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February 2012 . . 7 EDITOR'S NOTEIn the world of supermarket retail, the slew of recent fi nancial results found our top store chains posting wildly differing results for the Christmas period. Tesco's disappointed the market with a drop in like-for-like sales of 2.3 per cent leading to stock plummeting 14 per cent, while others, such as Sainsburys hailed a 'record breaking' Christmas with like-for-like sales up 1.2 per cent.It is clear that we can and must infl uence our economic climate and, International Confex, will soon give UK meetings industry professionals the stage to perform and show how to make the difference.By then we will also know the results of the inaugural UK Venue Show at Earls Court, although indications in January were that exhibitor bookings had been slow.News that London's fi rst six (of eight) Olympic venues have been contracted for legacy use and an ever increasing daily diet of excited news building for the main event this summer is another fi llip for the meetings industry. It is one we can seize to our advantage.And, as our lead news story on page eight illustrates, rather like the line on the tombstone of the Head Waiter: 'God fi nally caught his eye', it seems our industry has fi nally caught the eye of leading politicians. We will be among those welcoming Minister of Tourism John Penrose to Excel London where we hope he will see the very best of the UK meetings and events creative talent on display. Yes, Minister!We would urge other British politicians to follow Penrose's example and fi nd out more fi rst hand about our industry, a sector that can help drive growth in a national economy looking for success stories and economic models of success.Conference News, for one, will continue to report, analyse and provide a platform for viewpoints for all prepared to contribute constructively to building successful events up to and beyond London 2012.EditorialPublishing Director: Paul DaviesManaging Editor: Paul ColstonDeputy Editor: Vikki CarleyStaff Writer:Sarah O'DonnellAdvertisingBusiness Development Manager:Kirk ThomasAccount Manager:Danny ReidAccount Manager:Scott Pascal-MurrayInternational Sales Executive:Walter JenningsSales Executive:Jack MarczewskiDigitalOnline Editor:Sarah O'DonnellProduction & DesignProduction Manager: Luke Spalding Senior Designer:Claudia CoutsidesProduction Assistant: Julia Ball SubscriptionsCirculation Executive:Tim PardingtonPublished by Mash Media, 4th Floor, Sterling House,6-10 St George's Road,LondonSW19 4DPTel: +44 (0)20 8971 8282One year's subscription cost is UK £95+VAT p/a, Europe £112+VAT, ROW £130+VAT.Views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the express written permission of the publisher.Printed by Pensord Editor's NoteFrom the tombstone of the Head Waiter: 'God finally caught his eye'; it seems our industry has finally caught the eye of leading politicians Managing Editor, Paul Colstonpcolston@mashmedia.netTwitter - @Conference_News

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