Scenic Solace in the wind, Wellington Scenic Solace in the wind, Wellington Jeff McEwan

Positive vibes, Major Moves and Fresh Perspectives from Wellington

Wellington’s business events industry has reasons to be optimistic as it looks ahead to the next year and beyond.

Signs of recovery from a challenging 2020 are already evident and the capital has its eyes on a ‘meetings milestone’ with the opening of Tākina, Wellington’s new Convention Centre, in 2023.

David Perks, general manager regional development, destination and attraction at WellingtonNZ says the organisation (which incorporates Business Events Wellington) is pleased with how the second half of 2020 developed from a meetings and conference perspective – especially considering where the sector was earlier in the year.

“The first data collected by the new Business Events Data Programme has been positive,” says Perks. “We can see the number of events and number of delegates attending these events in Wellington showed that the sector came back quicker than we expected and that clients have chosen Wellington to conference in. “Looking at 2021 we are confident as business restarts after a well-deserved holiday, that Wellington will continue to be busy. We were pleased to learn that the Tourism New Zealand research suggests 55% of domestic organisations surveyed are planning a conference in Wellington in 2021.” He says organisations now understand even more clearly the importance of government relationships for their industries and interests. “This bodes well for the opening of Tākina in 2023.”

Perks adds that potential clients are already showing excitement about the new convention centre and how it will meet their conference needs. “This is providing us with a clear picture of how the facility will be used and the flexibilitythat the spaces offer.”

Tākina will be on Cable Street, opposite the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and will be highly focused on sustainability as well as the economic benefits it provides the community. Features include rainwater harvesting, solar power, double glazing, efficient LED lighting and more. The result will be a building with 5 Star Green Star certification, representing New Zealand excellence for environmental sustainability and becoming a landmark for Wellington’s sustainable future.

The public ground floor will have cafés and a dramatic entry leading to a thoroughfare that connects the waterfront to Courtney Place. Tākina will have 13 meeting spaces and

two pre-function exhibition/catering spaces across two levels. The flexible main plenary will cater for up to 1,600 delegates with a second plenary for up to 700 delegates, both spaces being divisible. Other key features include the main exhibition hall of 1,800sqm, plus state of the art built-in audio visual equipment. The centre is within close walking proximity to 4,000 hotel rooms.

While the new Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre is obviously a key focus, Business Events Wellington also emphasises the many venues and options already available in the city. Wellington offers a variety of tailor-made experiences, catering for a diverse mix of events and delegates – all with a bit of Wellington quirkiness thrown in. Suppliers are all open to customising experiences and activities to suit the needs of each group.

Read more about the latest from Wellington here.