Meeting Mentor Magazine

August 2020

Best of MeetPete

Call It Divorce, Italian-Style

Ciao. In a country noted for its family-centered Roman Catholic traditions, it caused quite a stir when Milan recently played host to what was billed as the country’s first Divorce Trade Fair. Exhibitors, according to a New York Times report, included lawyers, real estate agents, and dating services. According to one attendee, Lorenza Licianer, “family values are great but women (in Italy) have begun to live a different reality. We’ve turned into America. Everyone is on their second marriage.”…Imagine driving 700,000 people to your exhibit? That’s the number of attendees who visited the United States pavilion at the Shanghai Expo. The pavilion included two theaters and a gift shop. Among the high-profile corporate sponsors: Citibank, Pfizer, Chevron, General Electric, and Johnson & Johnson. Nearly 200 countries were represented at the Expo…Sponsorship spending in the United States, an estimated $17 billion according to IEG, declined $100 million in 2009. The good news is that the figure is expected to rebound 3.4 percent this year. “We have long advocated for fewer, bigger sponsorships but that may be changing,” IEG Senior Vice President and Editorial Director Jim Andrews said at the company’s recent Unbound Conference held in Chicago. “There may be a growing need to sign more smaller, yet strategic sponsors. Offering more flexible cost options with more customization will be a trend in the future.”…Devaluation of the euro has depressed markets around the world. But one positive sign is airline booking patterns for the coming summer months. With fewer flights, planes are expected to fly 90 percent full. Most of the increased demand is being fueled by business travelers, a positive indicator of confidence in an economic recovery. Still, most analysts remain cautious; no one is taking bets about how strong the uptick will be. — Pete Shure

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