Her response raises the question again, why cut marketing when things are down?
Profit often comes from serving the existing customer base. New revenue is often expensive to obtain and expensive to support, partially answering the question "why do companies cut sales and marketing budgets during an economic downturn?" Leaning out the organization as Karen has indicated and keeping the revenue streams you already have is a common approach.
Many companies are shifting weight to Customer Relationship Management at events in which they continue to participate, aka "putting their arms around their existing customers." Keeping the business you have safe from price attacks by starving competitors, offering solutions to existing customers that help you both mutually deal with the economy, and making sure that you get any additional business that is to be had from your current accounts are productive goals for events in the near term. Scheduled meetings with top accounts, where you offer real support and solutions for weathering the storm are a wise investment of time and resources.
So, if you are still counting leads as a major part of your event measurement, count meetings with high value accounts at least equally in your measure of success.