CTAM In NY: Diversity Week Events Drew Crowds

With the final numbers tallied, organizers were pleased at the turnout to Diversity Week events in New York City.

Diversity Week events in New York City -- the WICT Leadership Conference, the NAMIC Conference, the Walter Kaitz Foundation annual dinner, the ACC Forum and the CTAM in New York conference -- generally outpaced figures from 2010, they said.

The week led off Monday with the Women in Cable Telecommunications annual event, at the Hilton New York. The opening session, which included remarks from National Cable & Telecommunications Association president Michael Powell, drew more than 600 people and the day's luncheon, including Touchstone Award presentations, was attended by more than 850.

"We were very pleased with attendance in the second year of having Diversity Week back in New York," WICT spokesman Talton Gibson said. "To wind up with numbers 20% above last year says to us that our members and the industry support this focus on diversity."

The National Association of Multi-ethnicity in Communications, which gathered beginning Tuesday at the Hilton, reported some 750 attendees, well above the 600 who came to the annual event in 2010.

"Considering this year's silver anniversary milestone, it was expected that attendance would be on par with last year's event," NAMIC's Charmaine Chapman said. "NAMIC is pleased to have had a total of 750 general attendees for this year's conference, which is a 34% increase over 2010. Additionally, an estimated 1,000 attendees were on-hand for the Diversity in Media and Entertainment Career Expo, which was also open to the general public."

The 28th annual Kaitz dinner, Wednesday night at the Hilton, drew more than the 1,100 who came in 2010 (when the dinner returned to its traditional New York City home) and took in $1.6 million for three diversity-related organizations. That, too, surpassed the 2010 take of $1.4 million.

"This annual dinner continues to be the highlight of the industry's Diversity Week activities, a time that celebrates the goal of advancing an inclusive environment for women and people of color in our industry," David Porter, executive director of the Walter Kaitz Foundation, said in a statement. "We are grateful to our sponsors, contributors and everyone who was able to join us in New York for a celebratory evening of support of the Foundation and its philanthropic efforts."

Funds raised from the dinner help fund the activities of the Walter Kaitz Foundation's diversity efforts, along with the programs and activities of the Emma L. Bowen Foundation, the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC), and Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT). The initiatives of these organizations focus on leadership and professional development, career coaching, skills training, mentoring, and internships, event coordinators said.

Among events co-located with Diversity Week, the Association of Cable Communicators said it was still adding the figures but estimates about 150 attendees for its conference. Executive director Steve Jones said that would be about 20% below last year's total, possibly due to travel cutbacks by cable systems. "However, we continue to be optimistic for the coming year," he said. "We received great feedback during the event that the sessions had terrific speakers who gave impactful information that our members can put to good use once they return to their offices."

Finally, the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing, which held its annual conference in New York (at the Marriott Marquis) for the first time since 1984, reported 1,672 attendees.

That figure surpassed -- by one attendee -- the 1,671 who came to last year's CTAM Summit in New Orleans.