meeting newz May / June 2018

or uncomfortable situation. This upset me because I was one of those people. It bothers me that people say horrible things that are no longer accepted in our society and people keep silent out of fear. That calling someone out for being out of line and offensive to an entire group of people is somehow worse than the repugnant thing that was actually said. This happens on a bigger scale often. Big news last month was Australian rugby star Israel Folau’s vile comments on social media about gay people going to hell unless they repent their sins, and his New Zealand wife, netball great Maria Folau, supporting his stance on Instagram. It took awhile for public figures to come out publicly and condemn them. I applaud those who have (here’s looking at you Matty McLean, you’re amazing), and I’m inspired by them. But why have others not spoken up? Why are we all so afraid of calling people out for the gross, antiquated, uneducated, harmful things that they say? I wasn’t the only person who looked at my feet when I heard these slurs on this famil. There were exchanged glances, there was silence. Next time though, there won’t be silence from me. [ EDITORIAL / NEWS Contents Note from the editor... meeting newz is registered as a magazine and is published by ProMag Publishing Ltd. Level 1, 20A Morgan St, Newmarket, PO Box 60154, Titirangi, Auckland. Internet: Phone: 09 307 3782. Fax: 09 307 3784. Group Editor: Shannon Williams email: Journalist: Sam Worthington Publisher: Stu Freeman email: Circulation & Advertising Production: Patrea Robson: Administration Manager: Marg Patten email: Advertising Manager: Heather Lowrie Phone: 021 599 929 email: Design & Production: Gary Covich email: Printing: Image Centre Distribution: Western Mailing ISSN: 1172-5893 The best part of being an editor is being able to talk about real issues, real people and real problems that face the world, and discuss how those real things affect our industry. Whether it’s racism (more on this on page 42), sexism (see our January issue), animal rights (check out our July 2017 issue) or whatever, every single person in this industry has a responsibility to be better. The conference and events industry was summed up to me in my first ever interview with a PCO. ‘We are professional party planners. Big parties, mind you.’ When you attend a party, you have no control over the types of people you may meet and by the end of the night you hopefully would have met people different from your usual echo chamber, learned a few things and left with a slightly more open mind. The same goes when you are planning an event. Every event involves partnerships with a huge variety of operators - accommodation providers, entertainment, AV, catering... the list is long. And with these partnerships come people from all walks of life, with all different backgrounds and beliefs. It upset me on a recent famil when I heard a PCO call someone gay and a ‘fag’ as a joke, as a way to make fun of them, then crying PC police. This wasn’t the only thing that upset me. though. It upset me that people laughed. It also upset me that those who didn’t find it funny didn’t say anything, instead looked away or looked at their feet, careful not to create an awkward FEATURES Pacific Islands 12 Waikato 26 Southland 32 Otago 36 AND THE REST News 4 Social Scene 6 and 24-25 Convene North wrap 22 People on the Move 31 INDUSTRY COMMENT Editor’s Note 2 Editorial: Racist NZ and our industry’s responsibility 42 Stu’d Up 45 Letter from Sue Sullivan, CINZ 51 Pride of place Shannon Williams Group Editor Graham says it is important operators learn about each other’s products, which in turn will strengthen the regional proposition and facilitate cross-referral. ‘We are all working together to offer the buyer the best possible experience in the Waikato. My ideal is that buyers receive the same high quality service from all Waikato venues and suppliers, that we are seen as a friendly, professional place to do business, where the buyer and delegate experience is our first priority.’ Graham says networking is also important, because of the opportunities it creates operators. ‘It is easy for operators to become focused on their own products and lose site of the continued from page 1.. . It’s about the big picture big picture. It is very helpful to chat to people in a similar position, realise that everybody has similar challenges, and benefit from the experience of others,’ she explains. ‘Operators need to learn about what is going on in the region for the purposes of assisting and adding value for the time-poor buyer and facilitating cross-referral. ‘Buyers can tell when a region and operators are working together. Yes, we have competition, but generally speaking we are committed as a region to finding the best solution for the client and delivering great delegate experiences.’ Head to page 26 to check out more wise words from Amanda Graham and some news from the region in our Waikato feature . [2] meeting newz [ may june] 2018