The theme of MBF’s 2011 national conference was “Measuring up to the future: Opportunities for mentoring and befriending in the new political, social and economic climate." Times had been tough for providers of mentoring and befriending services due to public spending cuts and increased competition. MBF wanted mentoring and befriending to be at the heart of the government's agenda for the Big Society, encouraging social action and participation in communities. MBF and the sector have a vital role to play in demonstrating the importance of mentoring and befriending in enabling individuals to transform their lives and/or reach their full potential. This provided the focus for 2011 annual MBF conference. Over 220 people attended the conference, ranging from mentoring and befriending projects and leaders to funders, commissioners and business professionals. The agenda was designed to showcase how mentoring and befriending could respond to the new political and economic landscape.