“I've never seen an environment quite like this,” says Dave O'Connor, president, Meeting Connections, a Brasstown, N.C.–based meeting-management and site-selection company. With the hotel industry struggling, O’Connor finds that pretty much anything is negotiable, especially for short-term meetings. Attorney James Goldberg of Goldberg & Associates in Washington agrees—to a point. “You have more flexibility if you're talking about a meeting held between now and the end of the year,” says ...

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