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January 2012 For immediate release New economic opportunities will help future proof the meetings industry,

according to Leeds Met researchers Focusing on new economies, emerging industries as well as consumer and business values will be key to success in the longer term for the meetings and hospitality industry, according to researchers from the International Centre for Research in Events, Tourism and Hospitality at Leeds Metropolitan University.

The recommendations made by Dr Emma Wood, James Musgrave and Jackie Mulligan will be made based on the latest results from the Future of Meetings and Corporate Social Responsibility research commissioned by MPI and will be announced at the European Meetings and Events Conference (EMEC) in Budapest, Hungary.

Project leader and Principal Lecturer at Leeds Metropolitan University, Jackie Mulligan explains: Whilst the meetings industry in Europe and the US is understandably focused on the economic difficulties confronting them right now this is endangering the industry by overshadowing the longer term opportunities. Meeting planners need to consider and learn more about

economies in the developing world as well as consider new industry growth areas where businesses will need to meet and collaborate - in bio and nanotechnologies for instance. Innovation is critical.

One of the first business tourism destinations to benefit will be Abu Dhabi where some of the research is being converted into professional development opportunities through sponsorship of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority. MPI has commissioned the UK Centre for Events Management at Leeds

Metropolitan University to develop a wide range of bespoke courses informed by the research for the emirate to enhance its competitiveness long term.

Dr Emma Wood, co-author of Innovative Marketing Communications will be reviewing the results of MPIs research which she believes reveal some shorttermism within the sector: Understanding the values of consumers and demonstrating the value of meetings will be a critical factor in weathering the more challenging economic climate. This is a collective challenge and we hope that in our presentation and co-creation sessions, that the industry will share their views and understanding of the future to build a longer term view.

Papers and articles from both studies will be formally released at EMEC providing future insights on global trends and the drivers of CSR to the sector.

Ends For further details please contact Mark Dorey 0113 812 3021 or email m.dorey@leeedsmet.ac.uk Notes for editors: y Leeds Metropolitan University has over 15,000 students and around 3, 000 staff. y The Vice Chancellor of Leeds Metropolitan University is Professor Susan Price and the Chair of the Board is Lord Woolmer of Leeds. y Leeds Metropolitans four faculties are: Arts, Environment and Technology, Business & Law, Health and Social Sciences, and Carnegie. y Leeds Metropolitans heritage can be traced back to the founding of the Mechanics Institute in Leeds in 1824. y International students rated the University top in the UK for language support, accommodation quality and learning spaces in the 2010 Autumn Wave of the International Student Barometer and sixth in the

world for the quality of its lectures. We have over 1,500 international students from 122 countries around the globe. y The Universitys award-winning learning environments include

Broadcasting Place, which was voted the best tall building in the world in 2010 by the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) and also winner of the 2010 Leeds Architecture Awards New Building category.