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   A Penton Media Property March 5, 2009 Volume 5, Number 3




Publishing Industry Conventions Canceled
CEIR Examines the Value of Exhibits
Travel and Tourism Associations to Co-Locate
Tough Times for Meetings

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Up First
Publishing Industry Conventions Canceled
By Dave Kovaleski
Two annual meetings in the publishing industry have been canceled for 2009, both casualties of the economic recession.

The American Society of Newspaper Editors announced that it is canceling its 2009 annual meeting just two months before the convention was to take place, April 26-29 in Chicago. Plans were well under way, but officials decided to cancel it because of low attendance projections and the stress of the economy on members. With the newspaper industry struggling, ASNE leaders concluded that the challenges editors face at their newspapers demand their full attention, said Charlotte Hall, president of ASNE, in a press release. Also, said Hall, attendance would have been significantly lower than normal. The convention typically attracts between 400 and 500 attendees.

Read about a magazine industry association that recently canceled its annual meeting.


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Issues and Trends
CEIR Examines the Value of Exhibits
A new study by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research puts a price tag on the value of exhibitions.

CEIR’s Cost Effectiveness of Exhibition Participation study determined that it costs about $215 to make an initial face-to-face contact with a customer at an exhibition. Included in that cost is exhibition construction, storage, exhibit space, transportation, salesperson salary, travel, and entertainment, according to the report, conducted for CEIR by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Travel and Tourism Center at the University of South Carolina. To make that first meeting with a potential customer in the field without an exhibition lead would cost about $1,039. Breaking it down, the researchers found that it costs an average of $596 to contact the prospect in the field and $443 to identify the prospect prior to the sales call.

Read how much the average respondent spends on exhibits each year and how many visitors they get at their booths.


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Travel and Tourism Associations to Co-Locate
By Dave Kovaleski
Two travel industry associations, the United Motorcoach Association and the National Tour Association, will co-locate their annual conventions starting in 2013.

The co-location plan will provide members of the two associations with better value as well as increased business and networking opportunities, officials said. Even if the economy were not in recession, the associations would be co-locating, said Mark Gedris, UMA spokesman. “It makes great sense for our members,” he said. “There are a lot of synergies between the two associations.”

The process of co-locating will be gradual for UMA and NTA. Each association is committed to its own meetings sites through 2012, but between now and then, they will play an increasingly large role in each other’s annual convention. Read more about the NTA and UMA co-location.

Tough Times for Meetings
By Sue Pelletier
With the recent media massacre of meetings held by corporations receiving bailout money—and at least one legislator’s plans to increase oversight on meeting spending—everyone seems to be running scared in the corporate world. Luckily, you work for an association, so you’re still flying under the radar, right? Not necessarily. As the story above about the American Society of Newspaper Editors and Magazine Publishers of America canceling their 2009 meetings makes all too clear, things are getting tough all over.

In fact, it’s getting so tough that according to a New York Times article, “Some event organizers, desperate for delegates, are going so far as to waive registration fees or to offer free hotel rooms to lure budget-minded business travelers.”

I haven’t heard of anyone actually doing this yet, but desperate times call for desperate measures. What are you doing to keep people coming to your meetings? Let us know.

If, like ASNE and MPA, you find yourself having to outright cancel a meeting (hopefully not your annual!), here’s a story from our archives that might come in handy: How to Unplan a Meeting. Here’s hoping you don’t need to use it.

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