After a successful global forum in Bogotá, with associations descending from around the world to the Colombian capital last month, BestCities Global Alliance has kicked off 2019 by unveiling a new brand platform and an updated strategic plan as it approaches its 20th year in operation.
Biodegradable meeting spaces, artificial intelligence and serendipity will all play a significant role in the future of meetings and business events.
Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) and Queenstown Convention Bureau (QCB) are joining forces to amplify marketing efforts in longer-haul markets to attract the high-value incentive market.
Four new members have been elected and two re-elected to the Conventions & Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) board following its annual general meeting in Auckland today.
Prue Daly from the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) and Simon Thompson from Te Pae (platinum category), Amanda Graham from Hamilton & Waikato Tourism (gold category), and Kiri Atkinson-Crean from Te Puia (silver category) have joined the board this month.
Tracey Thomas, Conference Innovators and Jake Downing, Weta Workshop were re-elected.
CINZ chief executive Sue Sullivan says the CINZ board for the 2018-2019 year represents the diverse range of talent and skills within New Zealand’s business events sector.
'Our board members cover a thriving sector including regional tourism organisations, convention bureaux, venues, hotels, professional conference organisers and privately owned businesses.'
The CINZ board is chaired by independent chair, Tony Gardner and includes CINZ chief executive Sue Sullivan, Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand representatives, and nine CINZ members.
The 2018 – 2019 CINZ board is as follows:
Independent Chair – Tony Gardner
CINZ Chief Executive – Sue Sullivan
Tourism New Zealand – Anna Fennessy (co-opted)
Air New Zealand – Jenny Simpson (co-opted)
Prue Daly, NZICC*
Simon Thompson, Te Pae*
Shelley Eastwood – Heritage Hotel Management
Alison Smith – Millennium Hotels & Resorts, New Zealand
Tracey Thomas, Conference Innovators**
Amanda Graham, Hamilton & Waikato Tourism*
Megan McSweeney, Auckland Museum
Jake Downing, Weta Workshop**
Kiri Atkinson-Crean, Te Puia*
*New Board Member
**Re-elected Board Member
For further information on the CINZ board go to http://www.conventionsnz.co.nz/cinz-board
New Zealand has some of the world’s leading scientific minds, and with the help of Tourism New Zealand, their international counterparts are travelling the world to hear them speak.
Since 2014, Tourism New Zealand has helped New Zealand’s science community to secure 112 science-related conferences, adding $138 million to the economy. Several of these conferences have never been held in the Southern Hemisphere before.
Professor Craig Cary of the University of Waikato says New Zealand’s approach to conference bids ‘blitzes’ the competition. Cary was an integral part of the teams that recently secured the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research Biology Symposium in Christchurch, the 8th International Conference on Polar and Alpine Microbiology in Hamilton, and the 18th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology in 2020 in Auckland – three events that will bring thousands of the world’s leading researchers to New Zealand.
'To secure these international conferences we really need to do more [than our Northern Hemisphere counterparts]. Tourism New Zealand makes it easy – it makes us look so good. In the space of 18 months we secured three major scientific conferences that have never been held in New Zealand before - that is unheard of. We couldn’t have done it without Tourism New Zealand’s assistance. The production values in the way they approach business event bids is very high, and showcases our work, our knowledge, and our regions. It’s done right,' says Cary.
'We anticipate registrations from more than 20 countries for the International Conference on Polar and Alpine Microbiology in Hamilton. This allows us to accentuate the profile of the Waikato as a hub of science in New Zealand and showcase our region.'
Tourism New Zealand recently partnered with the Kudos Science Awards Trust, based in Hamilton, to further promote the science community and scientific business events potential in the region.
Established in 2007, the Kudos Science Awards Trust is New Zealand’s sole regional scientific awards programme, recognising the achievements of the Waikato’s top scientists, and supporting ongoing research. Cary is a Kudos Science Awards recipient.
Tourism New Zealand’s global manager business events Anna Fennessy says Hamilton is gaining an international reputation for scientific research and is the fourth largest region for business events behind Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch (year ended June 2018).
'New Zealand is renowned for its scientific innovation and research and is increasingly becoming recognised as a preferred location for scientific conferences and business events with superb service and support, world-leading knowledge hubs, and one-of-a-kind locations that incorporate business facilities, culture, entertainment, and cuisine. Business events bring economic benefits to a region, with delegates spending more than the average visitor and exploring the area. Business events also support our strategy to grow shoulder visitation with many of these events being held in shoulder seasons.'
Since 2016 Tourism New Zealand has supported 17 Waikato-based international conferences through its Conference Assistance Programme and delegate marketing programmes.
