New Zealand’s business events sector outlines 10-year strategic vision


New Zealand’s business events sector has collaborated to launch a strategic direction outlining a focused vision for the industry over the next decade.

Guided by Susan Sawbridge, the former head of Major Events New Zealand, and under the stewardship of Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA), Pīata Mai aims to amplify the sector’s positive impact on culture, society, the environment, and the economy through to 2035.

BEIA Chair Martin Snedden says Pīata Mai is a first for New Zealand’s business events sector.

“It means ‘to shine bright,’ and symbolises the industry’s readiness to excel domestically and globally, driven by its commitment to resilience and sustainability,” he said.

“New Zealand Māori Tourism bestowed the name, and we are grateful to Dame Pania Nathan-Tyson and her team for honouring our sector with it. It illuminates the critical role and contributions of business events to communities throughout New Zealand, which have also been bolstered by some of the world’s most modern purpose-built infrastructure.

“Pīata Mai not only guides BEIA in its pivotal role as guardian of the statement, but also serves as a roadmap for industry businesses to identify impactful opportunities and foster alignment.”

The strategy emphasises storytelling about the sector’s community impacts, its foundational values of people and place and the economic and legacy benefits of business events.

The 10-year objectives of Pīata Mai include commissioning credible domestic and international spend data, ensuring 95 per cent of the sector has taken action to measure and reduce environmental impact and supporting the development of an enduring and equitable funding system for the visitor economy.

Lisa Hopkins, BEIA’s chief executive, says Pīata Mai aligns with the broader goals of Tourism 2050, a vision set out by Tourism Industry Aotearoa in 2023.

“With increased international and domestic conferences anticipated, it’s timely to emphasise our strategic position and collaborate with our whanau in tourism and hospitality,” she said.

“This is about the business events sector taking leadership and ownership of its future while at the same time recognising its contribution as an economic and social driver.

“Pīata Mai lays the groundwork for any organisation within the business events network to embark on a strategic journey aligned with this vision.”