Next year’s MEETINGS will be held in Ōtautahi Christchurch at the new Te Pae Christchurch convention centre in June.
Loren Heaphy, general manager of Destination at ChristchurchNZ, says MEETINGS was last held in the city in 2008.
“Christchurch is now a world-class host city and we are excited to be revealing it to everyone next year,” she said.
This year’s MEETINGS wrapped after a successful two-day event that saw around 800 people connect on the show floor.
Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) chief executive Lisa Hopkins says MEETINGS has marked a turning point for the business events industry.
“This is an extraordinary achievement for New Zealand,” she said.
“A significant business event featuring international buyers in a face-to-face environment. It is a reflection of the way New Zealand has managed COVID, and BEIA is excited to help facilitate this vital connection with Australian buyers looking to bring business to our shores.”
Sixteen buyers originally planned to come from Melbourne were unable to attend due to the state-wide COVID lockdown in Victoria. Instead, they will be taking part in a virtual appointment programme with MEETINGS exhibitors post-event.
“We estimate that the Melbourne buyers were looking to place $21.5 million in business in New Zealand, that is too great an opportunity to ignore,” said Hopkins.
“COVID has changed the sector over past 15 months,” said Hopkins. “Events now need a plan B, C and in some cases D.”
Despite the challenges of 2020, BEIA in partnership with the Regional Tourism New Zealand kicked off the Business Events Data Project in July, with the data being used to calculate the value of the business events sector to the economy.
“Our goal now is to dive deeper into this, obtain a better understanding of the true value of the sector, which has been estimated around $1.45 billion, and to look ahead,” said Hopkins.
“This information will be critical as we start to count the days down to Te Pae Christchurch in October this year, the opening of Tākina in Wellington in 2023 and the New Zealand International Convention Centre in 2024.”