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Record Attendance at 2004 ETA Show

When the payment processing industry descends upon "Sin City" for a conference, it knows how to break records. The Electronic Transactions Association (ETA) announced a better-than-ever turnout for its 2004 Annual Meeting and Expo held April 19 - 22 in Las Vegas. Nearly 3,000 payments industry professionals attended the event-an increase of 25% over last year's show.

ETA's 2003 Annual Meeting and Expo hosted 2,371 attendees, while this year's event brought in 2,967 total registrants and 146 exhibiting companies.

This year, for the first time, ETA extended a special offer to 1099 independent contractor merchant level salespeople (MLSs) to attend one day of the conference at a discounted rate. More than 130 MLSs took advantage of this select one-day pass.

The 2004 conference premiered under the direction of ETA's new management team, including Executive Director Carla Balakgie.

"When our exhibit hall sold out in February, almost 10 weeks before the show, we knew we were headed for a successful event," Balakgie said.

"We didn't realize, however, that we would break all previous participation records. This success is testament to a strong industry supported by a vibrant community of professionals."

ETA said people from all levels in the payments industry-from CEOs and principals to technology specialists, ISOs and MLSs-and from all segments were present, including transaction processors, terminal manufacturers, financial institutions, value-added resellers, sales organizations, gift card providers and Internet payment solution providers.

Offering three new courses, Intro to Technology, Intro to Operations and Intro to Sales and Marketing, ETAU also claimed a record number of "students": 447.

"ETA is fostering a dynamic and attractive venue that serves as a conduit for the professional and business development of those in the industry," Balakgie said. "...vendors and payment professionals recognize the value of this opportunity and are increasingly turning to ETA for the best education and networking."

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