In Brief 5-09

President Obama released a strategic plan in April to build high-speed rail service across the States. The idea would be funded by $8 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and $1 billion a year for five years from the federal budget. For more information, visit    

The Exhibition Industry posted its first annual decline in six years in 2008, contracting by 3.1 percent compared with 2007, according to the newly released Center for Exhibition Industry Research Index, a composite measure of industry health.

The International association of conference centers is urging its member properties to follow its new voluntary sustainability code.

Cvent, a provider of online meetings management services, has added webconferencing to its list of offerings by integrating with the Cisco WebEx Meeting Center. Cvent customers now are able to collect online fees for webinars, synchronize Cvent and WebEx contact data, customize registration paths and offer survey capabilities.