Industry Issues

Change of ownership for NZ’s leading business events source

Wednesday, 09 May 2018 22:22

Meeting Newz, New Zealand’s leading authority on business events, is under new ownership from 1 June 2018. Tourism Media Group, headed by Terry Holt, Paul Hailes and Lance Blackbourn, have purchased the magazine, bi-weekly newsletter and associated website and social media platforms from ProMag Publishing. TMG, officially takes ownership on 1 June. Holt, Hailes and Blackbourn are also directors of Find A Venue.

ProMag Publishing directors Stu and Trish Freeman say the company will now concentrate on its leisure travel related media activities, including the TRAVELinc Memo, website and custom publications, as well as various special projects.

TIA supports event fund boost

Monday, 23 April 2018 23:41

Tourism Industry Aotearoa is calling on Christchurch City Council to boost funding for events in its 2018-2028 Draft Long-Term Plan.

ChristchurchNZ has requested an extra $1.4 million a year to establish a dedicated seed fund to bid for business and major events on behalf of the city, support new events through sponsorship, and test the feasibility of

New venue revealed for Convene North 2019

Monday, 23 April 2018 23:37

Convene Group has revealed the date for 2019’s Convene North event, as well as a new venue. 

The event will take place Tuesday 9 April at Auckland’s Aotea Centre, located right within the CBD.

Strong demand for Welly Convention Centre

Monday, 23 April 2018 23:35

WREDA’s Business Events Wellington team has secured new conferences worth more than $10 million in the three months ending March 2018, setting a new quarterly record and highlighting a need for a new conference centre.

Hotel conference focusing on regional growth

Wednesday, 18 April 2018 22:42

Registrations are open for the New Zealand Hotel Industry Conference, which takes place in Auckland on 4-5 July.

The conference is the largest annual event dedicated to New Zealand’s hotel sector, and is co-hosted by Tourism Industry Aotearoa and Horwath HTL.

Auckland attracts AI

Wednesday, 18 April 2018 21:46

Auckland will play host to the International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS), which will come to the city in 2020 for the first time in its nearly 20-year history.

More than 500 delegates from around the world are expected to attend the five-day conference in April/May 2020, delivering more than 2400 visitor nights and nearly $900,000 in economic value to the region.

CI gearing up to welcome delegates to World Indigenous Tourism Summit

Tuesday, 17 April 2018 00:33

The team from Conference Innovators is preparing to welcome more than 300 delegates from around the world to the Bay of Islands for the World Indigenous Tourism Summit, hosted by New Zealand Māori Tourism and the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance (WINTA).

NZ hotel projects in the air

Thursday, 05 April 2018 00:03

Much needed new hotel inventory in New Zealand is being held back by commercial issues around their construction.

This is despite investors and developers keen to take advantage of favourable business conditions, according to one of the country’s leading hospitality and tourism industry consultants.

High occupancy rates pressuring supply

Thursday, 22 March 2018 20:52

New Zealand’s accommodation market is thriving, with Godzone’s top 20 destinations reporting a 5% increase in accommodation rates per night in 2017, and high occupancy continuing to put pressure on supply across the board.

Tourism curriculum ‘basic’

Monday, 12 March 2018 21:38

The teaching of hospitality and tourism in secondary schools needs to change if the industry wants a steady pipeline of skilled workers.

That’s the bold word from  Auckland University of Technology, who says the government’s review of the general education system is an opportunity to push for a reassessment of the delivery of tourism and hospitality education at secondary school.

Hawaii to drive business events

Monday, 26 February 2018 22:48

The business events market will be one of the pillars of an integrated marketing campaign planned by Hawaii Tourism Authority in 2018.

The strategy, released to corporate, conference and incentive agents at a function in Auckland last week, will also include consumer, travel trade, public relations and social media.

