Meeting Newz Septeber / October 2022

incorporates some 50 specific foody events. A winter version of F.A.W.C! is held each June over four weekends. Next year a new event, Harvest, will join the calendar on 1 April. This will involve up to 18 vineyards and around 10 accompanying restaurants in a one day harvest celebration. Luxury accommodation and restaurant providers such as Wallingford and The Manse hold their own special truffle related events through June to late July and these too can be incorporated into corporate gatherings. Away from F&B, Saxton also highlights new cultural offerings that organisers can look at folding into their programmes. Ngā Ara Tipuna is a partnership between Tamatea Hapū, Te Taiwhenua o Tamatea and Central Hawke's Bay District Council and is described as a ‘story telling trail’. COVE R STORY: HAWKE ' S BAY] Delegates can visit the site of Pukekaihau Pā, once a thriving Māori settlement. Groups and individuals can also use their mobile phones to take a driving tour of other sites of cultural and natural significance around Waipukurau and Takapau. Back in the game Saxton says the region has seen a steady return of business events and feels the successful New Zealand Event Association’s July conference was somewhat symbolic as the country progressed out of restrictions. “The conference was fantastic because it was one of the early signals that Hawke’s Bay is back in the game. I attended the gala function – it was a well staged and professional show and the excitement and enthusiasm were palpable.” Black Barn Retreat Euchre Lodge Photo: Hazel Redmond Tipi Marquees at Meadowood House “One of the silver linings of Covid and having to postpone the Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) conference is that we are now able to showcase this new facility – it was only partially opened two years ago.” Mathews says the high profile conference’s gala dinner will be held in the Assembly Hall at Toitoi. “We are also emphasising the regional and corporate retreat offerings we have in Hawke’s Bay. In addition to the well known operators such as The Farm at Cape Kidnappers and Craggy Range there is an extensive range of vineyard, coastal and rural offerings.” Matthews highlights operators such as Black Barn Retreats, Meadowood House, Kiwiesque and Lawn Road Retreat to name a few. “We are hearing from these suppliers that team building or social activities are part of most business event programmes now and incentives are also showing growth for Hawke’s Bay. After two years of being unable to bring their teams together this is obviously a major priority now for both larger corporates and SMEs.” Matthews says connectivity s another big advantage for Hawke’s Bay, with direct flights from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. “We have more than 250 flights a week, providing easy connections, and come November, Hawke’s Bay will be at its preCovid flight schedule.” Where the growers are Hamish Saxton, chief executive officer at Hawke’s Bay Tourism, says food and beverage based experiences are seen as a way to differentiate the region. “We have about 35 cellar doors and a large variety of high quality restaurants and venues to match that. “We can incorporate this into a business event but at the same time these food and beverage experiences lend themselves to enticing people to have a longer stay – either pre or post.” He says business events hosted by associations and companies related to wine, horticulture and other food and beverage sectors are a perfect fit for Hawke’s Bay. “What better place for growers to hold a conference than an area that is famous for growing?” Saxton points to the region’s own regular events that can be used to leverage meetings, incentives and corporate retreats. For example F.A.W.C! (Food and Wine Classic) Hawke’s Bay is being held from 4 to 13 November. The summer celebration meeting newz [sept oct] 2022 [11]