Meeting Newz Nov/Dec 2023

BE Spearheaded by peak industry body Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA), the inaugural Business Events Week in September was developed as a platform to elevate the importance of business events to New Zealand, incorporating five days of meetings, forums and awards. Supported by Tourism New Zealand, leading global business events experts joined local strategists to focus on the sector’s future legacies and opportunities. BUS I NE SS EVENTS WE EK] The BEIA conference was held in Blenheim, Marlborough from 18 – 20 September and was the start of the inaugural Business Events Week. As part of the event, attendees got to experience the best of Marlborough. Wither Hills was the venue for the welcome, the ASB Theatre and Marlborough Convention Centre hosted the conference, and the gala dinner was held at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre. BEIA chief executive, Lisa Hopkins told BEIA Conference delegates New Zealand’s business events industry had come of age with investment in world-class infrastructure and the opening of two new conventions centres, Te Pae Christchurch and Tākina in Wellington, and the New Zealand International Convention Centre in Auckland set for 2025. “Developing a focal event for the sector helps us to educate New Zealanders about business events and the benefits beyond economic, showcase New Zealand as a business events destination internationally, and ultimately attract more bid champions and events to our shores. “Our sector is collaborating to ensure New Zealand is recognised on the international stage as a destination for business events that contribute across the four capitals: nature, culture, social and economy,” she says. Tourism New Zealand chief executive René de Monchy said, as a core market for TNZ, business events bring high quality visitors that deliver knowledge, business and economic benefits and positive social legacies. “Recent investment in new infrastructure has ensured New Zealand has a world-class business events offering. This is a great time for the business events sector to work together and achieve sustainable business events growth that will support New Zealand's economy,” he says. BEIA Conference keynote speaker, Senthil Gopinath, CEO of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) – Global Meetings Industry Association highlighted New Zealand’s opportunities on the world stage. “New Zealand has the edge on the rest of the world because of its size and its experiential learning offerings – increasingly attractive in this changing world,” he says. In partnership with ICCA, Tourism New Zealand announced it will continue its successful work in supporting the professional development of the Business Events industry by hosting an in-person ICCASkills Training Hub in 2024. International business events strategist, Martin Sirk challenged ‘business as usual’ thinking at the conference and forums throughout the week. “Conferences should not be comfortable, but places on the edge, places to challenge and inspire people to do things differently,” he says. NEWZEALAND BUSINESS EVENTSWEEK HIGHLIGHTS VALUEOF INDUSTRY Martin Sirk BEIA Conference Policy Forum meeting newz [november december] 2023 [21]