Technology challenging business events

Monday, 29 January 2018 23:01

The future relationship between robots and humans will be in the spotlight at AIME this year, as Dr Jordan Nguyen, Bill Bennett, Casey Hyun, and moderator Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen present their insights and experiences working with technology at the ‘Man vs Machine… Are robots challenging humans?’ Saxton Up Close and Personal session.

Nguyen says technology is changing the way we interact and engage with not only each other, but many aspects of our everyday lives.

MEA goes online

Monday, 22 January 2018 22:12

Meetings & Events Australia has launched a webinar programme giving members free access to high-quality training online each month.

The first webinar for 2018 will be held on 31 January on the Sales Process presented by Nicole Bates, founder of Conversion Management.

WiFi providers pop up at event

Monday, 04 December 2017 21:59

Conference organisers regularly pinpoint wifi and food as the two areas that can potentially embarrass them – and first time PCO Association Conference exhibitor PopUp Wifi has a solution for one of those problems.

Co-founder Nina McMahon says the company has been gaining traction with PCOs and has had a steady stream of interest at the conference.

‘We know that wifi is one of the biggest areas of concern for conference organisers and they are realising that free wifi can actually turn out to be the most expensive because it is unreliable.'

Look back to plan ahead, says PCO

Monday, 27 November 2017 21:21

The importance of reviewing past conferences when coming up with a critical path for the next one was emphasised by a leading Australian professional conference organiser over the weekend.

Paula Leishman, of Leishman and Associates, told attendees at a workshop during the PCO Association Conference in the Gold Coast that a critical path is like a ‘massive to-do list.

‘It allows you to maximise the opportunity to get things done on time, on budget.’

Screen fantasy on the rise

Monday, 30 October 2017 21:15

Be it the Green Dragon of Hobbiton, or the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, conferences are increasingly packaging their programmes around a bit of screen fantasy.

At a joint Tourism Ireland/Tourism New Zealand Screen Tourism discussion, in Wellington last week, industry leaders spoke about the importance of screen tourism for attracting conference business.

Like Tourism New Zealand, Tourism Ireland has a Business Tourism Unit that focuses on C&I business, says Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons.

Expert insight for scarfies

Tuesday, 24 October 2017 00:46

Tourism students from Dunedin’s Otago Polytechnic will gain first-hand insights into the business events sector of the industry this week, with 20 students being hosted by Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (at its annual conference in Dunedin from 24 to 26 October.

Helen Geytenbeek, Tourism/Hospitality lecturer at the College of Enterprise and Development at Otago Polytechnic NZ says the event creates valuable links for them between theory and practice.

The 20 students are qualifying for the New Zealand Diploma in Tourism and Travel (Level 5) at Otago Polytechnic. One full year of study contributes to the first year of the Bachelor of Applied Management.

Their ‘Tourism in Action’ paper includes learning to design and develop a business concept, and to analyse and critique the application of processes in tourism business ventures.

‘We are focusing on the MICE industry in this paper, to expose them to the business-based side of the tourism industry. They will put together a business plan, organise and participate in an event, volunteer in a conference, event or festival, and critique the experiences.”

More than 140 CINZ members including owners and managers of key venues, catering companies, accommodation providers, activity operators and regional convention bureaux will be meeting at the Dunedin Centre and Town Hall on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 October.

Registrations can be made online at the CINZ 41st Annual Conference website.

It’s about culture

Monday, 09 October 2017 20:50

Culture is key when choosing a destination for meetings and events, according to new research from London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s official promotional agency.

The bureau says that when surveyed, 93% of international event planners pitched a destination with a cultural offering as an important factor when choosing where to host meetings and events.

AACB tackles visa hurdles

Monday, 02 October 2017 21:58

The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB)will give advice on streamlining Australia’s visa system to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

The AACB emphasised the high yield of business visitors, especially delegates coming to Australia for business events or incentive experiences.

AACB president and CEO of the Melbourne Convention Bureau, Karen Bolinger, says Australia is losing out globally in the race to attract and host the largest business events.

