Industry attendance at the 2008 RSNA plunges

December 7, 2008

Overall unaudited attendance at the 2008 Radiological Society of North America was down compared with last year, according to Thursday’s figures. But exhibitor registration took the hardest hit.

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 Radiological Society of North America after the end of sessions on Fri., Dec. 5, indicate that 58,795 people attended the week-long 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 concerns 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 Lakeshore Drive bridge from the North and South Buildings to the Lakeside Center. Attendance by guests rose 7% to 6526.