If part of your role is sourcing destinations for corporate meetings and retreats, mark New Zealand’s largest trade show for event planning in your diary, urges Brad Foster
MEETINGS, New Zealand’s annual trade show for the event, meeting and incentive travel sector, will be making its 27th appearance between 20th and 22nd June 2023. An anticipated 230 business event planners from Australia, North America, Singapore and New Zealand have been confirmed as fully hosted buyers at the event, which will be held for the first time in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington, at the new Tākina Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Organised by Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA), the two-day trade exhibition, educational and networking event, will feature 224 stands from 19 regions across New Zealand, filling two levels at the venue.
BEIA’s chief executive Lisa Hopkins, says the response to this year’s program has been nothing short of phenomenal: “Now more than ever, it is important to bring buyers to New Zealand to educate them on our destination and show them our country is back open and ready for their business. BEIA has been working with Tourism New Zealand, Business Events Wellington, and Air New Zealand to target key decision-makers.”
Who will be there?
MEETINGS has broadened its source markets in 2023, with attendees also expected from North America for the first time: “MEETINGS will demonstrate our ability to deliver well-designed and seamlessly executed five-star incentive programs that meet the world-class expectations of our North American buyers. They will be able to experience first-hand New Zealand’s luxury accommodation, high-end transfer options, function venues, dining experiences and the unique, wow factor activities on offer here,” adds Lisa.
At last count, 100 hosted or semi-hosted buyers were anticipated to fly in from Australia – 86 of these are new to MEETINGS or have not been hosted at the event since 2018. There are also an anticipated 130 hosted buyers from across New Zealand, with 47% of these being first-timers.
Fully hosted buyers have both their air travel (Air New Zealand has again partnered with MEETINGS) and four nights’ accommodation included at 26 Wellington hotels – a true collaboration of industry, according to Lisa.
Can I get involved?
New Zealand based EAs can still register to attend as day buyers. This is free, and ideal for anyone responsible for organising meetings and events who would like to attend without pre-scheduled appointments.
Lisa advises that attending for even just half a day is well worth it to make new business connections: “At no other time can you meet such a diverse range of destinations, venues, products and services under one roof. We’re keen to welcome not only Wellington locals for the day but also event planners from around the country. They can pack a lot in during their visit – be among the first to experience the new Tākina venue and meet with their choice of 19 different regions and all of the country’s leading business event suppliers. Exhibitors range from new convention venues, hotels and luxury lodges to activity providers, caterers, speakers, designer, and production experts.”
Day buyers will enjoy lunch and refreshments throughout the day, as well as an educational program at the Tourism New Zealand Knowledge and Destination Hub, highlighting valuable updates on what’s new across the country, and insightful knowledge sessions.
Not attending this year?
Stay tuned to Executive PA to be the first to hear when registration opens for the 2024 event.