Top international consultant shares global insights on business events

 Saturday, October 3, 2015 


AucklandA world-renowned business events consultant was in Auckland last week sharing valuable global insights on the industry.


Barbara Maple is one of the most internationally recognised leaders in the meetings and conventions industry and has held a series of major international positions, including as President of the Association Internationale des Palais de Congrès (AIPC), President of the Joint Meetings Industry Council and Chair of the World Council of Venue Management.


Mrs Maple presented to around 30 Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) members and 10 advocates from the Auckland Advocate Alliance as part of an education seminar organised by ACB last Thursday night at The Langham, Auckland.


Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) ACB Manager Anna Hayward says Mrs Maple has a long history working with the business events industry in New Zealand, including most recently assisting ACB with establishing the Auckland Advocate Alliance programme.


“Barbara brings with her a wealth of expert knowledge, new ideas and perspectives of what’s happening internationally to help us grow our industry here,” she says.


“There’s intense competition for hosting business events globally and our distance from the rest of the world means we have to be smarter when we bid for international events.


“We’re now looking at how we can leverage Auckland’s intellectual capital in all economic development priority sectors which together with the interesting innovations in many areas can support the bid and align to the sector or association we are targeting.


“Being part of Auckland’s economic development agency is a huge advantage. It means ACB is able to leverage the opportunities within ATEED to facilitate and promote targeted industry growth sectors, and help grow the regional economy.”


Auckland has benefited from impressive growth in the business events sector. In 2013, the sector contributed $236 million in direct spend to the Auckland economy. The aim of the Auckland Business Events Plan is to double that figure by 2023 and increase delegate days from 1.98 million in 2013 to 2.55 million.


Mrs Maple says, “Business events bring people together to exchange knowledge and ideas, build business relationships and over a longer term attract investment and talent flows.


“It requires a long term investment, allowing for the long lead times between bidding, winning, and then hosting events, but the legacy value these events create is significant.


“Just bidding for events is helping cities lift their international profile and while they might not always win often some lasting networks and relationships are built in the process. Advocate programmes are recognised globablly for being instrumental in achieving ongoing success in the highly competitive business events sector. Advocates are highly regarded both at home and abroad, recognised for their professional achievements, passion in their field and for their country – and Auckland’s new advocates are no exception.

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