U.S. corporations expect to spend 9 percent of their marketing budgets on events in 2006, down from 16 percent in 2005, according to the Blackfriars Marketing Index, developed by Blackfriars Communications Inc., Maynard, Mass. Carl Howe, principal at Blackfriars, says the shift is due in part to the rise in spending on Web-based activities (blogs, podcasts) and nontraditional marketing activities (buzz marketing, word-of-mouth campaigns).