Semicon Southwest, a tradeshow for the semiconductor industry,annually is the biggest event at the convention center. Last year,the 8,000 chip people and 722 exhibitors that attended had a$9-million economic impact on the city, according to JaclynBarajas, marketing director for the Austin Convention and VisitorsBureau, tells GlobeSt.com.The show is sponsored by SEMI NorthAmerica, an industry trade group based in San Jose, CA. The eventruns Oct. 16-17.

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This year could be different. The industry already is in one ofits worst downturns, which usually reduces attendance. That couldbe compounded by the aftermath of the terrorists' attacks. Barajas,however, says the bureau hasn't heard of cutbacks by companiesdisplaying their products at the show.

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In a letter posted on the Semicon Southwest Web site, BobbyGreenberg, SEMI's president, acknowledged the industry's toughtimes. He said SEMI has arranged hotel discounts and extended theperiods for reduced-cost registration for the convention and otherprograms.

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ITEC is the other big October gathering that the center hasbooked. The annual trade show for information technologyprofessionals runs Oct. 24-25. Tuesday, the ITEC official runningthe Austin event could not be reached.

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These are the first big conventions to come to Austin since theattacks. The convention center was closed in September forrenovations. Barajas says 90% of the meetings that had beenscheduled for Austin hotels after the attacks have beenrescheduled. Other groups are still deciding about reschedulingdates or canceling altogether, she says.

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