Meeting Newz January / February 2021

“We are the destination experts, here on the ground. We know our respective regions and venues extremely well and we are confident putting forward suggestions to event organisers that may be out of the box,” says Jo Whyte, Venture Taranaki Trust’s visitor trade advisor. “We like to be personally involved in the organising of events in our region,” she says. “We have the ability to look at any individual event, assess the needs of the event organisers and the format of the event and put forward suggestions to make their event extra special. We can connect them with local suppliers and advise them on what else is happening in the region in the lead up to and after their event to encourage delegates to come early or leave later to make the most of being in region. “In addition, we know what is in region for the visitor to experience outside of the conference and we like to focus on the overall experience of being in Taranaki, rather than just attending the conference. “When we speak with event organisers we are not just talking about venues, we are talking about the region as a whole – how to get here, fly/drive times, accommodation options, our rich foodie offering as well as everything else they can enjoy while in region from taking a leisurely stroll along the New Plymouth Coastal Walkway to a hike on our maunga (Mount Taranaki), from enjoying a freshly brewed coffee from one of our local coffee roasters to sampling a few gins at our local gin distillery and so much more.” Convention Bureaux support organisers through every step of the event management process, from bidding to site inspections, from event design to delivery. And their service is free of charge. One of the major business events Jo Whyte and her team are currently working on is the Tourism Export Council AGM and National Conference, which will be held in Taranaki in August 2021. “We actually submitted a bid for this in 2019 and, while the conference was confirmed for August 2020, it of course got postponed due to COVID-19 and is now confirmed for August this year,” she says. “We have worked closely with the team at TECNZ since being awarded this conference back in 2019 and hosted TECNZ in New Plymouth to show them the key venues and familiarise them with the city and the options for delegate activities. We connected TECNZ with the venue and accommodation providers, as well as other key venues for their social functions. “We also met with the conference manager from the dinner venue and a local event organiser around the theming of the dinner function, to ensure that the event had a distinctive Taranaki vibe. We developed a document of activity options [ CONVENT I ON BUR EAU UPDATE NEWZEALAND CONVENTION BUREAUX~ The Rooftop Bar New Plymouth Coastal Walkway Fenton St Arts Collective for the delegates and liaised with our local accommodation providers to offer a special rate for the delegates. “All the way through we have been the main point of contact for the team at TECNZ in bringing the event to life. Now that we have dates confirmed for this year we are picking up where we left off with these discussions to ensure the TECNZ AGM and Conference is an event like no other,” Whyte says. Using the free and impartial services of New Zealand’s 15 regional convention bureaux eliminates any guesswork for business event organisers. Taking the guesswork out of regional events Visit the Convention Bureaux New Zealand website, to find out more about their services across the country. [38] meeting newz [january february] 2021