The good news, according to meeting industry recruiters, is that medical organizations, particularly pharmaceutical and medical communication firms, have among the healthiest meetings departments these days, with few layoffs and a fair amount of hiring.

In fact, according to meeting industry headhunters, it's so rosy that many in the harder hit economic segments — say those who used to plan meetings for telecommunications companies — are starting to apply for positions in pharmaceutical firms and medical communication companies. Specialty societies, universities, and hospitals also are holding their own, experts say.