Meeting Newz Septeber / October 2022

By Lisa Hopkins Chief executive Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) run sheets ignored. Adrenaline kicks in, and the show goes on. As we know, there are always hitches, and I do wonder what hitches were experienced by Edward Fitzalan-Howard, Duke of Norfolk and Major General Christopher Ghika, of the Household Division, the two gentlemen responsible for the proceedings. I suspect like every good event organiser, we will never, ever know. Unmasked What a joy it is to fly without a mask on. I don’t think we realised what a privilege it was until that privilege was taken away. So New Zealand is now open to the world and just in time for NZ1 to fly back from New York to Auckland, connecting the east coast of the USA with New Zealand. Such an exciting development. However, not every travel requirement has gone away. The need to complete a declaration to get into New Zealand is still in force. Is this a deterrent to travelling to New Zealand? I don’t believe it is, but the “why” doesn’t make sense. It is to enable authorities to trace visitors should we find ourselves in the midst of another pandemic or similar. You can’t help but question, should that be the case, why can’t authorities reinstate these procedures when needed? Let’s see what changes will be made, over time. But for now, let’s enjoy this feeling of freedom. Vocational training BEIA has been working with Ringa Hora, the Workforce Development Council, to understand how we can introduce vocational training into the industry. A group of members gathered recently in Auckland to discuss this issue. What I thought was going to be a straightforward conversation, quickly changed, as yet again, I was reminded how complex our sector is, especially for those who don’t work in it on a regular basis. However, I believe we can find some solutions which will mean earning credits for a diploma while working and creating a career pathway. We look forward to sharing A Masterclass At the time of writing, the world had just witnessed an event like no other. Putting aside the reverence and solemnity of the Queen’s funeral, I find watching events like this fascinating – an absolute masterclass in logistics and precision. While these events are years in the planning, as we all know any event can be made or broken if the delivery isn’t on point. We discovered the number of rehearsals for ʽOperation London Bridge’, the name given to the Queen’s funeral plans, were numerous over the years and particularly in the last week. I’m sure we all held our collective breath, every time the pallbearers lifted the coffin onto their broad shoulders. This event was delivered with panache, respect and strength. The largest event I was ever involved in was APEC, which was over two years in the planning. Sleepless nights, a woeful diet, but at the end of the day something magical happens when you start the delivery phase of the event, large or small. All those rehearsals and planning go out the window, more details at conference as one of our ‘Big Issues’. Conference Lovely segue into conference! After three years, the conference is finally here and Hamish, Heather and their team in Hawke’s Bay have been working hard with Jen and Cerys to ensure not only a successful event, but also the opportunity to experience the beautiful Hawke’s Bay region, first hand. This conference will be very different. Light on speakers talking to you, heavy on two-way conversation about the issues which are truly affecting our sector, and a session facilitated by Oscar Cerezales (joining us via video) and Susan Sawbridge. During Covid, Sooz and I spoke at least every week, and although her role was head of New Zealand Major Events, Sooz became a wonderful collaborator for business events, and like the Minister, has a real respect for the sector. David Downs is our MC, and in his day job as CEO of The New Zealand Story, he is tasked with the job of telling the world about New Zealand’s successes, right across the business spectrum. We both agree our industry is full of some of the best storytellers around, and I’m looking forward to David hearing some of these over the couple of the days we are together. We will be joined by one of New Zealand’s best – Hilary Barry – Queen of the Airwaves. Hilary’s career has spanned some of the biggest events in the world, from Nelson Mandela’s funeral, to the wedding of William and Catherine and everything in between. The woman is frankly hilarious and I know she is really looking forward to meeting everyone in Napier. Thank you, Louise and the team at Celebrity Speakers for bring Hilz Baz to conference. Of course, there will be ample opportunity to sample Hawke’s Bay’s finest. We can’t wait to see you in a couple of weeks. Please register if you haven’t already. It’s a brilliant time to reconnect. [BE I A COLUMN Nga mihi nui, Lisa Hopkins Find a Venue [48] meeting newz [sept oct] 2022