Meeting Newz May / June 2021

Record event numbers Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre is facing a record number of evening event bookings, says chief executive Jane Orphan. “We are very pleased at the way business has bounced back after 2020.” It is easy to understand why Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre is the single most visited attraction in Marlborough when you visit. The world-class destination for the appreciation of historic aircraft offers much more for a wider audience than just the aviation enthusiast. The centre tells the story of aviation during two World Wars, the time in which the most intense period of aviation development took place. But the centre has gone to great pains to bring into focus the human element with real people’s stories woven through the exhibition in moving, surprising and humorous ways. In the evenings, the centre turns into an off-site cocktails / dining option with the two main exhibitions becoming two venue choices. When opened in 2006 the ‘Knights of the Sky’ exhibition was ground- breaking, not just in terms of the historical importance, rarity and scale of the collection but in the innovative way it was presented (thanks in no small part to the generosity of Sir Peter Jackson contributing his own private collection and the formidable creative talents of WingNut Films and Weta Workshop). This space combined with the reception area accommodates up to 200 guests for cocktails. The second exhibition ‘Dangerous Skies’ opened in 2016 featuring aviation and more renderings of the Second World War enlisting international professional support in its creation. This space can host up to 320 guests for dining or 350 for cocktails. With black-out curtains, built-in drop-down screens, exclusive caterers Feast Merchants in place and such an extraordinary backdrop, the space needs virtually no input from the event organiser to transform into a fabulous evening event, says Brown. More news on the venue menu Queen Charlotte Yacht Club is a new venue on the water’s edge at the northern end of Shelley Beach, Picton. Built out over the water in 2020, the facility was designed to accommodate the dingy sailing needs of local sailors as well as to host events. The waterfront location affords majestic views of the harbour and surrounding hills. The main clubroom is suitable for up to 100 dining or 150 theatre style, with smart screens and sound system while two smaller rooms upstairs offer a boardroom and a training room suitable for up to 20 guests each. A bar and kitchen are also on-site. Bay of Many Coves luxury lodge in the Marlborough Sounds was almost 100% international clientele prior to the pandemic. Having just refurbished and renovated a room on the water’s edge which can be set up for private business meetings, the property is the ideal venue for small executive retreats and corporate business meetings or incentive groups (access is via water taxis which run regularly). The Portage is a good option for larger groups wanting to experience the Sounds. A THC Group Hotel, The Portage offers 42 waterfront rooms, two waterfront restaurants and a spacious conference room. The property has road and water taxi access. The Marlborough is nestled in the heart of Blenheim’s scenic vineyards, on 16 acres of established gardens and vineyards. The small luxury hotel, which has recently undergone extensive high-spec renovations, suits small executive retreats amongst the vines or small incentive groups. Brancott Estate Heritage Vineyard Site , previously known as Brancott Cellar Door and Restaurant, features spectacular views over the vines. Formerly only for private hire in the evenings, the venue is now availabel for private functions throughout the day as well. The venue is currently being reconfigured so it can seat 100 guests banquet-style for dinner. A New Zealand falcon (kārearea) experience is also available as Brancott supports protecting and restoring the population of this rare native bird. Marlborough Facts: • 15% of NZ’s coastline • 75% of NZ’s Wine including 90% of NZ’s Sav Blanc • 13 Venues : ASB Theatre Marlborough Auditorium 695 delegates • 1000+ accommodation rooms • Direct flights from Auckland and Wellington with Air New Zealand; from Christchurch with Sounds Air. [ MARLBOROUGH Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre Brancott Estate [48] meeting newz [may jun] 2021

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