New Zealand on display as a world-class business event destination

Chief of Staff editor Bennet Nichol visited Auckland during the nation’s largest business events tradeshow to discover what’s on offer across the ditch.

This year New Zealand showcased its best over two days at Conventions & Incentives New Zealand’s (CINZ) MEETINGS show. 650 international and domestic buyers made their way to the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland between 29 and 30 May, to explore the show floor, network and attend seminars from the nation’s key industry leaders.

192 exhibitors from 17 regions across New Zealand put their products on display, and walking through the show floor painted a detailed picture of just how diverse and interesting New Zealand can be for a business event.

With Christchurch in the midst of an infrastructure boom after the devastating 2011 earthquake, and the remainder of the country experiencing an influx of both tourists and business events, it’s no surprise that there was plenty to see at the show.

With new convention facilities set to open next year in Auckland and Christchurch, New Zealand is ready and raring to attract Australian and international events, according to CINZ Chief Executive Sue Sullivan.

“It is all about building strong relationships, and meeting face to face to cement ties. The welcome our visitors have received this week has given them an unforgettable taste of New Zealand’s unique culture, our people, our distinct regional characteristics, and a deep insight into how warmly their delegates will be received here,” Ms Sullivan said.

Key leaders in New Zealand’s events industry guided discussions and held seminars on the latest trends such as technology, data and sustainability initiatives. “We need to show that we are taking sustainability seriously,” Ms Sullivan said.

Steve Armitage, General Manager- Destination at Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development, thinks there is room for even more growth, and pushing Auckland forward requires a focus on data, sustainability and talented people. “We’ve laid some good foundations, and we must continue to build on the aspirations that we have for Auckland and New Zealand,” Mr Armitage said.