Professor Ross Lawrenson, chairperson of The Kudos Science Awards Trust, says it is very pleased to have the support from Tourism New Zealand. Our organisation has highlighted the contribution that science has made to this region’s economy and with the help of Tourism New Zealand we see the opportunity to showcase the innovation in our region to a national and international audience.'
New Zealand's former Prime Minister, Rt. Hon Sir John Key will be special guest speaker at the Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) 2018 Conference in Auckland on 1 November, sponsored by Celebrity Speakers.
The New Zealand events industry is looking for opportunities to collaborate and innovate with local iwi and tangata whenua to reinvent some of the country’s biggest community events.
The credibility of official government visitor statistics has been called into question by a damning review of the International Visitor Survey (IVS), and Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) says the results are deeply concerning.
Thirty-two tourism operators and stakeholders from 26 organisations have been announced as finalists in the 2018 New Zealand Tourism Awards - the $36 billion tourism industry’s most prestigious awards.
New Zealand at Expo 2020 is seeking service providers to support a world-class pavilion and visitor experience to showcase the best of New Zealand at the next World Expo, hosted by Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
Meeting Newz, New Zealand’s leading authority on business events, is under new ownership from 1 June 2018. Tourism Media Group, headed by Terry Holt, Paul Hailes and Lance Blackbourn, have purchased the magazine, bi-weekly newsletter and associated website and social media platforms from ProMag Publishing. TMG, officially takes ownership on 1 June. Holt, Hailes and Blackbourn are also directors of Find A Venue.
ProMag Publishing directors Stu and Trish Freeman say the company will now concentrate on its leisure travel related media activities, including the TRAVELinc Memo, website and custom publications, as well as various special projects.
Tourism Industry Aotearoa is calling on Christchurch City Council to boost funding for events in its 2018-2028 Draft Long-Term Plan.
ChristchurchNZ has requested an extra $1.4 million a year to establish a dedicated seed fund to bid for business and major events on behalf of the city, support new events through sponsorship, and test the feasibility of
WREDA’s Business Events Wellington team has secured new conferences worth more than $10 million in the three months ending March 2018, setting a new quarterly record and highlighting a need for a new conference centre.
Registrations are open for the New Zealand Hotel Industry Conference, which takes place in Auckland on 4-5 July.
The conference is the largest annual event dedicated to New Zealand’s hotel sector, and is co-hosted by Tourism Industry Aotearoa and Horwath HTL.
Auckland will play host to the International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS), which will come to the city in 2020 for the first time in its nearly 20-year history.
More than 500 delegates from around the world are expected to attend the five-day conference in April/May 2020, delivering more than 2400 visitor nights and nearly $900,000 in economic value to the region.
The team from Conference Innovators is preparing to welcome more than 300 delegates from around the world to the Bay of Islands for the World Indigenous Tourism Summit, hosted by New Zealand Māori Tourism and the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance (WINTA).
Much needed new hotel inventory in New Zealand is being held back by commercial issues around their construction.
This is despite investors and developers keen to take advantage of favourable business conditions, according to one of the country’s leading hospitality and tourism industry consultants.
New Zealand’s accommodation market is thriving, with Godzone’s top 20 destinations reporting a 5% increase in accommodation rates per night in 2017, and high occupancy continuing to put pressure on supply across the board.
The teaching of hospitality and tourism in secondary schools needs to change if the industry wants a steady pipeline of skilled workers.
That’s the bold word from Auckland University of Technology, who says the government’s review of the general education system is an opportunity to push for a reassessment of the delivery of tourism and hospitality education at secondary school.
The business events market will be one of the pillars of an integrated marketing campaign planned by Hawaii Tourism Authority in 2018.
The strategy, released to corporate, conference and incentive agents at a function in Auckland last week, will also include consumer, travel trade, public relations and social media.
The future relationship between robots and humans will be in the spotlight at AIME this year, as Dr Jordan Nguyen, Bill Bennett, Casey Hyun, and moderator Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen present their insights and experiences working with technology at the ‘Man vs Machine… Are robots challenging humans?’ Saxton Up Close and Personal session.
Nguyen says technology is changing the way we interact and engage with not only each other, but many aspects of our everyday lives.
Meetings & Events Australia has launched a webinar programme giving members free access to high-quality training online each month.
The first webinar for 2018 will be held on 31 January on the Sales Process presented by Nicole Bates, founder of Conversion Management.
Conference organisers regularly pinpoint wifi and food as the two areas that can potentially embarrass them – and first time PCO Association Conference exhibitor PopUp Wifi has a solution for one of those problems.
Co-founder Nina McMahon says the company has been gaining traction with PCOs and has had a steady stream of interest at the conference.
‘We know that wifi is one of the biggest areas of concern for conference organisers and they are realising that free wifi can actually turn out to be the most expensive because it is unreliable.'
