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In the News: Euro Tech Conference Wilts in Economy, New Ads Appeal to Sympathy for Corporate Events

Event Groups Kick Off Defense Campaigns: The U.S. Travel Industries Association is furthering its quest to gain government and public sympathies after recent attacks on destination meetings, incentive events, and corporate-sponsored activities with an ad campaign dubbed “Meetings Mean Business” that launches online and in several newspapers today. Similarly, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority placed an ad in The Wall Street Journal that aimed to clear up the perception that serious business isn't getting done at the city's corporate events. The authority also hopes to win back business with a $1 million campaign to woo C.E.O.s instead of its normal target, event and meeting planners. [Ad Age]

American Society of Newspaper Editors Cancels Convention: Times are particularly tough for newspapers these days, and none of their editors seem keen to meet up and talk about it (or they can't afford to). The American Society of Newspaper Editors canceled its annual convention last week, saying editors are better off in their respective newsrooms during the turbulent times. But just because April's trip to Chicago is off doesn't mean the convention is kaput forever. The group plans to go ahead with the 2010 iteration in Washington. [Reuters]

Social Secretary Opens White House: Interest in White House Social Secretary Desirée Rogers has grown even more in the past few weeks, as the Obamas played host to their first string of events. Now, in a Washington Post profile and video interview, Rogers opens up about her plans for an inclusive White House that includes online registration for the annual White House Easter Egg Roll (instead of waiting in line) and launching a regular online lottery to award ordinary Americans with tickets to state dinners. [Washington Post]

CeBIT Attendance Lowest in Decade: German technology expo CeBIT, considered the largest convention of its kind in the world, kicked off yesterday with a speech from California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Turns out he's speaking to a much smaller crowd than usual. Exhibitor participation is down 23 percent from last year, at just 4,000, and general attendance is expected to be the lowest in a decade. [PC Advisor]

Cause Marketing Still Counts in Hard Times: Prevent Cancer Foundation and French pharmaceutical corporation Sanofi-Aventis joined forces to spread awareness about colorectal cancer—with an inflatable 20-foot-long replica of a colon. The exhibit, touring the U.S. throughout 2009, lets passersby walk inside the colon to see the difference between healthy and cancerous tissues. At the New York stop for the “super colon” in Times Square last week, Sanofi-Aventis oncology marketing insisted sponsorships of event marketing that increase awareness cannot be cut, especially in a down economy. [Ad Age]


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