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GalleryISSUE 67 / ConfErEnCE & MEEtIngS World / 81Meeting Professionals International's (MPI) 2012 European Meetings and Events Conference was held in Budapest, 29-31 January. MPI acknowledged that "a handful" of North American delegates had meant that MPI's conference had "dipped slightly" in overall attendee numbers, to 343, compared to last year in Dusseldorf.EMEC 2012Confex 2012This year the UK's International Confex moved east, to Excel London. UBM's Confex Portfolio Director, Jonny Sullens, said he expected the attendance would come in "more or less flat, year-on-year". Manchester won the Best Venue Stand award and CMW's own stand proved a busy focal point for visitors.

Breakout82 / ConferenCe & Meetings World / issUe 67The Laureus World Sports Awards 2012 held at Central Hall Westminster (CHW), London, earlier this year, are the premier honours on the international sporting calendar and gathered an audience of 900 international stars from the worlds of sport, entertainment and fashion. The event was televised and the venue shares some insights into the build up. Staged for the first time in the UK, the venue had only six weeks from contract signing to prepare the 100-year-old Grade II listed building opposite Westminster Abbey, for the ceremony. All 30 meeting rooms in the building were hired, with smaller areas used as changing rooms, production sets, make up rooms and as catering, communications and security spaces. The evening reception took place in the 1,000-capacity Lecture Hall and Library followed by the awards ceremony being staged in the 2,000-seat auditorium of the Great Hall. The event build took six days and involved over 150 production staff each day. First big job was to upholster 1,087 seats in the balcony; simultaneously, the team started building the stage set including five backdrop screens. The front projection screen measured 20m x 15m and carried 400kg of lights and other equipment. Fifteen cameras For all the latest breaking news, daily updates, visitwww.c-mw.netdo you have a story For breakout? email: vcarley@mashmedia.netBuild up to Laureus in Londonensured worldwide TV coverage three days later on Sky Broadcast.A large marquee was erected on The Green between Central Hall Westminster and the QEIICC where 500 journalists had their chance to capture celebrities on the Red Carpet before they entered the historic venue. Winners, including 'Sportsman of the Year' tennis star Novak Djokovic, were interviewed on the roof terrace with a backdrop of London's skyline. The basement Aldersgate Room was transformed into a temporary staff catering unit which served 4,515 menu servings from 29 January to 8 February. Central Hall had only 48 hours in which to break down from the Laureus Awards and host its next 'full house' booking.Final word goes to General Manager Paul Southern: "Central Hall Westminster is proud to be associated with the Laureus Awards. It was humbling to see so many world champions and Olympic medal winners in one room to support such a good cause. "The event itself was a monumental success and I am pleased we were able to show the flexibility of this world class venue to deliver this event."on stage at the laureus World sports Awards 2012 in london's Central Hall Westminster