Thanks to a strong education program, a big drive-in market, and special telemarketing efforts by the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau as well as the association itself, the International Association for Exposition Management topped last year's annual meeting registration at its 2001 annual meeting and exposition in Chicago's McCormick Place, December 4 to 7.

Trade Shows — Backbone of Business Travel

Also announced at IAEM were the results of a recent survey conducted by eBrain Market Research (www.ebrain.com). The good news: Trade shows are becoming the backbone of business travel in this post-September 11 world. Thirty-two percent of the 354 respondents to the Business Travel Survey said trade shows were more important to them now than they were before September 11. And while 26 percent said they are looking to find ways to reduce overall business travel, almost two-thirds of the respondents said they would be more likely to go on a business trip if it included a relevant trade show. Only client prospecting ranked higher than trade shows in importance for business travel.

Fourteen percent said they plan to increase travel to trade shows, as compared to 8 percent reporting that they will increase travel to intra-company meetings, and 5 percent increasing travel to conferences.

While a third of respondents reduced business travel due to financial concerns, and 67 percent list the economy as a reason for their company reducing travel, 16 percent say they reduced their travel because meetings or conferences were canceled. Thirteen percent say that meetings or conferences they attended in the past now are being conducted by other means.