The 2009 annual conference of the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals reflected the economy in the smaller size of the attendance list, fewer sponsored items, and comments from the attendees.
Attendance is down from last year, but the number of companies sending staff dipped less than the overall attendance, showing that companies still value the conference, but they are not hiring new staff which traditionally makes up a significant number of attendees. So one person attended from a firm which normally sends two or three.
Many of the consultants commented that they are busy, but less busy than before. A few are very busy with assignments; these consultants focus on scenario planning so this service is viewed as immediately valuable by clients.
Fewer items were sponsored such as the lunches and breaks. And no boxes of coffee mugs appeared Friday morning as they had in previous years.
But overall people were positive about the economy turning around. CI seems to be valued more in this downturn than in previous ones so that is the good news from chicago. See you next year in DC!