The business tourism industry is getting set to stage its biggest ever trade show and expectations are high it will result in millions of export dollars flowing into New Zealand’s economy.
“With more exhibitors and more buyers at Meetings this year than ever before the stage is set for some significant business deals to be initiated over the course of the exhibition,” says Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) CEO, Alan Trotter.
Meetings is an annual event organised by CINZ to give suppliers and operators of a diverse range of venues, products and services the opportunity to meet under one roof with conference and incentive travel planners from around the globe.
Last year’s event, which was held in Rotorua, generated in excess of $32m worth of business leads.
This year’s event, on June 13 and 14, is being held at Auckland’s SkyCity Convention Centre and has attracted a record 172 exhibitors, 350 day buyers and 188 hosted buyers. SkyCity Convention Centre will be operating at full capacity for the event.
The hosted buyers represent influential companies and organisations from nine countries including China, Malaysia, Singapore, India, the United States, and Australia. The Chinese, South-East Asian and American buyers are attending Meetings with the assistance of Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand.
During Meetings, they will get to sample New Zealand’s world-class hospitality first-hand and will be introduced to the diversity of New Zealand’s offerings through a series of briefings by the country’s regional convention bureaux.
“These hosted buyers are key decision-makers in the C&I industry and potentially could send a lot of business New Zealand’s way. We will be doing our best over the course of Meetings to ensure they are well-informed about how much New Zealand has to offer and that they leave eager to work with us in the future,” Trotter says.
“New Zealand is a dream destination for conferences, conventions and incentive travel because of our diversity and our ability to deliver amazing experiences at cost-effective prices. At no other time is the strength of our diversity more clear to see than at Meetings when our industry comes together under roof to sell New Zealand as a destination.’’
Event manager Jeanette Stanton says about 550 people are expected at both the welcome function at the Hilton Auckland and the farewell dinner at the Viaduct Events Centre.
“This is shaping up to be a very big event; we’re expecting around 1000 people to come together over the two days of Meetings so it’s a big undertaking but everything is in place to ensure it is a success for both the exhibitors and the buyers,” Stanton says.