Friday, June 23, 2023
Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA)’s MEETINGS 2023 in Wellington finished on 22 June – after two days featuring over 6,000 meetings, networking functions, and knowledge sessions.
According to BEIA, MEETINGS 2023 has connected 224 exhibitors from 19 regions with over 400 buyers from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and North America.
The event began with an industry briefing featuring updates from Tourism New Zealand Business Events, Immigration New Zealand, Air New Zealand, Business Events Wellington and BEIA.
BEIA chief executive, Lisa Hopkins says growth and collaboration have been the themes emerging at MEETINGS 2023, with Tourism New Zealand aiming to bid for 90 international conferences in FY24. This follows a successful FY23 of 84 bids worth NZD 120m (USD 75m) for New Zealand.
Tourism New Zealand chief executive, René de Monchy, says that the global business events industry is recovering, adding that good opportunities to attract high-quality events to New Zealand will benefit the country’s economy, society, culture, and environment.
In FY24 Tourism New Zealand will work hard to support New Zealand’s business events sector to attract business that will also grow knowledge and collaboration across many of society’s important subjects and industries, de Monchy said.
New Zealand’s business events infrastructure has been expanding, with the recent opening of two new purpose-built convention centres in Christchurch and Wellington, and another opening in Auckland in 2025.
MEETINGS 2023 attracted exhibitors from across New Zealand, including 26 first-timers, who gave positive reactions to the new Tākina venue.
At the event, Hawke’s Bay unveiled its new status as a ‘Great Wine Capital of the World’ – one of only 12 globally.
The Queenstown Lakes region invited business events visitors to support the district’s goal of a regenerative, carbon-zero visitor economy by 2030. A newly launched platform, Love Queenstown, enables visitors and businesses to positively impact the region through their activities and experiences.
Private air group, GCH Aviation launched several new small group experiences in New Zealand’s business events market at MEETINGS. Group marketing manager, Caroline Blanchfield, says GCH Aviation sees enormous growth potential for small group incentives in the areas where they operate their helicopters and beyond.
Ashley Lawson, VP and co-owner of Achieve Incentives and Meetings in Ohio says New Zealand’s direct air connections from North America make the destination appealing and accessible, adding “New Zealand has a true competitive advantage. We know our clients will be embraced by hospitality and immersed in Māori culture.”
Becky Phu from Totem Events in Melbourne, Australia, comments on New Zealand’s incentive offerings, saying: “Now we have a new option. With the harbour on the doorstep, boutique food and hospitality offerings, a rich cultural aspect, and everything within walking distance of Tākina, Wellington is a superb meeting destination.,” Phu says.
MEETINGS 2023 seems to have followed the event’s new trend of growth, as MEETINGS 2022 generated NZD 107.5m worth of business during its two days – a 45.3% increase on MEETINGS 2021.