While the first half of 2003 wasn’t so great for some, several nursing association annual conventions said they’re doing just fine, thank you. For example, the Dermatology Nurses Association’s Annual Convention this March got its best attendance ever; more than 1,000 nurses came to San Francisco for the show. With 95 booths, the exhibition also was sold out. "This was DNA’s best convention ever," says executive director Cyndee Nowicki.
The annual meeting and exhibition for the American Organization of Nurse Executives also had a banner year with its March show in New Orleans. The number of exhibitors, which in 2002 was 148, jumped to 168 in 203, and the number of booths increased from 211 to 260. Attendance was about the same, says Veronika Oven, AONE’s director, education and research. AONE attributes the increase in exhibitors to a growing recognition of nurse executives’ leadership roles in their workplaces, and the need to provide them with the latest technologies to help them keep pace during a time where nurses are in short supply.
The National Association of School Nurses, scheduled for late June in Cincinnati, also was expecting about the same number of attendees as the year before, says Web and data specialist Sharon Conley. "We will have more exhibitors this year than last due to more experienced exhibit management."
The opposite scenario was the case for the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, which welcomed 1,099 attendees and over 65 exhibitors to its 24th Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla., in April. According to Joe Casey, NAPNAP’s director of membership and communications, these numbers represent a gain in attendees over its 2002 conference in Reno and a slight decline in the number of exhibitors. "We believe the family-friendly accommodations and the accessibility of Orlando played a role in our increased attendance, while the economy and generally slower exhibit industry conditions played a role in the number of exhibitors we welcomed in 2003," he says. "We anticipate strong participation in 2004 when NAPNAP holds our conference in Dallas in March."