories business, and for networking with industry leaders who are serious about innovating and partnering.

Our working theme for this year’s event is, “a five-year roadmap for directional media.” In today’s business climate, five years can be a lifetime. But a big part of our job is to look ahead and help our clients understand how they need to adjust their businesses to seize longer term opportunities. Our conferences share this emphasis.

There will be a lot to talk about at DMS this year. We’ve seen major upheavals among some of the industry’s biggest players, major shifts in how local advertisers view their media investments and, of course, an economic crisis that cuts to the heart of some of the key drivers of directional media usage — home values and consumer confidence. Add to these challenges the opportunities presented by new media options and distribution platforms — think online video and the iPhone. Industry players grappling with all these issues need a steady diet of good ideas — on new products and how to roll them out successfully; on selling in a difficult environment; on structuring a business for long-term success. Our agenda is designed as a forum for sharing the best available ideas.

We are adding some new elements to this year’s show, including a “debate” format where we will bring together two strong advocates for opposite sides of a burning industry question. We think this will be a thought-provoking and fun approach.

We encourage you to check out the agenda and give us your feedback.

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