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That time of year is coming upon us again. Next month is RECon, the International Council of Shopping Centers annual convention – the biggest event in the retail real estate world.But we have a feeling, like conventions across the country, attendance won’t be as big as years past, like 2007, when attendance hit 50,000. Michael Kercheval, ICSC’s president, said a at a conference in Florida yesterday that pre-registered attendance so far this year is not that much lower than in 2008.A look at ICSC’s attendee list on its Website shows that just under 18,800 have signed up, and we are still over a month away. With all of the deals offered at the event and airline ticket prices plummeting that number could surely pick up steam.However we’ve heard that some companies are cutting back on the amount of staff they’re sending this year, and two big owners, namely Simon Property Group and Westfield aren’t going to be in the leasing mall, and as of now, aren’t shown on ICSC’s real-time floor plan. But Kercheval contended yesterday that there is still a waiting list to exhibit in the leasing mall.What are your expectations this year? Are you not making it because of cost cutbacks or is it essential to attend this important event no matter what state of the economy?

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