After a two-year break, more than 500 business events industry buyers and media from Australia and New Zealand were welcomed to Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau for Business Events Industry Aotearoa’s MEETINGS exhibition.
This morning at ASB Showgrounds, they were formally greeted by New Zealander of the Year theatre, film and television actor Jennifer Ward-Lealand.
Tourism Minister Stuart Nash welcomed guests by video link from Parliament, followed by BEIA chief executive Lisa Hopkins and Auckland Unlimited’s Head of Major and Business Events, Richard Clarke.
Last night MEETINGS 2021 was officially launched with a spectacular function at Auckland’s newest experience and venue, Weta Workshop Unleashed at SkyCity precinct.
Welcomed by Weta creator and Academy Award winner, Sir Richard Taylor, guests were immersed in the fantastical film effects inspired by Wellington’s Weta Workshop, making the most of the surreal environments and interactive experiences.
“There’s a sense of confidence coming back, reflected in the number of buyers and the number of first-time exhibitors to MEETINGS this year,” Hopkins said.
“They sum up the diversity of this industry, everything from Tauranga-based Brewbus, to Auckland’s stand-out new Hotel Britomart,” she says.
Amongst the new exhibitors are two South Island regions, Kaikōura on the South Island’s east coast, and Central Otago, who recently launched Central Otago Business Events, their own regional convention bureau. Five new exhibitors come from Queenstown this year, including hotels, production companies, and adventure operators.
Tourism New Zealand is hosting a new concept called Destination Zone on the show floor. In partnership with Congress Rentals, using their silent conferencing technology, 18 regions are giving a high-level overview to both day buyers and hosted buyers across the two days.
“These updates are giving buyers a deeper understanding of the breadth of offering within every region, showcasing the business events infrastructure and also the hidden treasures that make each unique and special for business event attendees,” Hopkins said.