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Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) has a direct spending calculator available to its members that requires the input of data to make the appropriate determinations.

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These sisters and their organization’s are too big to ignore for any supplier.Sidebars at the end of this article highlight those special gatherings held annually in the same destinations with sizable attendance, such as the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) or the Essence Festival.Essence attracted over 400,000 people to New Orleans and the CBC brought in 8,000 to Washington DC.The top 25 features professional groups, fraternities, sororities and governmental conferences.Also keep in mind most of these large organizations also have regional conferences that attract hundreds if not thousands.It’s a pretty safe bet that most of you reading this article are suffering from a severe case of recession fatigue.

We’ve all grown rather weary of all this recession talk and I for one am tired of writing about it.

The first entry in our top 25, the National Baptist Congress of Christian Education attracted 55,000 to Detroit.

Collectively, attendance at most African-American events held steady as compared to 2008 and some actually experienced a slight increase such as the NAACP’s 100th Anniversary gathering held in New York City.

Each year we attempt to make this column more relevant to our readers by adding detailed information.

Our intent is to have our readers hold on to this issue and use as a resource.

According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority meetings are down almost 22 percent over the first six months of 2009 with attendance off 27.5 percent. Orlando and other hotspots have also experienced a slight decrease in meetings and conventions, yet both destinations continue to be the premiere sites for meetings and conventions.