Eyes up: Young professionals need to look forward

Monday, 25 September 2017 22:44

Young professionals got together in Auckland yesterday afternoon for the CINZ Emerging Talent Programme.

Skills survey reveals ‘significant’ opportunity

Monday, 11 September 2017 21:21

There is significant opportunities for employment growth in the events industry, according to a new skills survey by Meeting & Events Australia.

MEA chief executive Robyn Johnson says the survey shows it’s clear many event companies are finding it difficult to fill vacancies and retain staff.

‘This shows the need for the industry to provide more training and improve career paths for events staff,’ she says.

Nearly half the companies surveyed identified a skills shortage as impacting on their ability to recruit. The biggest skills shortages are in operational areas where specific training and relevant qualifications are generally required.

‘To me, this reinforces what we’re hearing in the marketplace, and that there is a need for improvements in the provision of training,’ says Johnson.

Has the digital era for events arrived?

Monday, 04 September 2017 22:04

New research from event marketing firm XING Events has revealed digitalisation has a firm spot in the event marketing world.

The research, which surveyed both national and international organisers and attendees of events, found more than two thirds of organisers say they have achieved their goals thanks to digital channels. Attracting more attendees (84 percent) and increasing the events’ profile (72 percent) take the top ranks.  

The research found there is a large gap between what attendees want and what organisers offer. Besides their website, organisers are strongly focusing on established communication channels like email marketing (76 percent) and social media marketing (73 percent). However, personal recommendations from friends and acquaintances are the way to go for 66 percent of attendees when choosing events. Email and event newsletters were right behind with 59 percent indicating the effectiveness of these methods among the organisers’ target group.

‘These results nevertheless clearly indicate that viral marketing will be an essential ingredient for an ideal marketing mix in the future’, says Professor Dr. Cai-Nicolas Ziegler.

Meanwhile, organisers and attendees are on the same page about updates, with more than half of organisers and attendees agreeing that digital event marketing simplifies exchanging information with each other. Attendees (62 percent) would like to further this improved exchange of information via social media groups. In turn, organisers seem to not (yet) recognise this potential – a mere nine percent of the organisers use this channel for communication and attendee retention.

‘By using various channels like email marketing, organisers are on the right track”, says Ziegler.

‘However, they still need to catch up when it comes to innovative marketing activities – especially viral channels, making use of influencers and content marketing.’

Sustainability in the spotlight

Monday, 21 August 2017 22:17



The Tourism Export Council conference last week shone a spotlight on sustainability, with the need to ensure tourism growth is sustainable economically, environmentally and socially top of mind.

The conference held in Te Anau attracted around 250 people involved in the country's tourism industry.

Acceptance waning

Thursday, 17 August 2017 05:29

Getting up close and personal with exotic animals can be a dream come true for animal lovers. Elephants, monkeys, tigers, lions, orcas, dolphins – they are amazing, beautiful creatures, and the chance to see them in real life can be a huge drawcard when planning a trip. Unfortunately, a quick trip down the rabbit hole will reveal a not-so-rosy life for many of the animals that are used for entertainment in the tourism industry.

Growing old together

Thursday, 03 August 2017 03:19

One of the challenges facing the tourism, incentives and business events industry is a lack of fresh blood. That’s the feeling on the street when Meeting Newz canvassed some conference and incentive organisers recently, who say that while clients appreciate the experience veteran planners can offer, the industry risks getting stale if there are no ‘young ones’ coming through with new ways of doing things. Catherine Barwood of Premium Incentive & Conference, says the lack of young people coming through the conference and incentive scene is the biggest problem the industry has right now.

NZ’s service industry crisis

Tuesday, 18 July 2017 06:00

There’s a skill shortage looming in the service industry that’s going to affect all New Zealanders, across all regions, and visitors to our country.

That’s the bold claim of Dean Minchington, ServiceIQ CEO, who says there is a very real crisis around the corner.

