The economy has forced meeting managers to get creative and look for deals in new places. One of those places is barter exchanges — companies that specialize in bringing together manufacturers and service providers in mostly cashless exchanges of product overstock and inventory. That includes hotel rooms, says Tom McDowell, executive director of the National Association of Trade Exchanges in Mentor, Ohio. “A lot of hotels and resorts are already organized for barter, and those that aren't ...

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