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18 / ConferenCe & Meetings World / issUe 66Looking forwardKristina Jurjevec, Project Manager for Conventa:"Since all budgets were cut to a minimum it took extra energy and creativity to stand out from the crowd. We learnt we can be successful when acting differently to the standard marketing practices.In 2011 we will again have a chance to prove the importance of our industry to the country's economy. Information overload will make us follow new technology trends wisely. Our progress potential is in investing our time into educational programmes. Our hopes lie in new strengths being employed to empower our services."Ray Bloom, IMEX Group Chairman:"Continued economic pressures in many world markets are driving a constant search for 'added value'. This means buyers are constantly seeking, if not demanding, ways to add value without increasing budgets. On the other side of the equation, suppliers are trying to satisfy that demand through creativity without eating up margins or profits. This is quite challenging, especially when so many in consumer markets are creating high expectations that are harder to replicate in the world of B2B. Expect to see more destinations conducting economic studies to demonstrate the local, regional and national impact of events. In turn, these studies will become important tools for political advocacy."Karen Bolinger, CEO of Melbourne Convention and Visitors Bureau:"Asia is experiencing a period of growth with a number of locations materialising as key business event destinations, providing further competition in the Asia-Pacific region. However, China and India in particular are key emerging markets for corporate and incentive travel, which we are taking full advantage of."Aigars Smiltans, Marketing Director at Meet Riga:"The meetings industry is recovering in Europe, but it is still not as active as it was before 2008. In 2011, the meetings planning process happened over a shorter time and was allocated within a short distance from the place of origin. Short-notice bookings were the new black of this year particularly for events and conferences for up to 100 delegates."Datuk Peter Brokenshire, GM at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre:"I expect more corporate meetings will experience budget constraints and a potential dip in attendance numbers. The nature of the industry also makes it more recession-proof as international association meetings will continue to convene and rotate around the world. In addition, economic fluctuations drive engagement, dialogue and the need for industry experts to convene and continue to advance development and growth."Ramy Salameh, PR for Korea Tourism Organisation:"There are major opportunities in North Africa because of the recent political upheavals. Once these countries have had the chance to restructure and rebuild themselves, I can see there being a lot of foreign investment from major hotel brands and a push to establish a thriving MICE sector. This will definitely be an emerging region."Sally Greenhill, MD of The Right Solution:"Undoubtedly technology changes have impacted the meetings industry, with more corporates and associations communicating through social media before, during and after their meetings and more use of virtual meetings to extend audience reach. Use of location aware software is a great thing for international delegates in new places."James Kent, International Marketing Manager for Kyoto Convention Bureau:"The destinations which will prosper in 2012 will be those which are part of and add to the experience of an event. There has to be a compelling reason to make the journey part of the meeting. Content will always be the number one reason to attend, but destinations that make themselves part of the contents are going to be desirable." Rohit Talwar, CEO of Fast Future Research:"There's been a lot of noise about hybrid events but we need to approach the issue objectively. Even though the cost of creating hybrid events is dropping dramatically, we have yet to find an example of an event that has broken even in terms of balancing the full cost of moderating the activity against the revenues from remote participants. Bizarrely, in hybrid events we have found that those paying little or nothing for virtual participation get more content and attention focused on them, than at the live event."Sarah Mathews, Meetings, Incentives and Conferences Manager at Belgium Convention Bureau for Flanders and Brussels:"Meeting planners were still concerned over budget and had very strict guidelines. Last year gave way to great opportunity for creativity."Patrik Dyrendahl, Project manager at Visit East Sweden"I am happy to see that sustainability is becoming a hygiene factor for many meeting planners; a supplier is expected to be able to present green meetings. Web conferences are gaining ground, especially for international companies with offices around the world and the software has become cheaper and more user friendly." Above: talwar;smiltans;Brokenshire;greenhill;Mathews;BloomWe learnt we can be successful when acting differently to the standard marketing practicesKristina JurJevec, conventa