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MONTE CARLO, Monaco-Official and unofficial observers for once agreed there were fewer people at the Rendez-Vous de Septembre.
But the level of the dropoff from last year was wide open to debate.
According to the official figures, 2,321 people registered for the 41st Rendez-Vous, down 29 from last year.
Attendees came from 83 countries, with the largest contingent coming from the United Kingdom, with 576 people, and then France, with 411. More than 200 traveled from the United States to the meeting.
But despite the official figures, many attendees, as usual, speculated that the drop in numbers was even larger. Or perhaps fewer people came for the entire week.
Whatever the reason, attendees certainly had less trouble securing tables in the Cafe de Paris or the bar and lobby of the Hotel de Paris, the two main meeting points of the Rendez-Vous.
For information on next year's Rendez-Vous, to be held Sept. 7-11, 1998, contact Rendez-Vous de Septembre, Centre de Congres Auditorium de Monaco, Boulevard Louis II, Monaco, MC 98000; phone: 377/92/16-6050; fax: 377/91/16-6135.