Troubles plaguing travel didn't keep many from the third annual Affordable Meetings Mid-America, held April 1 to 4 at Chicago's Navy Pier. The show, which features educational programming bookending an exposition, is free for meeting planners. Attendance was down a bit, but not by much. The event drew roughly 934 meeting planners, and there were 341 expo booths. Last year's event attracted 1,025 meeting planners, a difference of about 9 percent. The drop was attributed primarily to the economy.

Planners praised the educational content, and a number of the seminars were standing-room-only. Topics ranged from the nitty-gritty, such as contract negotiation, to the important but lighthearted, such as ways to battle procrastination.