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October 30, 2008


Yes, there are many variables out there to conflict with our attendees' decision to attend an event. These include what was mentioned here - flights, hotels, etc but also include the decreased budgets and personnel changes, including doing more with less money and less staff.

Another option is holding an event virtually. The attendees simply register and attend from where they are. Speaker sessions are produced and broadcast in HD. There's live chat, exhibitor halls and networking lounges. As our society is moving to online social methods, virtual conferences are a natural progression. Audiences are increasing in this virtual industry.


I have got this same problem.Not feeling well.

We have experienced the same problem. We coordinate trade show services for most of our clients, and we pay their expenses using THEIR company charge card, sometimes AMEX.

There are ways around the problem, like you've mentioned. It just takes PLANNING. Is it inconvenient? Yes, but such is life. I question the idea of dropping AMEX b/c of this solitary issue - Their shortcoming is derived from fraud prevention, not customer service, right?

I know it might be a little bit of smoke and mirrors, with an origin in the credit crisis, but that's not exactly rare. Citi customers have some nightmarish stories about interest rate hikes and drastically reduced credit limits. Perhaps these are the standard business practices for creditors in the present economy. But jumping ship in order to find the loosest and easiest credit provider sounds like a SCARY proposition.

As the owner of a company selling the tradeshow displays and the printing I'll confirm that we're very concerned of Amex and its recent downslide of service.

If people are buying online from our site for the first time they're usually doing for price and convenience. Take away the convenience with some silly situation like Rich describes above and the "screw it" attitude becomes statistically significant.

I've never had a problem with any of my AMEX account, because it's in my business name. I frequently book travel expenses, registration expenses and rental fees on this account, as I manage a sales staff of 15 for my company. I'm shocked that AMEX is giving such a long-standing member such a hard time.

I enjoyed the parallels you draw between the problems in the credit market and the trade show & convention industry.

If anyone else is feeling pain like this, and needs a financial break from purchasing big expensive books, or needs help promoting, a new Free Trade Show directory just went live last month: http://www.eventsinamerica.com.

From what I can tell, this site is really going to help me out, and I felt that as it's a free and can alleviate some expenses, it is relevant to bring into the conversation.

I've had similar problems with Amex in lieu of recent past. I don't think the solution is canceling your card and going to another one. Diversify, maybe. I do think it's worth considering that this one case does illustrate how major, trusted names are taking cautious steps. It's a shame. They should be encouraging spending for stable customers with good records!

Thanks for the post. This blog looks very interesting, keep up the good content!

How funny - I just had my personal amex that I use for all travel and business expenses have its limit cut in half.

I even phoned them to tell them my occupation, how I would put large charges, but like I have since I got the Amex, I would pay it off in full every month and never carry a balance.

How horrible that this has happened, and Amex used to be so customer service oriented.

You made a good point with your Amex example, but you also reinforced the feelings of many people who think Amex customer service is less than ideal. That's why many use other credit services.

I think you're missing the point here. This isn't about me or my Amex account. I told my story to make the point that there are going to be problems ahead for conference organizers because some/many attendees will not be able to charge steep registration fees or travel costs at will as they have done in the past. And that will likely lead to less business, or at the very least, more customer service interactions with prospects and customers.

For the record I'm keeping my Amex. Over the balance of 24 years, they've been very good to me and for me. My bet is that these new policies won't last for long.

So cancel your Amex account.

Many vendors have chosen not to accept American Express, so you shouldn't be afraid of being another one.

If a company doesn't perform to your satisfaction, stop doing business with that company.

I've had the same issue. This past show I had several purchases declined and had to call to get them put through.

Now I'm spooked that I might be out to a big sponsor dinner and my AMEX gets declined which would be very embarrassing.

I've never been late and have charged up to $14,000 on a single purchase in past years. Why should I have to cross my fingers each time I take a client to dinner? Not a good feeling.

I've got the same problem. My now-preset spending limit has been reduced. Visa and Mastercard aren't so picky, are accepted in more places, and actually have better rewards. The only reason I ever went with Amex was that in a clutch moment I could be certain it worked. Not any more.

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