‘It puts our successful service sectors at risk, and unless things change soon, New Zealand will be worse for it,’ he says.

Capital’s hoteliers want more

Monday, 03 July 2017 03:45

The recent influx of Lions fans to Wellington has shown the value of tourism to the capital’s economy, according to Tourism Industry Aotearoa Wellington hotel sector chairman Steve Martin.

‘[Tourists] are especially valuable during winter, which is normally a quiet time for the holiday market in Wellington,’ he says.

Commercial accommodation in Wellington was full, with many fans choosing to stay in the region all week.

Martin says the city has plenty of scope to attract more big events to Wellington at other times.

Kiwi diversity heads to Sydney

Tuesday, 27 June 2017 02:12

Seven business events exhibitors from around New Zealand will join CINZ and Tourism New Zealand on the 100% Pure New Zealand stand at the Associations Forum National Conference taking place in Sydney next month.

CINZ Australia manager Sharon Auld says the range of exhibitors heading along is designed to showcase New Zealand’s diversity as a destination. This year, three new exhibitors will join the group - Queen’s Wharf Auckland, Skyline Queenstown, and Auckland Museum - Tamaki Paenga Hira.

Business events raking it in

Monday, 05 June 2017 22:16

New Zealand business events will deliver $311 million to the New Zealand economy, according to new figures released by Tourism New Zealand.

The events were secured by Tourism New Zealand and industry over the last four years and will bring nearly 100,000 people to the country, the organisation says.

In Budget 2013 the government invested $34 million with Tourism New Zealand for the purpose of attracting meetings, incentives and conferences.

‘We are really pleased with the significant return on investment we have made with the support of the New Zealand business events industry,” says René de Monchy, director trade, PR and major events.

Mayor's 'wild claims'

Thursday, 11 May 2017 22:52

Auckland’s Mayor Phil Goff has recently justified his revised targeted rate proposal by accusing hotels of exploiting participants in the World Masters Games.

But according to Tourism Industry Aotearoa’s chief executive Chris Roberts, the Mayor should stick to the facts, and start working with the accommodation sector.

‘The Mayor continues to make wild claims that are not based on the facts,’ he says.

Gearing up for the NZ Hotel Industry Conference

Monday, 01 May 2017 21:49

The annual New Zealand Hotel Industry Conference will be held at The Langham, Auckland on 19-20 July. The conference has been sold out for the past two years and co-hosts Tourism Industry Aotearoa and Horwath HTL expect demand to be high again this year.

‘We have an exciting programme that will discuss and debate the big issues affecting this sector currently, including investment in infrastructure, the modern hotel and the trend towards lifestyle brands, and disruptor innovation, which can either be a threat or an opportunity,’ explains TIA hotel sector manager Sally Attfield.

Now in its 11th year, the conference is attended by managers and stakeholders in the New Zealand hotel sector. Last year’s conference attracted over 320 delegates, including hotel managers, investors, developers, hotel chains, government agencies, hotel industry consultants, sponsors and exhibitors.

Guest nights fall flat in Feb

Wednesday, 12 April 2017 22:49

National guest nights this February were relatively flat, down 0.4 percent on February 2016, according to new figures released by Statistics NZ.A 1.6% fall in domestic guest nights was partly offset by a 0.8% rise in international guest nights compared with February 2016. Last February had an extra day of trading, as 2016 was a leap year.

A 1.6% fall in domestic guest nights was partly offset by a 0.8% rise in international guest nights compared with February 2016. Last February had an extra day of trading, as 2016 was a leap year.

Guest nights in the North Island rose 1.0% in February 2017 compared with February 2016. However, guest nights in the South Island fell 2.2%.

NZ tourism infrastructure not up to scratch

Wednesday, 12 April 2017 22:40

Deloitte recently released results for the National Tourism Infrastructure Assessment conducted on behalf of Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) and with help from a number of industry partners.

