RSNA exhibitor signups down 20%, but interest in Chicago return still ‘strong’

The Radiological Society of North America said exhibitor signups for its popular annual meeting are down compared to the typical year, but interest is still “strong.”

As of Monday, about 510 companies had confirmed their spots for RSNA 2021, including 71 first-time participants. The meeting is set to kick off Nov. 28 at McCormick Place in Chicago, offering more than 336,000 square feet of technical exhibition space across two halls, organizers said Monday.

“As is to be expected during these uncertain times, particularly with some international travel restrictions remaining in place, the number of exhibitors is down about 20%,” Linda Brooks, RSNA’s senior manager of media relations, told Radiology Business. “However, having more than 500 exhibiting companies committed to participating is a strong indication that these companies are ready to get back to the RSNA floor.”

The world’s largest medical imaging conference shelved the in-person portion of its scientific assembly in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, marking the first such cancelation since World War II. RSNA announced in May that the meeting would return to Chicago this year, and in August said it will require masks and proof of vaccination. The Oak Brook, Illinois-based professional association will offer a “robust” virtual component for those who cannot attend in person.

RSNA said it’s working closely with the City of Chicago to ensure a safe experience this fall.  McCormick Place has worked to enhance its air flow and cleaning procedures. It’s added larger exhibit hall aisles, too, to help alleviate traffic jams, particularly around larger showcases, and hand sanitizing stations will be stationed throughout the event space.

“RSNA is strongly committed to protecting the health and safety of all meeting attendees and personnel,” Brooks said Monday, adding that the “vast majority” of feedback on vaccine and mask mandates has been positive. “We’re not aware of any significant effect these requirements have had on registration one way or another.”

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