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International events well attended
Events organised by international associations are standing up well in the recession, a new survey shows.
The poll by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and exhibition organisers IMEX found a "clear majority" of these events attracted more or the same number of delegates as in previous years.
ICCA said the survey, which questioned 120 executives, also got an upbeat response on sponsorship and exhibition revenues.
It said the associations planned to keep both their large and small meeting programmes going and there were no reports of events being cancelled.
But the poll also revealed that association organisers were "getting tougher" in their approach to events.
"Far more are planning to select better value destinations, to renegotiate existing contracts with venues and accommodation providers, and they are looking for budget cuts in all operational areas," ICCA said.
Martin Sirk, ICCA's ceo, said: "We've consistently claimed that international association meetings are the most resilient and recession-proof sector in our industry, and these results provide great evidence to support this view.
"They're certainly not immune from the downturn, with 70% indicating that they had suffered some negative impact, but the detailed positive results demonstrate the sense of including international associations in any long-term strategic business mix."
Carina Bauer, IMEX's marketing director, said: "This year's Association Day was the most successful ever in terms of attendance, and this survey helps to explain why that was so.
"International associations regard their meetings as an absolutely critical part of their organisations' strategies, and it's clear they're going to continue to invest strongly in meetings, which is good news for all of us."