Demand for in-person meetings highlighted at BE Reconnected

BE Reconnected brought together over 420 event organisers and suppliers from around New Zealand in Auckland this week.

Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) chief executive Lisa Hopkins says the attendance at BE Reconnected highlighted the pent-up demand to gather in person with colleagues at meetings and incentives.

“More than 290 buyers walked through show floor connecting with 120 suppliers, which will go towards supporting domestic recovery. We are thrilled with the enthusiasm this event created, and how much was accomplished in one day,” she said.

“Ours is a multi-billion-dollar industry with far reaching impact and business events will play a critical role supporting economic recovery.

“Over the next three years, New Zealand will open three international convention centres, with a combined floor space of 10 rugby fields, creating over 1,000 new jobs directly while also supporting other industries such as accommodation, hospitality, food producers and suppliers, and airlines.”

The BEIA team with Sir John Kirwan.

Tourism New Zealand Business Events Global Manager Lisa Gardiner presented results of a recent industry survey which showed COVID-19 has increased the value New Zealanders put on face-to-face meetings.

The survey of 125 New Zealand-based organisations found that 97 per cent are planning to hold a business event in 2021, while 92 per cent of respondents consider in-person conferences and offsite meetings important for their organisation, up from 79 per cent.

More than half (56%) said they appreciate the importance of face to face meetings more now than pre-Covid-19, up from 39 per cent in May.

“The appetite for meeting is coupled with an increasingly positive attitude towards business events,” Gardiner said.