According to the 2009 Exhibit Management Survey, conducted by the Trade Show Exhibitors Association, exhibitors are expecting their budgets for 2009 to shrink, but they still plan to exhibit.

Respondents reported that trade shows still would account for one-third of their 2009 marketing budgets, despite expectations that their budgets for shows would shrink from an average of $459,100 in 2008 to $381,000 in 2009, an average drop of 17 percent.

Spending trends are industry-specific, however. The survey found that spending for medical/healthcare/pharmaceutical industry events will increase 5 percent in 2009, while spending for technology shows will decrease 46 percent. The number of shows participants said they planned to attend this year shrank from an average of 30 in 2008 to 25 in 2009.