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May 6, 2003 – War Not To Blame For Cancelled Meetings

A recent poll of association meeting planners, conducted by Association Meetings magazine, revealed that the economy and SARS presented more concerns than the Iraq War. Of those who cancelled meetings, most (62%) cited the economy as the reason, with some stating that their organizations were facing budget cutbacks. Others said they were block-booking hotel rooms more conservatively and looking for more flexible attrition terms. One in five (21%) said they will do more audio/video conferencing in the future. More than a quarter (26%) who said they cancelled cited SARS-related fears as the primary reason. The majority of respondents (69%) said that the notable route cutbacks by airlines would have only a slight impact on their meetings this year, while 9 percent said the impact would be significant.

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