Jan / Feb 2015 - page 1

At the PCO (Professional Conference
Organisers) Conference at the
National Convention Centre, Canberra
late last year - Rhonda Beasley,
ForumPoint2 Ltd; Bree Jones,
Dunedin Convention Bureau; Alison
Jack, Australian based professional
conference organiser. The conference
had a strong contingent of New
Zealanders – both PCO delegates
and suppliers and was a heady mix
of workshops, keynotes and social
networking functions.
The conference will see over 300
international conference delegates visiting
the city and will bring in an estimated
$850,000 to the economy. 
The Screenwriting Research Network
Conference will be hosted by the University
of Otago’s Media, Film and Communication
Department, highlighting the Humanities
Division’s strong research culture and
the city’s strength in the arts and literary
The conference bid was made by the
university’s senior lecturer Dr Davinia
Thornley, with the support of Enterprise
Dunedin, Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) and
the Conference Assistance Programme (CAP).
Dr Thornley, who will lead the organisation
of the conference in 2017, says the entire
experience, from the initial plan to make the
bid through to securing this international
creative event, was seamless. ‘Support
was made available at each stage, as the
university, local government, and industry
partners worked together to realise the larger
vision of bolstering the arts in our city. TNZ
was particularly proactive; their financial and
logistical support allowed me to concentrate
my energy on securing the bid.’
Tourism New Zealand’s international
business events manager Bjoern Spreitzer
says international events such as this provide
a huge opportunity to grow the value of
visitors to New Zealand. 
Dunedin was recently awarded UNESCO
City of Literature status, which is creating
opportunities in the business events market.
Enterprise Dunedin’s business events tourism
advisor Bree Jones says Dunedin continues to
gain momentum as an international business
events destination. ‘We are starting to see a
diverse range of conference wins, influenced
by the range of specialist areas within the
University and the Screenwriting Research
Network Conference highlights this.’
Big bidwin
for Dunedin
Dunedin and the University
of Otago have been
confirmed as the hosts of
the Screenwriting Research
Network (SRN) Conference
in 2017.
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