Economic woes affect attendance

January 1, 2009

A big drop in exhibitor attendance led to an overall 5% decline in the number ofpeople who attended the 2008 RSNA meeting. Audited totals released by the RSNAafter the end of sessions on Dec. 5 indicate that 58,795 people attended the weeklongscientific assembly and meeting.

A big drop in exhibitor attendance led to an overall 5% decline in the number of people who attended the 2008 RSNA meeting. Audited totals released by the RSNA after the end of sessions on Dec. 5 indicate that 58,795 people attended the weeklong scientific assembly and meeting.

Vendor attendance declined 12% to 24,683. According to the RSNA, 726 technical exhibits occupied 516,100 square feet, down 4% from the 2007 total.

Many exhibitors expressed concerned during the week about the growing international economic crisis prompted by a historic collapse of global financial markets in October. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced during the conference week that U.S. employers had cut 533,000 jobs in November, the biggest one-month cut since December 1974. Medical imaging equipment sales declines have dogged the industry at least since the initiation of Medicare rate cuts for high-tech outpatient imaging procedures in January 2007.

Despite a modest increase in preregistration numbers, professional attendance fell 1% to 27,586. Many attendees mentioned that they did not notice a change in the overall traffic across the Lake Shore Drive bridge from the North and South buildings to the Lakeside Center. Attendance by guests rose 7% to 6526.