Western Show Attendance Declines 48%


Anaheim, Calif. -- The board of the California Cable & Telecommunications
Association will meet Feb. 1 to decide on the future of its annual convention,
which drew 17,056 attendees this week, down 48 percent from last year's

Revenue from the trade show accounts for 70 percent of the CCTA's operating
funds. The association took a financial hit from the decline, especially as it
shelled out approximately $500,000 to underwrite the attendance of key MSO

But the incentives to draw MSO decision-makers were 'an excellent investment.
It worked big-time,' CCTA vice president of industry affairs C.J. Hirschfield

She pointed out that Insight Communications Co. Inc. had many more executives
here for a managers' meeting than came to past Western Shows.

Feedback also indicated that the new 'participant' category worked, drawing
programmers back, at least to the convention.

The attendance shortfall has already caused the trade association to lay off
seven people and to cut 27 percent from its overall budget, including $200,000
sliced from lobbying and public affairs.

'Right now, we are relatively stable,' she said. But the prospect looms of a
dues hike for California members. CCTA dues have been 'relatively low' because
of the historic success of the Anaheim meeting, she added.

Show planners will solicit input from new supporters, such as the 99 new
broadband-technology exhibitors, as well as from the old guard to determine
whether the show should continue and how.

'We have to look at what this industry is now and what it's migrating to,'
Hirschfield said. 'Personally, I'm pleased. Given the economy, it was a strong