New Zealand gears up for APEC CEO Summit 2021

The APEC CEO Summit 2021 is due to kick off this month in New Zealand after what was one of the most challenging lead ups to such a large scale global business event.

The Summit has gone through a series of pivots after the planned new build venue that was set to host it, Auckland’s New Zealand International Convention Centre, was seriously damaged by a fire forcing the organisers to scramble to see what other venues could host such a prestigious and complex international event.

And then Covid hit, forcing organisers to once again throw out their plans and focus on what would now become a fully online Summit.

To be held on November 11 and 12, the virtual Summit will be broadcast from the Aotea Centre in Auckland.

APEC CEO Summit executive director Jonathan Alver said the Summit will avoid Zoom fatigue and instead deliver 16 hours of broadcast that ties in live satellite events in cities where gatherings are possible on a purpose-built networking platform connecting delegates from 21 APEC economies.

Developed by Microsoft, the networking platform will remain active until December 10 to allow delegates to continue to interact with their peers as well as review keynote speeches and discussions later.

The Summit will also be broadcast live in three time zones to ensure all the delegates can watch at a time convenient to them.

Alver is working alongside senior event producer Michelle Khan to co-ordinate the international team of over 100 people who are responsible for making the event happen.

The Summit is being produced as a high-quality broadcast event centred around a television newsroom style centrepiece.

With delegates able to meet online in a ‘connection zone’ or use a chat function on the spot or, via a Teams meeting set-up, Alver says the Summit highlights how New Zealand’s cutting-edge technologies can overcome any disruptions and still bring together delegates from across the world to achieve meaningful outcomes.