…something to keep in mind.
Rather than editorialize, I will let Jack Lewin, chief executive of the American College of Cardiology, do the work for me. On booths, promotion, and COI:
The “circus element” of the exhibit booths doesn’t unduly influence attendees, Lewin said. “I don’t buy a soft drink just because of the advertising. … I buy it because I like it.”
UPDATE: Follow the money trail:
Several groups said money from drug, device or insurance companies accounted for less than 10 percent of their revenues. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society , for instance, told Grassley that from 2006 to 2009, it received roughly 5 percent of its funding from industry. The American Cancer Society  pegged its percentage even lower, at 1.5 percent.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists  reported 8.6 percent; and the American Psychological Association , whose members typically can’t prescribe drugs, said it received less than 1 percent.
ProPublica calculated some percentages based on figures the groups reported to Grassley, data on their websites and tax filings.
Among those with a heavier reliance on industry support were the Heart Rhythm Society , nearly 50 percent in 2010; the North American Spine Society , more than 50 percent in 2009; and American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology , with more than 40 percent in 2008.