RSNA meeting shows signs of rebound from 9/11 effect

August 28, 2002

Early registrations leap ahead of last yearTerrorism cast a long shadow in 2001, causing airline traffic to drop precipitously--along with attendance at many trade shows. The annual meeting of the RSNA was among them, as the number

Early registrations leap ahead of last year

Terrorism cast a long shadow in 2001, causing airline traffic to drop precipitously--along with attendance at many trade shows. The annual meeting of the RSNA was among them, as the number of visitors to McCormick Place in the days following Thanksgiving slumped 11%. This year is shaping up much better.

Advance registration for the 2002 meeting is up 5% compared with last year, an especially encouraging sign, considering that the Sept. 11 attacks came too late to affect early registration for the 2001 meeting. A disproportionate number of advance registrants this year are from overseas, according to an RSNA spokesperson.

Another encouraging sign is the submission of 7674 scientific abstracts for consideration--56 more than last year. The number of companies exhibiting at the meeting and the net square footage are even with last year, which was down from previous years due in large part to consolidation within the industry.

Despite the tough times last year, attendance at the RSNA show was still more than respectable, as 53,000 registrants roamed the halls, just 7000 shy of the previous year. Medical trade shows overall have fared well, according to the publication Tradeshow Week.

Among all trade shows, regardless of industry, the RSNA 2001 meeting (with 445,825 net sq. ft. of exhibit space) ranked 41st, up from 43rd in 2000. The largest trade show in 2001 was the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas with 1,225,003 net sq. ft. Among the other medical shows mentioned by Tradeshow Week were meetings held by Medtrade (279,950 sq. ft.), the American Academy of Ophthalmology (245,000 sq. ft.), and the American Heart Association (192,520 sq. ft.).