The importance of reviewing past conferences when coming up with a critical path for the next one was emphasised by a leading Australian professional conference organiser over the weekend.
Paula Leishman, of Leishman and Associates, told attendees at a workshop during the PCO Association Conference in the Gold Coast that a critical path is like a ‘massive to-do list.
‘It allows you to maximise the opportunity to get things done on time, on budget.’
Be it the Green Dragon of Hobbiton, or the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, conferences are increasingly packaging their programmes around a bit of screen fantasy.
At a joint Tourism Ireland/Tourism New Zealand Screen Tourism discussion, in Wellington last week, industry leaders spoke about the importance of screen tourism for attracting conference business.
Like Tourism New Zealand, Tourism Ireland has a Business Tourism Unit that focuses on C&I business, says Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons.
Tourism students from Dunedin’s Otago Polytechnic will gain first-hand insights into the business events sector of the industry this week, with 20 students being hosted by Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (at its annual conference in Dunedin from 24 to 26 October.
Helen Geytenbeek, Tourism/Hospitality lecturer at the College of Enterprise and Development at Otago Polytechnic NZ says the event creates valuable links for them between theory and practice.
The 20 students are qualifying for the New Zealand Diploma in Tourism and Travel (Level 5) at Otago Polytechnic. One full year of study contributes to the first year of the Bachelor of Applied Management.
Their ‘Tourism in Action’ paper includes learning to design and develop a business concept, and to analyse and critique the application of processes in tourism business ventures.
‘We are focusing on the MICE industry in this paper, to expose them to the business-based side of the tourism industry. They will put together a business plan, organise and participate in an event, volunteer in a conference, event or festival, and critique the experiences.”
More than 140 CINZ members including owners and managers of key venues, catering companies, accommodation providers, activity operators and regional convention bureaux will be meeting at the Dunedin Centre and Town Hall on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 October.
Registrations can be made online at the CINZ 41st Annual Conference website.
Culture is key when choosing a destination for meetings and events, according to new research from London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s official promotional agency.
The bureau says that when surveyed, 93% of international event planners pitched a destination with a cultural offering as an important factor when choosing where to host meetings and events.
The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB)will give advice on streamlining Australia’s visa system to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
The AACB emphasised the high yield of business visitors, especially delegates coming to Australia for business events or incentive experiences.
AACB president and CEO of the Melbourne Convention Bureau, Karen Bolinger, says Australia is losing out globally in the race to attract and host the largest business events.
There is significant opportunities for employment growth in the events industry, according to a new skills survey by Meeting & Events Australia.
MEA chief executive Robyn Johnson says the survey shows it’s clear many event companies are finding it difficult to fill vacancies and retain staff.
‘This shows the need for the industry to provide more training and improve career paths for events staff,’ she says.
Nearly half the companies surveyed identified a skills shortage as impacting on their ability to recruit. The biggest skills shortages are in operational areas where specific training and relevant qualifications are generally required.
‘To me, this reinforces what we’re hearing in the marketplace, and that there is a need for improvements in the provision of training,’ says Johnson.
New research from event marketing firm XING Events has revealed digitalisation has a firm spot in the event marketing world.
The research, which surveyed both national and international organisers and attendees of events, found more than two thirds of organisers say they have achieved their goals thanks to digital channels. Attracting more attendees (84 percent) and increasing the events’ profile (72 percent) take the top ranks.
The research found there is a large gap between what attendees want and what organisers offer. Besides their website, organisers are strongly focusing on established communication channels like email marketing (76 percent) and social media marketing (73 percent). However, personal recommendations from friends and acquaintances are the way to go for 66 percent of attendees when choosing events. Email and event newsletters were right behind with 59 percent indicating the effectiveness of these methods among the organisers’ target group.
‘These results nevertheless clearly indicate that viral marketing will be an essential ingredient for an ideal marketing mix in the future’, says Professor Dr. Cai-Nicolas Ziegler.
Meanwhile, organisers and attendees are on the same page about updates, with more than half of organisers and attendees agreeing that digital event marketing simplifies exchanging information with each other. Attendees (62 percent) would like to further this improved exchange of information via social media groups. In turn, organisers seem to not (yet) recognise this potential – a mere nine percent of the organisers use this channel for communication and attendee retention.
‘By using various channels like email marketing, organisers are on the right track”, says Ziegler.
‘However, they still need to catch up when it comes to innovative marketing activities – especially viral channels, making use of influencers and content marketing.’
The Tourism Export Council conference last week shone a spotlight on sustainability, with the need to ensure tourism growth is sustainable economically, environmentally and socially top of mind.
The conference held in Te Anau attracted around 250 people involved in the country's tourism industry.