The highlight of the 2011/12 year was, of course, VALA's sixteenth biennial conference, held in February 2012 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. On the theme “eM-powering eFutures”, the conference attracted a near-record number (960) of delegates from throughout Australia and overseas, including 41 from New Zealand. Following two conferences with sold-out trade exhibitions, VALA took the big step of hiring additional exhibition space, enabling the expansion of the exhibition. This move was successful, with 105 booths sold (up from 90), and additional space for the Red Carpet Area and for a central Network Hub. For the first time, VALA used barcode scanners to assist exhibitors in liaising with delegates, and to track entry passes used by non-delegate visitors to the exhibition, of whom there were more than 300.