Compiled ByJill Jusko Decisions by companies and individuals to reduce travel have resulted in a boost to business for rich-media conferencing services providers, new research indicates. According to a study by marketing research firm Wainhouse Research, Brookline, Mass., the overall conferencing services market will grow to $9.8 billion in 2006, with several service segments enjoying particularly strong growth. Specifically, audio conferencing is forecast to grow at more than 18%, while the unattended audio conferencing segment will increase at more than 33%; and Web conferencing services are forecast to enjoy a five-year compound annual growth rate of 42%. All conferencing segments are expected to migrate to unattended, on-demand services that present both lower costs for end users and higher margins for service providers. "The conferencing service provider industry has seen a sharp uptick in business since Sept. 11," says Wainhouse Research Managing Partner Andrew W. Davis, "and after a healthy first nine months will end the year up 28% from 2000. While we don't expect this sharp increase to last, we do expect a long-term positive effect on the usage of conferencing service providers." Full details of the research are detailed in the report "Conferencing Markets and Strategies, Volume 3: The Services Industry: Audio, Video, Web & Streaming Conference Services."