Meeting Newz Nov/Dec 2023

By Lisa Hopkins chief executive Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) Whether it is this side of Christmas or in the New Year, I am very much looking forward to working with Minister Doocey on some key issues important to our sector, including invitations to MEETINGS 2024, Business Events Week, and the BEIA Conference in Taranaki in November. As to the inclusion of Hospitality in the Minister’s portfolio, I am supportive. Both industries have their nuances and contribute significantly to the country. I have been asked if I am disappointed that ‘events’ weren’t included, and I’m not. It's just not our time … yet. But it is the natural next step, especially given our growth and capacity potential. While Tourism continues to look at sustainability, especially in places which have seen large numbers arrive, our industry is welcoming the many from across the world to use our incredible facilities, stay in hotels, eat in restaurants, and extend their trips to include leisure time in other parts of the country. The Minister for Tourism, Events and Hospitality, does have a nice ring to it, as it rolls off the tongue. Martin Snedden, CNZM, Chair, BEIA Board There has been nothing but wonderful acknowledgement for Martin Snedden’s appointment to our Board and he is just as excited. The subcommittee did a thorough job looking for the right person for this role and felt it needed to be someone who would bring the right level of gravitas to our Association, as we have evolved so much in the past few years. Martin is a thoughtful, perceptive, and intelligent leader. He understands the world in which we operate and the importance of the National Business Events Strategy, which will be launched next year, having been involved in TIA’s 2025 strategy. While business events themselves are new to him, Martin is wellversed on the eco-system and will be a fervent advocate for the sector. Looking in the rear-view The change began in March, when the then-for Tourism and staunch BE champion, Stuart Nash was relieved of his portfolio. Minister Peeni Henare became our Minister and became a fan of the industry, especially after experiencing MEETINGS 2023 at Tākina. However, once Parliament stood for the last time before the election, there was a feeling of limbo. Fortunately for BEIA, we had a National Strategy to facilitate. After appointing Susan (Sooz) Sawbridge to run the process, we are starting to get close to the end. It also means an opportunity to change direction, approach or relationships. However, for our industry, being so people-centric, it can be difficult when you become so used to one person to then adapt to someone new. Such is the life of anyone involved in the tourism industry at the moment, and BEIA in particular. Matt Doocey, Minister for Tourism and Hospitality I have been asked about our incoming Minister for Tourism and Hospitality, Matt Doocey. While at the time of writing this column, he is still a freshly minted and appointed member of the new coalition government, I hear positive things. He is a strong advocate for mental health, which is indicative of him being named the first-ever Minister for Mental Health. He is the Member for Waimakariri the region which features the distinctive braided rivers of Canterbury, and depicted in the design of Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre. Minister Doocey will receive many briefings from policy advisors and advocacy associations like BEIA, and will no doubt be spending his time, when not in the house, reading the documents which will bring him up to speed with his new responsibilities. For further information on the BEIA briefing, Members can access the document through the latest BEIA Matters newsletter link. However, we will talk to the industry first before releasing the document in 2024. Sooz has done an exceptional job as we look to align the sector and ensure we are ready for whatever may come. The emotion was bittersweet when Steve Armitage told me he was stepping down as Chair. I am sad to see someone who I respect and admire leave our organisation, but thrilled for my friend to have such an incredible opportunity with HospitalityNZ. He is doing a great job, as did his predecessor and continues to be a champion of BE. MEETINGS 2023 was exceptional. Our first in the capital and not only was the weather on our side, so was everyone who went to the event. Wellington’s broad spectrum of venues played an integral role, but, as always, New Zealand’s manaakitanga is what makes this country a perennial favourite and the hope is, with each year, we can grow our international visitor numbers to the event. Looking forward 2024 will be the year of untold promise. The launch of the National Strategy will be significant and a document which I hope all connected to our sector can be extremely proud of. MEETINGS 2024 in Rotorua has the hallmarks of being a truly meaningful event, steeped in the culture and tradition which makes New Zealand so unique, while doing that all-important role of connecting the industry with its customers. Business Events Week will be held in September and we will look to spread this week across the motu. We must take this time to influence the influencers and speak directly to communities about the incredible work our industry does every day for New Zealanders. BEIA will continue to be your voice. We will continue to support our members by advocating for better data and greater access to accurate data. We will continue to push for clarity in language in the Therapeutic Products Bill and provide intel to the Royal Commission of Inquiry (COVID-19 Lessons). We will continue to monitor immigration levels in conjunction with the Department of Immigration as part of our public/private partnership. Most importantly, we will celebrate and commiserate with you. On behalf of everyone at BEIA, Board and Staff, we wish you the most magical of seasons. [BE I A COLUMN Nga mihi nui, Lisa Hopkins Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “Change is the only constant in life”. It’s a personal favourite — a reminder that we, and everything around us, are continuously evolving and transforming. Change is in the air [48] meeting newz [november december] 2023