If the companies feel like it's safe, they will pay the deposit and secure their spot. If they don't, they won't waste their money on it. That's why TMEA, Mid-West, PASIC were all canned 6 months before their convention dates. It's not that they didn't think things would be better by the time the convention rolled around. The exhibitors didn't want to take the risk of losing the money if it was cancelled at the last minute.
We should expect an announcement by the middle of February.