The study has revealed that if New Zealand’s tourism industry is going to really flourish, then more accommodation for visitors should be our highest priority.

And, it can’t be done alone. The industry will need to work closely with central and local government to achieve the required development and to close any current or potential infrastructure gaps.

Targeted accommodation rate compromise – still flawed

Sunday, 09 April 2017 23:23

The Auckland Chamber of Commerce says a watered-down version of the Auckland Council’s proposed targeted accommodation rate is still massively flawed.

Chamber of Commerce chief Michael Barnett says talk of a compromise targeted accommodation rate that excludes camping grounds, backpackers and motels on the fringe of the city is underway at council, but not in a way that includes the tourism industry and business and may result in a response that is flawed and potentially illegal.

Watering down the proposal to leave only larger hotels to pay the rate means it is even less justifiable or defendable, he says.

Govt ‘short sighted’ over tourism tax

Thursday, 06 April 2017 02:14

Minister of Tourism Paula Bennett has come out saying she’s ‘not a big fan’ of taxing visitors to New Zealand, saying we are ‘really expensive’ to visit. Bennett made the statement when speaking on TVNZ’s Q&A over the weekend.

The Green Party has hit back, saying it is ‘irresponsible’ of Bennett to dismiss a tourist levy to help pay for infrastructure and conservation.

‘The whole country benefits from tourism, but it's ratepayers in areas like the Mackenzie Country, West Coast, and the Queenstown-Lakes District who foot the bill for the infrastructure that supports the industry,’ says Green Party co-leader James Shaw.

‘A tourist levy would fix that.’

The big read: Auckland Council's targeted rate hike faces stiff opposition

Friday, 31 March 2017 02:18

Auckland Council’s proposed $28 million targeted rate on commercial accommodation is being met with some mighty opposition from some powerful industry players.

Tourism Industry Aotearoa says the move will have massive consequences for the city and must be dropped. CINZ says it would create long-term damage to the city’s high-yield and growing business events industry.

‘This targeted rate would be a disaster for Auckland and must be withdrawn,’ says TIA chief executive Chris Roberts.

TIA, Bennett and Wagner

Monday, 19 December 2016 22:06

Tourism Industry Aotearoa looks forward to working with new Tourism Minister Paula Bennett and associate Minister Nicky Wagner on some of the big issues facing the tourism industry.
‘Paula Bennett has ably supported former Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism John Key for the last two years in her role as Associate Tourism Minister. We are pleased she is continuing her involvement with the industry as the new minister,’ TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts says.

The lowdown on loyalty

Tuesday, 29 November 2016 20:45

Loyalty programmes: a term that is often followed by a cloud of negative stigma, with words like oversaturation, lack of differentiation and privacy concerns coming to mind.
If used correctly, meeting planners, event organisers, corporate travel executives and business travellers can reap rewards beyond a dollar value. But after so many years of spam and sub-par points value programmes, how can an already-wary business events industry ensure that it’s getting recognised and rewarded appropriately?

A little planning goes a long way

Monday, 24 October 2016 23:43

By Eugene DeVilliers

It’s no secret that quality travel reward programmes remain a powerful motivational tool for internal and external channel partners. Industry expert, Eugene De Villiers, is keen to reinforce the quantifiable benefits associated with planning travel reward programmes well in advance rather than leaving them to the last minute.

Industry standards for H&S?

Monday, 24 October 2016 23:34

New Zealand needs to build a culture where risk management is a normal process in the events and venues industry, says Wayne Middleton of Reliance Risk.
The new health and safety laws came into effect in May of this year, but five months on the industry is still having trouble coming to terms with the processes.

CINZ board members elected

Monday, 24 October 2016 23:25

Jake Downing of Weta Workshop and Sue Duncan of Uno Loco are the new board members in the silver category.
New member in the gold category is Tracey Thomas of Conference Innovators; and Julie White of InterContinental Hotels Group joins returning member Gillian Officer of SKYCITY in the platinum category.