Meetings 2016 show floor

Conventions and Incentives New Zealand’s (CINZ) two-day trade exhibition to promote the country’s business events industry has ended on a high, with many international buyers keen to book New Zealand for their future conferences and incentives.

“We have hosted a big contingent of international buyers and media at Meetings this year and they were very interested in New Zealand’s growing potential for large events, as well as bespoke incentive travel,” says Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) Chief Executive Officer, Sue Sullivan.

“The exhibitors have had plenty of positive feedback and have collectively held over 6000 meetings with potential clients and will be leaving Meetings with strong business leads to follow up. Last year our exhibitors contracted over $50 million on the show floor.

“Our buyers and media are leaving with a much better understanding of just how much this country has to offer as a conference and incentive destination.

“Australian and international event organisers are always looking for something outside the box and we have shown them New Zealand is a stunning learning and networking environment.

“We can offer the whole package, with great venues, exciting activities, unique culture, service, food and wine,” she says.

Meetings 2016 show floor Hamilton

Conference and incentive organisers have been impressed by the myriad of experiences on offer in regional New Zealand. Australian organisers were given the opportunity to explore eight regions in the lead up to Meetings, while over 40 international buyers and media are being hosted through the regions this weekend.

Australian professional conference organiser Laura Richards from The Conference Business in Sydney says Meetings is a must-attend event.

“As a buyer you are able to explore the length and breadth of the country on one floor, meeting industry professionals who are all passionate about their country,” she says.

“The showcase is a total package and the quality and quantity of exhibitors present over two days speaks volumes. The event truly epitomises hospitality.”

Gary Bender from World Corporate Travel says New Zealand presents a collaborative and positive face to the world with one cohesive team.

“There is a real synergy between buyers and sellers and strong relationships are built here,” he says.

Ruth Hirst from Synergy Events in Australia says New Zealand’s regional hot spots have really shone at Meetings.

“For groups we can see how easy it to hop around the regions and experience something different within easy distance,” she says.

Event manager Wayne Taylor of Taylored Events from Brisbane says New Zealand’s genuine hospitality comes from the heart.

“What sets Meetings apart is the organic and authentic approach from teams exhibiting here. Nothing is over-orchestrated, it feels natural and relaxed.”

Alison Smith from Millennium Hotels and Resorts, who has exhibited at every Meetings since 1997, says the market this year is vibrant.

“We are busy writing business on the show floor booking firm dates for all our properties throughout New Zealand for 2018 to 2020,” she says.

Exhibitor Kylie Brittain from The Orange Exchange based in Queenstown says: “We all love what we do and this passion for New Zealand is reflected in the success of Meetings every year.”

The event wrapped-up in Auckland last night with a seated dinner for 650 at Vodafone Events Centre.

CINZ Meetings 2017 will be held from 31 May to 1 June at ASB Showgrounds in Auckland.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management