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Hobbits for a night: delegates at

the 40th annual CINZ conference

in Hamilton were treated to a

night of magic for the gala dinner

held at Hobbiton. Tony Gardner,

CINZ Board chairman; Kylie

Brittain, Orange Exchange; Janet

Matheson, Conferences & Events;

Shayne Forrest (aka chief orc),

Hobbiton. Head to page 56 for full

conference coverage.

‘One of the problems we have is when we

say the ‘meetings industry’, it’s automatically

as though we’re focusing in on hotel rooms

and meeting rooms and what’s happening in

rooms as opposed to the broader impact of

what that actually accomplishes,’ says Gary

Grimmer, CEO of GainingEdge.

‘The ‘in’ cities are going to be the ones

that realise that the hospitality industry is

actually an enabler of a much broader, much

more important enterprise and that is about

intellectual exchange, creative exchange, and

cultural exchange.

‘Those cities that keep thinking the

reason we’re doing this is that we need

more visitors, we need more consumption

of our best supplies, are not going to be

the ‘in’ cities, they’re not going to be the

successful ones.’

Emerging trends show that successful

destinations are focusing on quality rather

than quantity.

Grimmer says sectoral strengths are

becoming much more important, with market

appeal trumping destination appeal.

‘If your goal is filling hotel rooms then

of course having 5000 rotarians or lions is

much more important than having 500 rocket

scientists. But if your goal is actually to

develop your aviation industry, then having

500 rocket scientists leaves a much greater

legacy than the great spend because 5000

people came, fed themselves, and slept in

your hotel rooms.’

Grimmer spoke in a keynote session at the

recent Incentive Travel and Conventions,

Meetings Asia (IT&CMA) conference in

Thailand, outlining issues facing the meetings

industry now and in the future.

Technology is one talking point that the

industry can’t seem to get past, but Grimmer


exchange trumps

destination appeal

Cities looking at the meetings industry as simply an

endeavor focused on building hotel rooms are going

to fall behind in an increasingly sophisticated market.

...continued on page 11