2009 Year-in-Review for the Meetings Industry

It's hard to believe that another year has gone by! Now that the champagne flutes have been washed and the party hats have been stored for another year, I thought it would be fitting to take one last look at what happened in 2009 in the meetings industry.

Using past blog posts as our timeline, let's take a look back at 2009 in the meeting planning world:

Washington, DC Announces Inauguration Day Statistics
2009 started with a bang thanks to President Barack Obama's historic inauguration. This DC event drew 1.8 million people to the National Mall, not too mention a big rush on DC hotel rooms.

Meeting Cancellation for Wells Fargo's Las Vegas Event
The meeting cancellations—and dreaded "AIG Effect"—continued into 2009; notably, Wells Fargo's canceled an event in February. It wasn't long before industry professionals began to speak out against the media scrutiny against events. Even Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf took out a full-page ad in the New York Times to explain his frustration.

Keep America Meeting Campaign
Responding to all of the negative scrutiny against meetings and events, the U.S. Travel Association and TBA Global, with support from the Event Marketing Institute, start the Keep America Meeting campaign. An online petition, planner toolkit, and even a rap song soon follow.

As Swine Flu Alert Rises, Meetings/Travel Start to Feel the Effects
H1N1 furor came fast and furious, causing panic among leisure and business travel destinations and venues across the globe. Most companies, though, seemed to not see it as a reason to cancel events.

Mexico Hotels and Resorts Attract Guests with Great Deals
Despite the CDC's suspension of the travel warning to Mexico, South-of-the-Border destinations were hard hit by the swine flu frenzy. Empty resorts offered up the best promotions they had to encourage occupancy.

8 Hotel Brands Offering Meeting Deals
As summer approached and hotels continued to struggle putting heads in beds, unprecedented deals and discounts could be found at even the biggest brands. (Check them out—many are stil good until early 2010!)

Study Identifies the Country's "Travel Tweet Elite"
In 2009 people were no longer asking, "What is Twitter?" but rather "Why aren't you using it?" More and more hotels, restaurants and destinations joined the Twitterverse, while event professionals realized how great it was for promoting their conferences and tradeshows.

Las Vegas Welcomes Its First LEED Gold-Certified Hotels
Despite a tough year for Las Vegas, the city ended on a high note with the opening of the first venues in the multi-million dollar CityCenter project.

Companies Plan Holiday Parties with New Cost-Cutting Tactics
A poor economy and public scrutiny didn't get us down this holiday season. Most planners opted to hold a holiday party—they just did so on a smaller budget.

What will 2010 bring for the meetings and events industry? Based on this past year, it's obvious that no one can predict what's ahead. But rest assured that we here at the Cvent blog will be here to keep track of it all!

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