25 March 2003 21:02 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--Attendance at next week's International Petrochemical Conference (IPC) in San Antonio, Texas might be off by some 10% due to international tensions, top IPC sponsor officials said Tuesday.
Bob Slaughter, president of Washington, DC-based National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA), told CNI today that NPRA expects approximately 2800 registered participants at IPC when it begins Sunday. That represents a reduction of about 300 registrants from the total of 3100 advance registrations that NPRA had received for the three-day event.
"Given the circumstances," Slaughter said, "the actual number of cancellations is not that bad." NPRA sponsors the annual IPC.
He said NPRA was "very happy with the number of pre-registrations," with a figure that was running slightly ahead of last year's IPC advance registrations.
Most cancellations for this year's IPC are coming from foreign executives and firms, Slaughter said. International visitors typically make up one-third to 40% of IPC registrants, he noted.
He said cancellations appear to be more prevalent among firms in East Asia, perhaps reflecting concerns about the distance to be travelled and restrictions imposed by corporate travel bans. Other cancellations were from firms in the Middle East.
Last year's IPC recorded some 3400 registered attendees, according to NPRA, which represented a 15% decline from the 4000 registered participants seen in the 2000 and 2001 IPC programs. The decline in last year's attendance was attributed to the slowed world economy and consolidations in the industry.
Despite the likely attendance declines, Slaughter said this year's IPC will still be a "major event."
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