Don't tell second-tier cities there's a young but persistent “bear” market at the door of the U.S. economy. Frankly, many of them don't have time to think about it. They're too busy preparing for conventions anticipated for years to come. From past experience, Liz Jackson, vice president of Association Management Group, says, “When a recession is upon us, business does tend to flatten out a bit. But since the volume of meetings has grown so much in the past decade, there are still enough ...

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