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HAVE YOUR SAYFebruary 2012 . www.conference-news.co.uk . 101 Top Tweets @GaryHospEx10: There's a catchy name "DoubleTree by Hilton London-Tower of London" "Mint Hotel" sounds good now! @Senate_House: If LOCOG's targets for local food sourcing were met, the future for British farmers could look brighter. @Neenjames: Only 24.4% of spkrs are chosen through proposal process BUT great news is 88.4% are recommended from #meetingprofs peers! @MtgRevolution: If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito. ~Betty Reese. @HaroldGray: Large meetings are useless. Everyone wants to discuss things that matter to no one else. Meetings are good for dissemination. @rickbrenner: Scheduling #diffi cult #meetings near the beginning of the week, when people are fresh. @MeetOnTyne: Busy day ahead fi nalising PR for #Confex - it's just weeks away - crikes! @cameronwicks: Wish I could combine my 2 Twitters, but #eventprofs friends wld be annoyed at f-ball stuff and #nfl friends wld be annoyed at event talk.Dear Editor,I was interested to read Liz Rice's thoughts on AV (What about the AV? November CN). I agree that when it comes to live events there are no second chances, which is why it can be benefi cial to choose a venue which has an in-house AV team. People will disagree over whether it is better to use an outside contractor or an in-house team and when making arrangements for an event, organisers need to weigh up the pros and cons before making a decision. However, I fi rmly believe that a venue with an in-house team will always come out on top. An in-house team knows the venue inside out and is in the best position to help organisers create the perfect staging, lighting and sound accompaniments. This, in itself, reduces the time required to set up and also means there is somebody on site at all times. With an in-house team there are no hidden costs. AV is often left to the last minute and by this point the budget will have probably been allocated elsewhere. Last minute requests could prove costly not just in relation to the hire of equipment but in overall presentation terms. Budgets can easily be met by discussing suitable AV packages with a venue during the planning. Of course, we are always happy to work with off-site AV providers for large-scale events in order to ensure it runs successfully. Robin ParkerGeneral Manager, Church House Conference CentreLettersThere are no second chances in eventsAn in-house team knows the venue inside out and is in the best position to help create the right staging, lighting and sound Dear Editor,Your annual 'looking forward' report is always read with interest. This year's was no exception and it was fascinating to read the many varied opinions and predictions from my industry colleagues.Most of these professionals acknowledged that 2012 will be a tough year. But as a 'seasoned' event pro, I'd like to point out that while the last very big economic downturn in the late seventies challenged our industry, it did not stop growth - and I am sure this will be the case again this time around.There is a huge difference between the events industry then, and as it is now. Our industry is now fortunate to have a wealth of seasoned professionals who possess the experience, drive and tenacity to ensure that conferences, exhibitions and events remain dynamic and continue to play an increasingly valuable part in the economic life of the nation.We had a record year for occupancy in 2009 and while occupancy dipped a few points in 2010 and 2011 (on the back of government spending restrictions), I am expecting 2012 to see growth return again. I am optimistic about the future beyond 2012 and would encourage all to look ahead with the same confi dence.Ernest VincentChief Executive of The Queen Elizabeth II Conference CentreLooking for growth with a more experienced industry

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