According to a NY Times article today, a growing number of business meetings scheduled for 2009 have been canceled, & attendance is expected to be down at those meetings that are still being held.
According to the article and recent discussions on the MeCo list, corporations are afraid to have some of the meetings because they don't want to be perceived as frivalous. The result is that hotels are laying off staff, municipalities and states will have less tax revenue, professional speakers are losing engagements, and it goes on.
The meetings that are not being cancelled will have lower attendance. This can be great for attendees as they'll have a better opportunity to meet one on one with people. Great networking and potential business building.
Read the article. Link below.