Meeting Newz January / February 2021

Luxury retreats, heritage venues and sights, plus a famous New Zealand rail journey were among the highlights of the West Coast’s inaugural business events famil in December. Participants from Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington flew direct to Hokitika from Christchurch with Air New Zealand. On their first full day the group split into two pairs: Liz Maxwell, ESP Ventures and Victoria Famil highlights West Coast experience Hawke’s Bay has secured hosting rights for the 2021 Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) conference. The three-day, three- night event will be in held in October, one year after 2020 event, which was planned for Hawke’s Bay, was cancelled due to Covid-19. The news was announced at BEIA’s BE Reconnected event in Auckland, where Hawke’s Bay Tourism also unveiled a new destination video to showcase the region’s business events offering. The conference will be managed by Napier Conferences & Events and held at Napier War Memorial Centre, with a gala event to be held at Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts & Events Centre and other various experiences and activities taking place across Hawke’s Bay. Around 180 delegates are expected to attend. Liz Maxwell, ESP Ventures; Joelle Talbot, Fortis Events; Derek Piva, Te Waonui Forest Retreat; Adair Cameron, Red Hot Travel & Events; Victoria Wales, HOT Events BEIA Conference 2021 to be held in Hawke’s Bay Auckland Wants You Auckland Convention Bureau Let Auckland Convention Bureau show you why your next business event should be in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Wales, HOT Events carved pounamu at Bonz ‘n’ Stonz in Hokitika, while Adair Cameron, Red Hot Travel & Events and Joelle Talbot, Fortis Events,went heli-hiking with Fox Glacier Guiding. The group convened in Franz Josef, staying at Rainforest Retreat and Te Waonui Forest Retreat. Te Waonui Forest Retreat’s new chef Derek Piva showcased his ‘innovative TDH menu’ for dinner followed up by an alfresco lunch the next day. Participants visited Scenic Hotel Group’s three properties, Rainforest Retreat, and Heli Services’ 60 seat theatre. They toured the West Coast Events Centre at Shantytown Heritage Park and visited Reefton Distilling Co, where distiller Nick Secker conducted a tour of the new premises and shared development plans – followed by a guided tasting at the cellar door. On the final evening, dinner was hosted by new West Coast DMC directors, Phillip Barnett and Gina Ashworth, and Louise Woodburn from Development West Coast. Hotel Lake Brunner’s bar was bustling with locals and provided an authentic West Coast experience. “Phillip brought the rich tapestry of the region and the Maori and European history alive,” was among the feedback received. The group returned to Christchurch on the Tranz Alpine experiencing the new Scenic Plus product, with storytelling and catering including canapes, a late lunch, and a cheese platter complemented by drinks. The famil has already contributed to securing a new business event in the region for 2021. [ I NDUSTRY NEWS Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) is now able to host events (seated or standing) at up to 75 per cent capacity per event space, to a maximum of 5,000 attendees, following the implementation of stringent health and safety measures. These Victorian Government-approved measures include methods to ensure contact tracing, changes to food and beverage service and physical distancing, as well as preventing attendance at events by delegates from designated red zones. Peter King, chief executive of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, says MCEC is excited to see the gradual return of events to the venue. “Whilst we have been innovative throughout the pandemic to ensure continued use of the space, we are thrilled to be able to host exhibitions and other events again,” he says. Event capacity increase for MCEC [6] meeting newz [january february] 2021