Hawke's Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas said she believes the conference market has suffered but with the right initiatives it could still provide business for the region.
She agreed there was a general downturn because of the economic decline.
"However we literally just hosted a group of key conference buyers last week and already we are hearing about business resulting from this visit."
One of those visitors, James Chatterly from Event Dynamics in Auckland, said he thought the region was perfect for conferences and events.
"Both the Hawke's Bay Opera House and the Napier War Memorial Conference Centre work perfectly and they both have unique features. The sheer beauty and history of the opera house and the location and views of the Napier convention centre make them easy sells."
Ms Dundas said conference business was great business for Hawke's Bay and the region needed more of it.
"Working with our main providers such as the opera house and war memorial are incredibly important and they do an amazing job in promoting their facilities and the region."